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KWL - What is KWL?

Learn About KWL and How it Can Help Reading Comprehension


Updated June 30, 2014

A teacher helping a student in a classroom
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KWL is instructional technique used to improve reading comprehension and a student's ability to remember the material. KWL is most often used with expository reading materials such as classroom textbooks, research articles, and journalistic pieces.

Printable KWL Worksheets Here:

  • KWL Long Form Printable Worksheet
  • KWL Short Form Printable Worksheet

    The letters KWL form an acronym for "Know, What, Learn." In the KWL technique, readers are first asked to consider what they already know about the subject before they read the material. Second, readers are asked to consider what they hope to learn about the subject from the passage. Third, readers read the passage and then summarize what they learned from the reading. Teachers frequently have students use KWL in pairs or small groups. Students take notes of their learning on KWL worksheets.

    How Is KWL Used? Students are encouraged to share their results with others to increase understanding, active participation, and interest, which improves overall comprehension and retention of materials read.

    Can KWL Help with Homework? Yes. KWL can be used at home to improve comprehension of homework reading assignments. Keep KWL worksheets in a folder or notebook for students to use as study guides for tests as the school year progresses.

    KWL Suggestions:
    Use the long KWL worksheet for longer reading passages. Use the short KWL worksheet for shorter reading passages. Students with learning disabilities and attention deficits may do better when chapters are broken into subsections using several shorter worksheets rather than doing the whole chapter with one KWL worksheet. KWL notes can be brief but must include enough detail to be meaningful to the student in the future. Children can discuss their learning with parents at home

Printable KWL Worksheets Here:

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