KWL Learning Visual Concept Diagram
KWL is a teaching strategy that helps pupils develop tactical
ways to learn new material with the use of questioning and accessing
information from reliable sources. This strategy can be effective
in promoting independence in learning. The ages and stages of
development will determine the role the teacher plays in guiding
pupils through the KWL process. However, if the model is used
for the first time, it is highly recommended that the teacher
directs the process and models the steps.
KWL represents three principle components:
- K = what is "known" [K] according to prior knowledge
- W = determining what pupils "want" [W] to learn
- L = identifying what pupils "learn" [L] after instructional
- Use a KWL worksheet with your pupils and begin with asking
them what they know about a given topic. Generate as many ideas
on the topic as possible relying on pupils' prior knowledge.
Record the ideas in the first column. This completes the "K"
component of the strategy (what is known.)
- Once the "K" column is complete with all possible ideas, begin
to categorize the information. This step helps pupils to organize
information that is then used to structure the content for the
next step: formulating questions to be investigated that bring
more meaning and clarity to the topic.
- Based on step 2, pupils are ready to generate questions that
are the basis for the second component: the "W" of the strategy
(what pupils want to learn). Once the questions are formulated
and agreed upon, record the list in the second column.
- This step depends on the developmental stages and needs of
pupils. In any case, this step includes accessing, reading,
researching or collecting information from sources provided
by the teacher or from sources pupils independently use to respond
to the questions formulated. In this step, pupils may generate
more questions as they find information to support their topic
(that can be added to the list in the column representing the
"W" of the strategy).
- Simultaneously, as they complete step 4, new information can
be recorded in the "L" column (what pupils learn).
- Once the "L" column is complete and pupils determine that
they have enough information on the topic they have been investigating,
categorize the information and create statements about the topic
This last step can be implemented in a variety of ways. The information
on any given topic can be represented in a summary or outline
(writing exercise), or in a graphic organizer (mapping, charts,
We offer a wide range of KWL
Worksheets to assist you with the KWL