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=What is a KWL Chart?

The KWL Chart is a metacognitive SDAIE strategy created by Donna Ogle. (SDAIE - Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English.) It encourages students to trigger prior knowledge, generate thoughtful questions, and record new knowledge that was developed from the lesson. This graphic organizer is formed by three columns and has an acronym KWL which directs student response:

K: What I already KNOW about the topic?

W: What I WANT to learn about the topic?

L: What I LEARNED about the topic?

Who benefits from the KWL Chart?

A teacher may benefits from this strategy by understanding the class’ prior knowledge and it provides direction for lesson planning based upon the students’ interest and needs. Thus, the teacher has the ability to develop projects and assignments that the students will enjoy. The students benefit from this strategy because they are able to expand their ideas outside the text used in the classroom. English and visual learners also appreciate this technique because it serves as a visual aid.

When can a KWL Chart be applied?

KWL Chart can be applied as an introduction to a new topic and it may serve as point of interest as how collectively the class will learn regarding a new topic. It can also be applied a formative assessment, the teacher can refer to the KWL Chart as a checklist. If the teacher is able to check off item learned it proves that the student is mastering the subject matter and is obtaining new knowledge on a specific subject or reading selection. Another application of the KWL Chart is as independent work, the students may be working on a state report and the KWL Chart can assist them in their research process and essay writing or presentation.

How can I use a KWL Chart?

An example of a completed K-W-L Chart

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Allington, R. and Cunningham, P. (2003). Classrooms That Works. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Honig, B., Diamond, L., Gutlohn, L. (2013). Teaching Reading Sourcebook. Novato, CA: Arena Press.

Peregoy, S. and Boyle, O. (2008). Pearson custom education: Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL. Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing.