This method can be used as an introductory strategy in order for pupils to document their present level of knowledge and what gaps may exist in that knowledge, to structure progress in their learning and to analyse what new information has been learned after research. This activity builds upon prior knowledge and understanding and develops teamwork skills. If the K-W-L is carried out in groups, it may consolidate communication skills and teamwork. On a K-W-L grid (see below), pupils write under ‘K’ what they think they already know about a particular topic or issue. If pupils are working in groups, they may wish to use a Post-It style activity before writing their combined ideas onto the grid.
Choose a particular topic for the activity, perhaps a topic which is relevant to the current subject.
On a K-W-L grid (see image), before the lesson pupils write under ‘K’ what they think they already know about a particular topic, then fill out the ‘W’. At the end they return and fill out the ‘L’.