What is a Consequence Wheel?

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Check Out the New Blog teacher with a group of high school students  in classroomConsequence wheel is a tool which encourages students to explore and find out the consequences, impact, cause-effect relationships or interrelations of various events, ideas, decisions, trends and situations; to aid organization of thoughts and development of multiple concepts.

Learning Outcomes:

The use of the strategy targets the facilitation and improvement of skills such as brainstorming, reflective thought, decision making and problem solving. It stimulates shared learning and encourages students’ to shift from simple, linear thinking to more complex, lateral thoughts.

Practicing the Strategy:

To model the strategy, use a sample worksheet that can be filled together. Following demonstration, it is best to perform the activity in small groups for familiarization and then progress to individual use.

The worksheet includes a picture of concentric circles, which are divided into segments (except the center circle).  Students are instructed to write down the central theme (the event/ situation/ trend) in the center. In the next outward ring, they are asked to write down one direct consequence in each of the segment (these can be positive or negative).  Similarly, they are asked to think and generate secondary and tertiary consequences which are then noted in the remaining connecting segments (outwardly).

Another method is to write down the subsequent consequences in separate ovals connected to the central theme using different colors and lines. For example, the direct consequences are written in red ovals and connected using single lines. The secondary consequences are written in blue ovals and connected to the direct ones using double lines, the tertiary connected through dotted lines and so forth. Two different colors can be used to indicate positive and negative consequences. The wheels can be made either simple or complex, depending on the topic being analyzed.

Point to consider: It is important that students complete each circle one at a time. If they were to follow a particular consequence till its end, chances are that they might miss out on more important ones or write down very few consequences.


The following ideas may help to make the activity more interesting for students.

  • The worksheets can be completed by student groups within a particular time frame. The activity will test for knowledge and understanding and connecting prior learning with new information.
  • The strategy can be combined with the carousel technique. Each group is allotted different colors to use for their consequence and every group proceeds from one station to another adding to each level of consequence (answers should not be repeated). This facilitates sharing of information.
  • The activity can be given for a group presentation. Each group is allotted a different topic to complete. Following completion of the wheel, this is presented to the class and a discussion round can be conducted, with peers adding information to the wheel.
  • Encourage students to create a digital presentation of a consequence wheel

Discuss here: What are some ways you promote brainstorming in your classroom?

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