K-W-L Charts

Strategy #21

What is a KWL Chart?

These types of charts are used to activate students background knowledge about a topic and to scaffold them as they ask questions and organize the information they are learning.

Instructional Focus: Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Content Areas
Grade Levels: PreK-8, including English Learners

How to use a KWL Chart:

1. Post a K-W-L Chart (large paper-3 columns)
2. Complete the K column with what students "Know" -Beginning
3. Complete the W column with what students "Want" to know -Students questions
4. At the end of the unit, complete the L column with what they have "Learned"

Why is this useful?

-Helps students combine new information with background knowledge
-Become curious and more engaged in what they are learning
-Teachers have opportunity to introduce complex ideas and vocab
-Students talk/lead the lesson with what they want to know

Common Core State Standard For ELA: KWL Charts

Informational Text and Writing
-Students recall information from print and digital sources
-Students identify main ideas and related details
-Students determine relationships among main ideas

Students use K-W-L charts to gather and organize ideas as they investigate nonfiction topics.

When to use this in the classroom?

Teachers could use this during thematic units and refer to it throughout the unit! It could even be used for one big lesson you teach during the day and could be completed to see what the students have taken away from that daily lesson.