K-W-L Charts Made Easy

KWL Charts are nothing new. In fact, many educators use them on a regular basis because they are excellent tools to recruit student interest and help students take responsibility in their learning. Like any classroom tool, the more "on the ball" the teacher is when monitoring its use, the more successful the learning outcome will be.

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! 

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