The Spinning Wheel

Spinning Wheels are a great way of introducing an element of randomness into the classroom.

A quick Google search reveals how popular spinning wheels are. They can be used for a number of games and they can also be used to determine the points students receive, the topic they are going to talk about or the question they have to answer.

You can find some spinning wheels online and there are also apps available for both iOS and Android, but what if you want to use a spinning wheel in your presentation?

So, I created a spinning wheel in PowerPoint. There are some advantages to this version. It can be inserted into any presentation by copying and pasting the slide and it doesn’t require an internet connection.

Watch the Spinning Wheel demo to see how it used.

Video demo of the spinning wheel.
Video runtime is 1 minute and 29 seconds.

Download the Spinning Wheel PowerPoint.


Follow the link or click on the image to download the template.

Spinning Wheel 2018 - Featured Image

An updated version of the Spinning Wheel has been released.

Click on the image above or follow this link for information about the newest version.

Once you have downloaded the template, add your own text to each segment of the wheel.

  1. You may choose to add points and your students spin the wheel to determine what points they win.
  2. You may prefer to add topics and ask your students to discuss them over a set amount of time.
  3. You could also add question markers and ask your students to spin the wheel to determine the question they should answer.

Using the template

How you use the template depends on what kind of spinning wheel you create.

If you create a spinning wheel with points or prizes, then it will probably accompany a game or activity you have already prepared. The wheel will then be spun intermittently throughout that activity.

What about creating a spinning wheel that is the focus of the activity.


Spinning Wheel - Topics.JPG

The Spinning Wheel as projected on a surface.
This version shows different topics written in each segment.
  • Prepare your spinning wheel by writing a topic for each segment.
  • Divide your students into pairs or groups.
  • Spin the wheel.
  • Nominate a student to say when to stop the wheel.
  • Stop the wheel.
  • Introduce the topic.
  • Encourage your students to talk about the topic for a set time.
  • Assign a time limit of 2 minutes or negotiate a time limit with your students.
  • When the time is up, ask the students to stop talking.
  • Spin the wheel again.
  • Introduce the next topic and set a new time limit.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.



The Spinning Wheel as projected on a surface.
This version shows different question prompts written in each segment.
  • Prepare your spinning wheel by writing a question number in each segment.
  • Prepare a list of 20 questions.
  • Divide your students into pairs, groups or teams.
  • Spin the wheel.
  • Nominate a student to say when to stop the wheel.
  • Stop the wheel.
  • Ask the question associated with the question number on the wheel.
  • Any student, pair, group or team can answer.
    • If the answer correctly, spin the wheel. The student who got the previous question correct and say when to stop the wheel.
    • If the student answers incorrectly, leave the question open. Encourage the other students to answer the question.
    • If no student has answer within a time limit, spin the wheel again.
  • Spin the wheel again to introduce the next question.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary or until all questions have been answered.

How the template works

Video tutorial showing how to change the effect options.
Video runtime is 1 minute and 6 seconds.

The spinning wheel was created by dividing a circle into 20 segments and then applying a continuous spin animation, which is assigned to a trigger. The trigger in this case is the start button labelled ‘spin.’ The result is a spinning wheel that can be activated by clicking a button.

To create your own spinning wheel, you need to do the following three things:

  1. Divide a circle into equal segments and then group the segment together. After which you can apply a spin animation.
  2. Repeat the animation so it continues until the next mouse click.
  3. Create an anchor so the PowerPoint doesn’t transition to the next slide.

Creating a spinning wheel

  • The spinning wheel was created by drawing a large circle.
  • Rectangles that were longer than the diameter of the circle and that had a width of 0.01 were placed over the circle.
  • All the shapes were selected, and fragment shapes was chosen from the merge shapes option on the format ribbon.
  • This divided the circle into segments. The color of each segment was changed and a text box was placed over each segment.
  • All these shapes were then grouped together.
  • A smaller circle was drawn and placed in the center of the wheel. This would act as the start button.
  • The wheel group was selected and given a spin animation. The start button was assigned as a trigger for this animation.

Set a repeat animation by opening the Effect Options / Timing dialog.

  • Select the wheel. You will notice that it has a spin animation.
  • Open the animation pane.
    • Go to the animations ribbon.
    • In the advanced animation section, there is a small icon labelled animation pane.
    • Click on the icon to open the animation pane.
  • Left-click on the down arrow next to the spin animation.
  • Click on effect options. Make sure the spin animation is set to 360 degrees.
  • Go to the timing tab.
    • To go directly to the timing tab, left-click on the down arrow next to the animation.
    • Click on timing.
  • Select until next click from the repeat drop down box. The animation will now be continuous.
  • Click OK.

The anchor

The spin animation will continue until the next mouse click, but that mouse click will also move to the next slide unless an anchor is created. It is called an anchor because it keeps you on the same slide.

The anchor is an invisible shape that is hidden behind the spin button.

  • The first time the spin button is clicked, the wheel begins to spin.
  • The second time the spin button is clicked, the wheel will stop spinning and the hidden shape will appear and disappear in 00.02 seconds.
  • Now the spin animation can be repeated as many times as necessary before you move to the next slide.

Spinning Wheel - The Anchor.PNG

Screenshot of the ‘anchor’ with the animation pane and selection pane open.

Caution: Don’t delete the anchor as it will affect the functionality of the template.

The above steps should give you some idea about how to create new spinning wheels if you want more or less segments.

Do you have any suggestions regarding the Spinning Wheel?

Please leave a comment if you have any ideas you would like to share or if you have any questions about the template.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

You may also like to read:


The Mystery Door Game is a fun way to get students involved in their own education by providing opportunities to make choices about what they are going to learn or do. This activity can be used to choose topics of discussion, choose activities, choose a challenge, or choosing a reward.


Random Choices 2.0 - Featured Image

Random Choices is based on an activity I came across in ‘Drama and Improvisation’ by Ken Wilson. The excel file chooses a random activity, location and time from a list. By pressing F9, you can generate new random choices. Students can then explain why they are doing the activity in an unusual place, or it can be used as part of a gesture or hot seat activity.

The Spinning Wheel was designed with Microsoft PowerPoint 2016. Animations and sounds may differ when opened in other presentation software.

Microsoft® Office® is a copyrighted product of the Microsoft® corporation. All images are for educational purposes only.

The template and images in this post are free to download but they are intended for educational purposes only.

38 thoughts on “The Spinning Wheel

  1. Thanks a lo for such an interesing thing. I have a question. Is it only for 20 things? How can we reduce the number of segments if we don’t need so many?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ruzanna,

      I’m glad you like it.

      Yes, it only has 20 segments, but as you can see from the ‘Topics’ example, your options can be repeated if you need less options.

      If you need less segments (as opposed to less options), you would have to create your own wheel. For this, please read the information on how the wheel works.

      I hope this answers your question.
      Thanks for commenting.



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  3. Hi. Thank you for this template but I am stuck at creating an achor. The instructions are rather brief and I’m struggling. Am I supposed to hyperlink the invisible object to the spin button? What is the animation that the spin button have to have? Or the invisible button? And what is trigger animation? I am using PPT on mac, so I’m not sure it is me or the PPT that is of limited functionality. Please help!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Valerie, I’ll try to answer your questions.

      You only need to create an anchor if you are making a new spinning wheel. The template provided is fully functioning.

      “What is trigger animation?”
      – A trigger is what starts an animation. It can either be the click of the mouse or it can be assigned to a shape or object on the slide. When that object is clicked, the animation starts. Triggers can be set from the animation menu.

      “What is the animation that the spin button have to have?”
      – The spin button doesn’t have any animations, but it is the trigger to activate the animations for the wheel and the anchor. The wheel has a spin animation and the anchor has an appear and disappear animation sequence,

      “Or the invisible button?”
      – As mentioned in the article, the hidden shape has an appear and a disappear animation sequence that last for 00.02 seconds.

      “Am I supposed to hyperlink the invisible object to the spin button?”
      – Hyperlink, no. But you need to set the spin button as the trigger for the appear and disappear animations of the invisible anchor. The reason for this is that the spinning wheel using a continuous spin animation that won’t stop until the mouse is clicked again. The anchor just stops PowerPoint from going to the next slide. So, when you click to stop the wheel, an invisible shape appears and disappears.

      PowerPoint for Mac is almost the same as PowerPoint for Windows. The template provide works on iPhones and should work on a Mac.

      I hope that answers your questions.



  4. I love this and can’t wait to use it. I’ve enjoyed creating my own version with enough spaces to fit my own class names on but I too am struggling with the anchor bit. Can you talk me through how to create an anchor… Insert invisible shape and then what? thanks in advance

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Natalie,

      The anchor is an invisible shape (100% transparency in the fill options) that sits behind the start button.
      Two animations need to be assigned to the anchor. The appear animation and the disappear animation.
      Set the animation timing to start with previous, so both the appear and disappear animation occurs at the same time and set the animation duration to 0.02 seconds.

      The spin animation is set to repeat until the next click, the next click stops the wheel by activating the appearance and disappearance of the anchor.

      I hope that helps.




  5. I can see great ways to use the spinning wheel. Thank you. Question: Can you have a predestined stop point? For example, you want the anticipation but have a certain answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laurie. You can adjust the spin animation to a custom spin but you would need to put in the exact degrees of rotation for it to stop at a particular segment and turn off the repeat until next click. Regards, T


  6. You’ve made me very happy. I’m running a class next week and was struggling to keep people engaged. You are a genius, and judging by the amount of time this must have take…you’re a very patient genius

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yours is the most elegant out of similar spinning wheels I’ve seen, because of the anchor you’ve included. Other presentations have included a link to the previous slide which automatically transitions immediately to the spinning wheel slide. That is their method for resetting the animation. Not necessary with your slide. One thing which totally frustrated me before figuring out the problem, is that including a sound file e.g. of a spinning wheel, can totally mess up the randomness when the wheel is stopped. After a couple of spins, the wheel will always stop on the same segment. This may be due to the sound file being too large; however, shorten the sound file duration and it doesn’t repeat with the animation which is set at repeat at next click.


    1. Hi Chris, perhaps it is possible but you would need to set an action to each segment of the wheel to move to a specific slide number when you clicked on it. It couldn’t work just by spinning the wheel. You would have to spin the wheel and click on the segment where it stopped to activate the action you set.



    1. Hi Jooni,

      The animation that spins the wheel was set to continue to until the next mouse click. This timing was applied in Microsoft PowerPoint. If you are using a different program, there may be no equivalent setting.

      Unfortunately, I can not give you any further advice unless I know what program and operating system you are using.




    2. I had the same problem of the wheel always stopping on the same color. For some reason I figured out that it was the audio for the spin sound that was causing this. Once I removed the audio sound, the wheel would stop randomly on different colors. I have no idea whether it was the length of the audio file (perhaps too long) or something else, as there doesn’t seem to be this problem with your template on some computers. I also tried using my own audio file as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Larry. All audio files are played using animations it doesn’t matter if the audio is long, short or your own content. I can not say for certain but it sounds like (pardon the pun) that because you have added an additional animation you have changed the animation sequence, which is why it is also landing on the same color.


  8. Hi, I messaged you previously on a different spinner post, but I decided that this would more efficiently suit my class needs. Thank you for responding to that question, though!

    I am struggling with the anchor portion of the instructions. I read your replies to other people, but I am still hung up on it. I follow that the anchor is a transparent shape behind the start button, and I assigned the appear and disappear animations to the anchor. Doing this allowed me to stop the wheel from spinning without advancing to the next slide; however, once I clicked the start button again, the slideshow advanced to the following screen. I can’t figure out how to keep the presentation on the same page until I am ready to move on besides repeatedly assigning the spin animation to the wheel and the appear/disappear animations to the anchor to start/stop the wheel, but I would prefer to save that kind of time.

    Please help!! Thank you in advance!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anna,

      A new version of the spinning wheel is being released mid to late April. It will contain a variety of different templates with segments from 3 to 30. Perhaps it will save you from making changes to the previous version.




      1. I’m doing a unit on probability starting tomorrow, so I was hoping on fixing the issue by tonight…Do you have any suggestions for the current version? I’m at the last step and I just need help to get the wheel spinning again without repeatedly putting in animations.



      2. Anna,

        Please go to the tekhnologic Facebook page and post screenshots of your template, animation pane, animation options and timings dialog. Without seeing what you have done it is difficult to give you advice. I will try to respond in about 15hrs but I can make no guarantee.




    1. Hi Esther. There is no audio on any of the videos. They are only screen captures to demonstrate and explain the templates with captions for descriptions and explanation.


      1. Oh, thanks a bunch! I was wondering if that might be the case. I wanted to reduce the number of triangles without blowing up the template. Great idea to create this!

        Liked by 1 person

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