IAF Methods

Wagon Wheel

by for . Last edit was about 2 years ago
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Activity Debrief for a workshop or session

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Participants have an opportunity to reflect on and debrief an activity they have participated in


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Setting: Space for a circle with one half of the participants

Pre-Work Required: Identify possible review/debrief questions for reflection in 4 rounds, see suggestions below



Ask the group to form a circle, count off by A, B, A, B, etc. until everyone is either A or B. Invite all the A's to take 3 steps into the circle, turn around and find a B to pair up with; there will now be a smaller inner circle formation (A's) facing an outer circle (B's). If the group had an odd number, two A's can stick together throughout all rotations. With each rotation, only the outer circle of B's moves the designated number of spaces/people that the facilitator requests. A's stay put as the hub of the wheel in the center, and B's rotate when asked to find their new partner.

Facilitator sets up the activity, asks one question at a time, keeps time, and asks the outer circle of B's to rotate a certain number of spots when it's time to move to the next question.

Tip: Questions can be substituted depending on the facilitator/participant goals. For example, the four DIGA questions could be used as a format to
Debrief an experiential activity as follows:

1. Describe what happened. (What?)
2. Interpret what this experience means to you and possibly others. (Why?)
3. Generalize- in what ways might this situation be like real-world situations? (So what?)
4. Apply- how might you use this information in your work and community? (Now what?)

To use as an End of the session/workshop review tool, first introduce the Head, Heart, Hands, and Spirit Model by describing how our Head (intellect/logic), Heart (emotions/compassion), Hands (practical application of our skills and learning), and Spirit (larger purpose) are all integral to achieving excellence in our fields. The session review can include questions such as:

1. Head: With your partner, describe in 60 seconds one insight gained at this session/workshop. Switch and listen to your partner share their insight. Rotate.

2. Heart: With your new partner, each takes a minute to explain one thing from the session/workshop that had an emotional impact on you. Rotate.

3. Hands: With your next partner, both share one specific way you will apply what you learned back in your work setting. Rotate.

4. Spirit: On your fourth rotation, explain how one particular session takeaway will serve/support/inspire another person or people.

The facilitator can invite participants to share examples of answers from the questions either before the next rotation or at the end of all the questions, while the experience is still fresh. Since this is an extroverted-oriented activity, it can be helpful to also allow time at the beginning or end for silent reflection, note-taking or journalling.

It's a good idea to have a whistle or noisemaker when it?s time to rotate the Wagon Wheel, as this activity can get loud with larger groups.


Follow-Up Required: None

Usual or Expected Outcomes: A deeper understanding of the activity the participants took part in.


Source: Shoshanna Cogan

Derived from: The Wagon Wheel and HHHS Model are adaptations of activities funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service

Comments (1) ( 5.0  avg / 1 ratings)

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  • I appreciate the suggestion to adapt for introverted participants

    about 3 years ago