A KWL Chart is a graphic organizer designed to help you learn. The letters KWL stand for “What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Have Learned.” The KWL Chart was invented by Donna Ogle in 1986. It was created to help students learn about what they are reading.
The “What I Know” column is completed before reading. It allows students to call forth any prior knowledge they have on their topic. It also allows a teacher to see how knowledgeable the students are in the subject area. The “What I Want to Know” column is filled out throughout the reading. When the student comes across concepts that are of interest, the concepts can we addressed here. The “What I Have Learned” column is completed when the reading is finished. This columns lets students review their reading, so they retain more of it. To further understand the process, see the KWL chart example below.
Further down the page, you find four blank KWL chart templates that you can use for your studies. Each printable is free for personal and educational use. Each of these graphic organizers differs slightly, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs. Click on the images below to open up the PDF version of the KWL chart in your browser. From there, save it to your computer.
The first KWL chart template is a simple black and white graphic organizer. There is a line for your topic of study, and a column for each KWL chart section.
Here is a color KWL chart with lines for writing. The background color is an off-white, so it looks like you’re writing on notebook paper.
Another KWL chart with lines, but in black and white instead of color.
The final KWL chart template. This one has a black bar at the top to make the chart stand out more.
You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these PDF files. Acrobat Reader is a free program.
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