- What do I already know?
- What do I want to know?
- What have I learned?
KWL is an inquiry based strategy that facilitates students as independent learners to identify prior knowledge, set and achieve goals.
In advance of employing the strategy, a teacher should first model KWL on the whiteboard using a different topic from the one to be researched by the students.
Below is a KWL chart that can be given as a handout. Students can work as individuals or in pairs. The strategy can be applied to a single lesson, a week or a section of coursework.
Assign a topic for study. Students must brainstorm prior knowledge using K. Share and discuss K responses as a class. The teacher uses the whiteboard to note responses.
Learning goals are set using W. By setting their own learning goals students are more likely to be motivated. The goals also ensure that research is active rather than passive. Some students may find it difficult to frame questions. Help by listing question words on the whiteboard (Who; What; Where When; Why; How).
They then research using the history textbook and/or a different source(s). L stands for what they learned as a result of the research. Students compare W and L to check if learning goals have been achieved. Share and discuss W and L responses. Again, the teacher notes the responses on the whiteboard. The teacher may have to correct inaccuracies.
Vary the strategy by adding more columns to the chart e.g. 'Something I hope to Remember'.