KWL – a great “frame”

A KWL organizer is a perfect way to “frame” a lesson. It is almost a lesson plan in itself and fosters a lot of student activity and promotes thinking skills. I’ve modified this one to be a little more friendly for student input.  Get loads of different styles of these organizers HERE.

It’s quite a simple process to use one.

1. Write the topic you will be looking at on the board. KWL is best with a very concrete topic, a thing, a place, an activity. Ask students a few questions about the topic, prompting their background knowledge and making the topic – personal. ex. “Have you ever ….?” “Do you have …?” etc..

2. Provide students with the organizer. Ask them to write down all that they know about the topic. This may also include the vocabulary and grammar/phrases associated with the topic. The first time you do this with a class, do this whole class and together – to model the activity. After that, they’ll have the hang of it.

3. Take up this “K”, What I Know part. Have students add to the chart on the board and their own chart.

4. Ask students what they want to know – “W”. Do this part together and prompt students as necessary. Discuss together.

5. Core Activity: Watch a video, read a passage/story/article, listen to a podcast/show/interview, watch a presentation etc…. Repeat as necessary for student understanding.

6. Finally, students write down all the things they learned about the topic/content – “L”. This will in some cases, complement the “K” part of the chart.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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