(Know-Want to Know-Learned)



A KWL chart has several purposes. First, it is used to generate background knowledge about something students will be learning. By identifying what children already know about a topic, students easily connect to new learning. Second, it creates a framework for learning. Students identify what they hope to learn during the lesson, which generates greater interest and guides their learning. Finally, it serves as a measuring tool to see just how much students have learned about the topic.

When to use

this strategy:

To get students talking about a topic

To generate background knowledge

To get students invested in the upcoming lesson

To get students actively engaged in their reading






any type of nonfiction material


What does

it look like?

Click here to see a template for a KWL chart.

How to use

this strategy:

Before you introduce new information, brainstorm with children what they already "know" about the topic. Record this information under K on the chart. Next, ask students what they hope to learn about this topic through the lesson. Record this under the W on the chart. Introduce the new material. Go back to the chart and correct any information under K as you introduce new information. Finally, add to the L column by exploring what children learned from the lesson.