Published on: Author: Greg Alchin

Think outside the boxWhat is it?

The KWL strategy is an organisational tool for the students to write what it is they KNOW, what it is they WANT TO KNOW and what it is the have LEARNT. This scaffold can be used for a single aspect of learning, a whole unit of learning or the subject. It is also useful as a tool to identify prior knowledge, to reflect on the learning and to evaluate the learning.

What aspects of learning are being supported?

  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy: remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, creating
  2. QT – Intellectual Quality: Deep Knowledge, Deep Understanding, Higher-Order Thinking, Metalanguage, Substantive Communication
  3. QT – Quality Learning Environment: Explicit Quality Criteria, Engagement, High Expectations, Social Support, Students Self-Regulation, Student Direction

Which apps could I use?

  1. DEC managed collaborative tools (via Portal): Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Connect.
  2. Related collaborative tools: EvernoteiCloudBaiBoardNote AnytimeWeb2AccessCool Tools for Schools, and Exploratree.
  3. Analogue collaborative tools: Paper, pens and Postit notes.

How do I use it?

On a three columned  graphic organiser with each column headed K (What I know), W (What I want to know) and L (What I have learnt) ask the students to:

  • discuss/write their current level of knowledge about the given topic in the K column. The K column is for facts not opinion.
  • discuss/write the facts/information they want to know in the W column. In this column encourage the students to be lateral, to ask awkward questions and to probe like a detective, an investigative journalist or a forensic scientist.
  • discuss/write their new learning about the topic at the end of a unit. Students can also be challenged to see the bigger picture, related concepts and metaphors.
KWL Chart
What I Know What I Want to know What I Learned
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