K-W-L (Know, Want to Know, Learned)

K-W-L (Know, Want to Know, Learned) Charts activate students’ prior knowledge by:

  1. Asking them what they already Know;
  2. Then students (collaborating as a classroom unit or within small groups) set goals specifying what they Want to learn; and,
  3. After reading students discuss what they have Learned.


Possible additions to chart and/or topics for discussion:

  • What we think we know, but aren’t sure about
  • What’s our evidence for what we know
  • How we might find out what we want to know (what would be evidence?)
  • What could we find out by interacting with or observing the materials/phenomena, rather than by reading or asking experts?
  • What questions do we still have?

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