K-W-L is a reading/thinking strategy that provides a method for students to list (1) what they know (K) about a topic, (2) what they want (W) to learn about a topic, and (3) what they learned (L) about a topic – plus mapping text and summarizing information. After learning K-W-L with the guidance of a teacher, students can complete this activity individually or in groups.
1. Distribute copies of either K-W-L Chart 1 or K-W-L Chart 2. Teachers guide students in brainstorming ideas and discuss what they know about the topic. Students fill in the K column, what they know about a topic.
2. The teacher leads a discussion to help students formulate questions about what they want to know about the topic. Students then fill in the W column.
3. Students read the selection.
4. Students fill in the L column of the chart listing the things they learned from the reading.
5. Students use the K-W-L worksheet to construct a semantic map, which lists all the information they have learned about the topic.
6. Students use the semantic map to produce a summary.
These ideas are adapted from Strategic Learning in the Content Areas and from McGraw Hill Publishers.