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Web of Effects

This support material is incorporated into critical challenges at grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 12, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.

The following document can be adapted and re-saved for your needs.

What Happens If...? Word
This organizer helps students analyze the chain reactions or consequences from a particular problem, condition or action. For instance, in considering the impact of environmental problems, students might consider the consequences of unsafe or inadequate water. To use this chart, students:

  • write the basic problem, condition or action e.g., absence of water in the middle of the web
  • work outward from the middle, filling in the ovals in a chain of consequences; e.g., without water humans have difficulty concentrating, when people can't concentrate they are unable to work effectively, which may lead to losing their job
  • repeat step two for each additional chain of consequences; e.g., lack of water causes reduced plant growth
  • discuss their findings with the class.

Create a new chart for each basic problem or action that students are to consider. For young students, the activity may be more appropriately done with the whole class on a wall-sized version of the chart.


Adapted from Critical Challenges Across the Curriculum series. Permission granted by The Critical Thinking Consortium for use by Alberta teachers.

Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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