What Is A KWL Chart? A Graphic Organizer To Immediate Studying


KWL & KWHL charts are graphic organizers designed to activate prior information, promote higher-order questioning, and interact college students in metacognition. 

First created by Donna Ogle in 1986, they’re formatted as 3- to 4-column charts, whereby KWL represents what I know, what I need to study, and what I discovered. With KWHL, a further column represents how I plan to study, so college students are additionally occupied with methods of investigating and understanding.

Lecturers can immediate college students to start a KWL chart initially of an exercise, directing college students to finish the Okay and W columns. It’s additionally helpful for lecturers to mannequin the way to create efficient questions utilizing both Costa’s or Bloom’s query stems. Close to the conclusion of the exercise, the scholars can full the L column, reflecting on what they’ve discovered.

How Do KWL charts enhance scholar studying?

The Okay column serves to activate college students’ prior information earlier than introducing new content material. Research present that our brains study extra simply after we can join incoming knowledge to what we already know. Once we generate prior information, we primarily prime ourselves to obtain new data by means of a selected lens, permitting knowledge to transfer from short-term reminiscence to long-term reminiscence.

The W column is the place lecturers can problem college students to get curious by utilizing higher-order questioning methods. Particularly, we would like college students to marvel past what they’ll merely recall or acknowledge. We wish them to establish what issues to them and encourage them to make use of what they already know to establish gaps of their information or attention-grabbing connections.

In response to one research, higher-order questions improve ‘neural branching,’ the stimulation of neural connections within the mind. This impact is the other of ‘neural pruning,’ by which our mind, by default, seeks to type psychological habits and limiting patterns.

Larger-order pondering questions immediate college students to synthesize, analyze, and make comparisons. For those who consider a scholar pondering like an athlete lifting weights, then higher-order questions might be conceived as heavier weights that the athlete provides to the barbell. Typically the instructor (or coach) can stack these weights on, however ideally, the learner will develop into adept at studying how a lot so as to add on with observe. 

The L column engages college students in metacognition, which might result in improved self-regulated studying outcomes in the course of the teenage years, a time when center and highschool college students’ tutorial achievement and intrinsic motivation decline. Analysis additionally reveals that college students who apply metacognitive abilities to studying duties outperform those that don’t apply those self same abilities.

Via prompting college students to have interaction in metacognition – primarily, occupied with their pondering – lecturers can deliver a way of particular person or collective closure to a lesson. 

How can I exploit KWL charts throughout content material areas?

Begin by including a collaborative factor to chart-making. College students can share what they know out loud to your entire class, inside a small group, or with a associate. For instance, in the event that they’re about to learn a e book whose writer depends closely on irony, they might focus on different examples of irony in media and questions they’ve that associate with the subject. 

In a distant studying setting, college students can collaborate by creating, sharing, and commenting on one another’s Flipgrid video responses. This may very well be a helpful technique in a math class the place college students are tasked with designing an object utilizing geometric ideas. Getting college students to explain their technique of brainstorming, creating, and testing a prototype is prompting them to have interaction in metacognition.

Let’s say that college students in a biology class are discussing the ethics of genetic engineering – one half of the category will probably be chargeable for making a constructive argument whereas the opposite half will probably be tasked with making a detrimental argument for the case of genetic engineering. College students can use their notes from the Okay, W, and L sections as query stems or contributions for a Socratic seminar on the subject.

An Instance Of A Accomplished KWL Chart (Crammed Out)

KWL charts function nice pre-writing instruments in prolonged writing assignments. College students can generate essay subjects or arguments from reexamining previous questions, newfound understandings, and new questions. Alternatively, they’ll use what they know as proof for a writing project or lab report.

There are various inquiry-based actions the place KWL charts turn out to be useful. College students can use questions from the W column to create a research information for an evaluation or establish additional areas of investigation inside a topic or subject. With extra advanced ideas, lecturers can assign a “jigsaw” exercise, whereby every scholar in a bunch is chargeable for gathering, fact-checking, and reporting again information on a sub-topic. 

On the subject of metacognition, KWL charts can be utilized as exit tickets ‘Site visitors Mild’ tickets, whereby college students write the next within the L column:

  • Purple = The place did I encounter a problem?
  • Yellow = What brought about me to suppose otherwise about one thing?
  • Inexperienced = When was I studying effectively?

We’ve included a KWL template beneath to your college students to make use of in any topic space.

Free Clean KWL Charts To Obtain

You too can obtain a pdf model of the above black horizontal KWL chart right here.

For a clean vertical KWL chart template pdf, see right here.

What Is A KWHL Chart?

A KWHL chart is a variation of a KWL chart the place an additional column is added for ‘How’: How can I study this, How will I study this, How I plan to study this, How I’ll know if I’ve discovered it, and many others.


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