A KWL table, or KWL chart, is a graphical
organizer designed to help in learning.
The letters KWL are an acronym, for
what students, in the course of a lesson,
already know, want to know, and
It was created by Donna Ogle in 1986.
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
It is a part of Constructivist Teaching
Method where students move away from
the old monotonous way of teaching-
In this particular methodology the
students are given the space to learn by
constructing their own learning pace and
their own style of understanding a given
topic or idea.
The K-W-L strategy serves several
•Elicits students’ prior knowledge of
the topic of the text.
•Sets a purpose for reading.
• Helps students to monitor their
1. Choose a text. This strategy works best
with expository texts.
2. Create a K-W-L chart. The teacher should
create a chart on the blackboard or on an
overhead transparency. In addition, the
students should have their own chart on
which to record information.
How to use the K-W-L strategy
3. Ask students to brainstorm words,
terms, or phrases they associate with a
topic. The teacher and students record
these associations in the K column of
their charts. This is done until students
run out of ideas.
4. Ask students what they want to learn
about the topic.
The teacher and students record these
questions in the W column of their charts.
This is done until students run out of ideas
for questions. If students respond with
statements, turn them into questions before
recording them in the W column.
5. Have students read the text and fill
out the L column of their charts.
Students should look for the answers to
the questions in their W column.
Students can fill out their L columns
either during or after reading.
6. Discuss the information that students
recorded in the L column.