KWL charts are an effective strategy to use to help a teacher check EAL learners prior knowledge, to focus them on the content of a lesson or topic and to recap on what has been taught in a lesson or a particular topic.
Here is how I have used the strategy in the mainstream classroom.
- Tell your learners that you are going to be learning about … (whatever your topic is).
- Tell them that you want them to write down, either individually, in pairs or in small groups what they know (K) about the topic.
- Then as above they write down any questions / what they want to know about the topic.
- As a teacher you would then ask them to feedback in small groups or to the whole class and this is where you check their prior knowledge of the topic. Questions from No.3 could be written down and displayed for the whole class to see.
- After you have finished the lesson or the topic you then get your learners to write down what they have learned (L).
- Again, you could do small group or whole class feedback of what they have learnt to help check their understanding.
KWL charts are an effective strategy to build background and to check prior learning and should be used at the beginning of a lesson or topic.
I have attached a template here for you to download.