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K-W-L Chart

Nonfiction or Informational Writing

The Task

The K-W-L Chart is an excellent strategy to help children learn informational or report writing. K-W-L  is a three-part thinking process which asks the learner to respond:   to what they know prior to writing, what they want to know after they have completed their reports, and what they have learned after writing their reports. The process performs three services. One, it activates previous knowledge. Two, it provides a purpose for writing. Three, it provides a summary of what has been learned.

Materials Needed:


  1. Introduce informational writing. Talk about the process of writing an informational report: chosing a topic of interest, gathering information, and writing a report. Discuss different methods that can be used to gather information and facts about their topics, such as books, films, fieldtrips, etc.
  2. Model the process using a topic that will be of interest to your students.
  3. Contribute an example to demonstrate the use of the What I Know section of the KWL chart.
  4. Brainstorms with the class what they know about the subject and fill in the What I Know section of the KWL chart..
  5. Model making a contribution to the What I Want to Know section of the KWL chart.
  6. Have students tell a partner one thing they want to know about the subject
  7. Record several student responses.
  8. Read and shows photos from multiple texts about the subject and make a contribution to the What I Learned section of the KWL chart.
  9. As the students respond, add the facts they learned to the chart.
  10. Use the KWL chart to create a report together on chart paper to model report writing --one fact to a page, and have students illustrate the pages--creating a big book.

K - W - L Chart
Student Handout

K-W-L Chart Student Handout



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