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KWL reading method Purpose for using KWL charts A teacher has many reasons for using KWL charts in the classroom. First, a KWL chart activates students' prior knowledge of the text or topic to be studied. By asking students what they already know, students are thinking about prior experiences or knowledge about the topic. Next, KWL charts set a purpose for the unit. Students are able to add their input to the topic by asking them what they want to know. Students then have a purpose for participating and engaging in the topic. Also, using a KWL chart allows students to expand their ideas beyond the text used in the classroom. By being aware of students' interests, the teacher has the ability to create projects and assignments that the students will enjoy. A KWL chart is a great tool that can be used to drive instruction. The KWL chart was created by Donna Ogle in 1986.[1] A KWL chart can be used for all subjects in a whole group or small group atmosphere. The chart is a comprehension strategy used to activate background knowledge prior to reading and is completely student centered. The teacher divides a piece of chart paper into three columns. The first column, 'K', is for what the students already know about a topic. This step is to be completed before the reading. The next column, 'W', is for students to list what they want to learn about the topic during the reading. This step is also to be completed before the reading. The third column, 'L', is for what the students learned from the reading. This step, of course, is done after finishing the reading. The KWL chart can also be used in reading instruction at the beginning of a new unit. Here is what the KWL chart can look like: K What I know Write the information about what the students know in this space. W What I want to know Write the information about what the students want to know in this space. L What I learned After the completion of the lesson or unit, write the information that the students learned in this space.

A KWL chart can be used to drive instruction in the classroom. The teacher can create lesson plans based upon the interests and inquiries of the students and their needs. Using this strategy can increase motivation and attention by activating the students' prior knowledge. This allows the teacher to understand the students' prior knowledge and the students' interests in the topic. KWL is intended to be an exercise for a study group or class that can guide you in reading and understanding a text. You can adapt it to working alone, but

discussions definitely help. It is composed of only three stages that reflect a worksheet of three columns with the three letters: What we Know what we Want to know what we Learned

K stands for Know This first stage may surprise you: Think first about, then list, what you know about the topic before reading! This advanced organizer provides you with a background to the new material, building a scaffold to support it. Think of it as a pre-reading inventory. Brainstorm! Before looking at the text, think of keywords, terms, or phrases about the topic, either in your class or a study group. Record these in the K column of your chart until you cannot think of more. Engage your group in a discussion about what you wrote in the K column. Organize the entries into general categories.

W stands for Will or Want The second stage is to list a series of questions of what you want to know more of the subject, based upon what you listed in K. Preview the texts table of contents, headings, pictures, charts etc. Discuss what you want to learn List some thoughts on what you want, or expect to learn, generally or specifically. Think in terms of what you will learn, or what do you want to learn about this. Turn all sentences into questions before writing them down. They will help you focus your attention during reading. List the questions by importance.

L stands for Learned The final stage is to answer your questions, as well as to list what new information you have learned. Either while reading or after you have finished. List out what you learn as you read, either by section, or after the whole work, whichever is comfortable for you. Check it against the W column, what you wanted to learn Create symbols to indicate main ideas, surprising ideas, questionable ideas, and those you dont understand! Kipling, Rudyard. (1902). "The Elephant's Child." In The Kipling Society. Retrieved August 14, 2007, from