The K-W-L Framework for a Lesson

[by Yago Moreno]

Yet another trick I learned in the very enriching course “Talk-Less Teaching” from Isabella Wallace, organized by Osiris.

K-W-L stands for Knowledge – Wondering – Learned.

The first time I use it I explain it in detail to the students. Then in following lessons I just need to refer back to the K-W-L Framework.

The idea is to make the students aware of their own knowledge, the gaps in it, and the learning achieved during the lesson.

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First we establish the knowledge that the students have on a particular topic. Then we analyse what ideas, concepts, facts do they think they need to know about that subject in particular, thus, what are we wondering about this matter at hand. Following these two preambles, we proceed with the lesson to fill in those gaps in knowledge. For this step, any other teaching techniques work well. I personally like combining this technique with the ball of string game for brainstorming ideas when I think the students can come up by themselves, the Q&A Cards , when I know they know very little about the subject and won’t be able to come up with relevant points, or the Sugata Mitra philosophy of sending them to a computer room to find information on their own or in small groups.

Finally, we do together a mindmap in the whiteboard to assess the “Learning”, hence completing the K-W-L framework.


Students then copy the mind map in their note books, and they also have already prepared a “revision sheet” on the subject with the mind map.


Works a treat! And makes students very much aware of what they’ve learned in your lesson!



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