The Wagon Wheel

Last week I tried something called The Wagon Wheel. I numbered off my students 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, etc. and then had the ones form a circle shoulder to shoulder facing outward while the twos faced the inner circle. If an odd number of students are in class, you can jump into the outer circle.

Then, I asked the entire class a question and the inner circle students answered it for 30 seconds to the outer circle students facing them. Next, the outer circle students responded back, and then I allowed the students to discuss back and forth for up to a minute longer.

When I told the class to rotate, the outer circle students moved 1-2 students clockwise. I then gave another question for the students to discuss. During this Wagon Wheel I used 6 questions for the students to discuss, which took about 20 minutes or so.

I then sent the students back to their seats and asked them to write a 2 minute response about what they learned, discussed, and felt during the exercise. The only rule for the writing session was that they needed to write for the entire two minutes.

This took about 25 minutes, allowed students to move around a bit, kept them talking about the literature, and provided time for reflection, and I still had the second half of the class for a vocabulary activity.

Best of all, my students really enjoyed it!


2 thoughts on “The Wagon Wheel

  1. Kristin

    What a wonderful exercise! I need to steal it and try it with my 7th graders when we start our first novel next month.


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