4-H Sportsmanship Activity: Pass the Fruit


March 29, 2017 -


All ages


Word choice


Play a simple yet effective game of showing the lasting effect of words.

Time required:

15-30 minutes

Materials required:

  • A piece of fruit that easily bruises (ex: apple, peach, banana)
  • Knife or scissors to cut the fruit

Instruct everyone to sit in a circle while the leader begins with the fruit in his or her hands. The leader should then begin a conversation, using the prompting questions below, to discuss how negative comments may have an effect on the participants and others.

Potential prompting questions for leader:

  • Have you ever heard someone use hurtful words about another person during competition?
  • If so, how did the person who heard the words seem to feel?
  • How did you know?
  • What did they do?
  • How did they act?
  • Has anyone used hurtful words about you during competition?
  • If so, how did that make you feel?
  • Did those feelings go away immediately?
Next, the leader will ask someone in the group to share a negative comment that they’ve heard and then hand that person the fruit. After sharing the negative comment, that person should gently toss the fruit on the floor or table (just enough to cause a bruise on the fruit). Repeat this process until the fruit has been passed to everyone in the group who wants to participate.
After everyone has had a chance to participate, take time to observe how the fruit may or may not have changed throughout this process. Then cut the fruit in half and show everyone how it is bruised on the inside. Explain that the same bruising happens to us and other people when we say hurtful things. Some fruits may or my not show external damage, just as some of us are better able to hide our feelings; however, all fruit will show internal bruising.
Reflection Questions:
  • How easy is it to say a negative comment about someone?
  • What are some ways to remind yourself to think before you speak?
  • How do you act around someone who consistently talks negatively?
  • How do you correct yourself when you realize you’ve said a negative comment and regret it?
  • Does this activity make you think differently about the effects of words on others?
  • How do you think the different fruits mimic different personality types?


Accessibility Questions:

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