Strategies for Reading Comprehension
K - W - L
[Ogle, 1986]


What Is K-W-L?.
K-W-L is the creation of Donna Ogle and is a 3-column chart that helps capture the Before, During, and After components of reading a text selection.

How Does It Work?

  1. On the chalkboard, on an overhead, on a handout, or on students' individual clean sheets, three columns should be drawn.
  2. Label Column 1 K, Column 2 W, Column 3 L.
  3. Before reading (or viewing or listening), students fill in the Know column with words, terms, or phrases from their background or prior knowledge. If you are having them draw on a topic previously learned, then the K column may be topic-related. But if the topic is something brand-new, and they don't know anything (or much) about it, you should use the K column to have them bringing to mind a similar, analogous, or broader idea.
  4. Then have students predict what they might learn about the topic, which might follow a quick glance at the topic headings, pictures, and charts that are found in the reading. This helps set their purpose for reading and focuses their attention on key ideas.
  5. Alternatively, you might have students put in the middle column what they want to learn about the topic.
  6. After reading, students should fill in their new knowledge gained from reading the content. They can also clear up misperceptions about the topic which might have shown up in the Know column before they actually read anything. This is the stage of metacognition: did they get it or not?

Common Issues with K-W-L

Download and Print:

Can You Show Me What the Chart Would Look Like?

What Do I Already Know?
What Do I Think I Will Learn?
What Do I Want To Know?
What Have I Learned?


























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