Engaging students in our classrooms is critical to their success. Sure, we can't make everything a "dog and pony show" or do a song and dance, but we can teach them how to develop as a learner. A KWL chart is a great way to help students organize their thoughts and summarize information.
If you are not familiar with what KWL means:
- K - What I already Know (about the topic)
- W - What I Want to Know/Learn (great questions to ask before learning / reading about the topic)
- L - What I Learned (a great post-assessment question to be completed after learning has taken place)
The low-tech way of creating a KWL chart is by using paper and folding it into a tri-fold, with each column representing each letter of the KWL chart. One of my favorite sites called Read Write Think, has a tool that teachers can use to create an electronic version of a KWL chart. Students can create a personalized KWL chart, save it, and come back to it at a later time! The application runs off of flash and is very easy to use! All you need is an Internet connection and no downloads are necessary!