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The KWL and the KWHL
What you Know, What you Want to know, How you will learn, What you have Learnt?

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What is a KWL?

A KWL is a thinking tool that checks prior knowledge and maps out future goals. It is a great tool for students to keep a record of their learning.

Why should I use a KWHL instead of a KWL?

A KWHL is an extension of the typical KWL. The KWHL is also used to check students' prior knowledge on a topic and can be used to continually check on their progress. However, it has an additional step which asks students to plan how they will continue their learning.

In a KWHL, students record:

  • K: What do I already know?
  • W: What do I want to know?
  • H: How will I find out?
  • L: What have I learnt so far during this unit? Alternatively, students can record where they have previously learnt something like this.

The KWL and KWHL are great tools to help students to recall and remember. You may wish to use this thinking tool at the start of a new unit to encourage students to reflect before jumping into new material. It is also a great way to check progress and confirm your students' comprehension levels as they add to it throughout the unit.

kwhl diagram

KWL and KWHL templates plus much more!

Need a more in-depth look at KWL and KWHL or looking for a downloadable template? Thinkdrive has downloadable and writable templates alongside aligned sentence starters and assessment exemplars for the KWHL tool and many more. Gain access to hundreds of planning and teaching strategies and resources and a click of button! Purchase thinkdrive now!

Download the writable KWL template now

Looking for other thinking tools? Head to our articles page for more information on some of our favourites.

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