What is a KWL chart?

The full form of the KWL chart is Know, Want to Know, and Learned chart. The chart has three columns and a very simple design. However, don’t let its simplicity deceive you. It is one of the most effective tools for learning for students.

When we say KWL charts are for students, we do not mean only school or college students. For anyone who wants to learn deeply about something, a KWL chart is very effective. Let’s understand what a KWL chart is with an example.

Example Template #1

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As you can see, this KWL chart template is very simple and straightforward. There are no unnecessary components and it has a simple, white layout. At the top of the chart, you get a space for writing the topic. For example, you can take a topic like ‘digital marketing’. Under the first column – what I know – you write what you know about digital marketing. In the second column – what I want to know – you write the things you aim to cover about digital marketing. In the last column, you write what you already know about digital marketing.

In the first column, you can write things that you already know. For example, you can write things like ‘video content creation’, ‘search engine optimization’, or other things you already know about digital marketing.

In the second column, you write things you want to know. Let’s take ‘blogging’, social media marketing’, ‘influencer marketing’ as examples.

Let’s assume you did some research about the things you did not know – blogging, social media marketing, and influencer marketing. Now let’s assume that you recalled whatever you knew about search engine optimization and video content creation’. In the last column, you write down the things that you discovered in the process of your research. You might have learned about social media analytics, effective ways to affiliate marketing, and so on. Everything that you have learned, you write it down on the rightmost column.

As you can see, this is all that you need to do for an effective learning session with KWL charts.

Here are a few more simple KWL chart templates.

Example Template #2

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Example Template #3

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Example Template #4

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As you can see, these templates are rather simple. They might not be very effective with children, but adults would like something simple and minimal. Even if you use a complex KWL chart, the fundamental principles are the same.

Now that we know about the basics of KWL charts, let’s find out why they work.

Why do KWL charts work?

Many people think that KWL charts are too simple to be effective. Their efficiency is almost perplexing. However, a little research will show why they work so well, both inside and outside the classroom.

Simplicity: KWL charts do not beat around the bush. They do not give you irrelevant challenges and thinking points. You write down what you know, what you don’t know, and what you want to know – and that’s all. If there were lots of columns instead of three, it might end up becoming too confusing. That’s why the creators were determined to keep it simple.

Structured knowledge: Structure helps us learn more efficiently. That’s the reason we have curriculums in educational institutes. However, curriculums can be often too intricately structured. They would work well for complex subjects, but not so much for general subjects. KWL charts nearly structure all your knowledge. With this structure in hand, knowing what you still have to know is very easy.

Easy to keep track of: When we take notes of a lecture or a course, it is very easy to mix it up with a thousand other things. With a KWL chart, you do not need to take meticulous notes on every single subject. Instead, you only highlight the important questions and leave out everything that is irrelevant. This streamlined approach makes KWL charts so effective. Once you get the hook if it, learning anything becomes much easier.

Interactive: Not all KWL charts are simple, white, and blank. Let’s see an example:

Example Template #5

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As you can see in this template, the fun icons and logos make it all the more interactive and fun. If you are someone who likes a little fun in the learning process, there are many KWL chart templates for you.

Let’s see some more examples.

Example Template #6

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The above KWL chart template is specifically for forces and agents. You can take the same idea and create KWL charts for any subject. The graphic elements and colors make this KWL chart a lot more fun. If you want something bright and colorful, a KWL chart template like this would be very effective.

Example Template #7

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The above template is another great example of a fun and interactive KWL chart template. The headers are simple, but the animations make it a lot more fun. Similarly, you can create different KWL charts for different subjects. With so many options available, your imagination is your only limit.

Here’s one more example of an interactive KWL chart template.

Example Template #8

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The above example is of a KWL chart that’s dedicated to learning about pets. As you can see, simple graphics and doodles can make a world of difference in KWL chart templates. You can take inspiration from these examples and come up with your own unique KWL charts. Once you have dedicated KWL charts for different subjects, learning about them becomes easier.

What to look for in a KWL chart?

Ideally, you should be looking for something simple. However, we understand that not everyone likes a plain old KWL chart template. if you have a preference for something bright and colorful, don’t worry, we have you covered. colorful charts are as effective as plain charts, if not more.

Example Template #9

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The above example shows how KWL chart templates can be simple without being boring. The color combinations used are soft and do not hurt the eyes. You can use these for every subject, be it casual or serious.

Example Template #10

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The above is an illustrative example of how you can learn about the Pythagorean theorem with the help of KWL charts. The subjects are neatly arranged in three columns which makes learning easy for students. If you want to learn more about any subject, you can effectively mold a KWL chart accordingly.

Let’s see some more examples.

Example Template #11

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Example Template #12

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In both examples, the KWL chart templates are not bland but not complicated either. These are fine examples of effective KWL charts that anyone can use to learn about new things. They are easy to use, soft to the eyes, neatly arranged, and do not have any unnecessary components.

Where to use KWL chart templates?

You can use KWL chart templates in almost all learning scenarios. Some of the most common places to use KWL charts are classrooms, online classes, and self-help courses.

In online classes, KWL charts can be especially effective to engage students. These charts give students an activity to do and let them be participants in the learning process. They no longer feel like passive listeners and as a result, are more interested in what is being taught.

If you are taking a self-help course, KWL charts will be very useful. You can use them not only for keeping notes but also for identifying the areas in your life you need to work on. You can use them for both focused disciples – like personal finance – or general well-being in life. KWL charts are useful in any place where you need to structure knowledge and keep a track of what you are learning.

Here are some more KWl chart templates.

Example Template #13

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Example Template #14

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Example Template #15

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KWL charts are often underrated. They are deceptively straightforward. However, most good things are also simple. Once you understand how to use KWL chart templates for learning new things, there is no going back.

If you are interested in KWL charts, you can take any template and work on it. Alternatively, you can make your own chart. Add fun components and colors to it, or just keep it white. There are no watertight rules to making KWL charts. You can do whatever you feel comfortable with.

Conclusion

To sum up, KWL charts are very effective tools for learning new things and retaining what you already know. They allow students to learn more effectively and efficiently. The templates provided above can be helpful if you want to create your own KWL charts. Let us know what you feel about these templates.