An Update to the Upgraded KWL for the 21st Century

In 2011, I wrote a blog post, titled Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century. It described how I learned about a new version of the traditional KWL (What do I Know, What do I Want to know and what have I Learned) via Chic Foote as it snuck in an “H“(How will I find out). That “H” seemed to make the increased importance of the information literacy visible.  I ended up on Maggie Hos-McGrane’s blog, which, according to John Barell’s book Why are School Buses always Yellow?, added yet two other abbreviations  (“A“- What action will I take and “Q“-What further Questions do I have?) to make up a  KWHLAQ acronym.

Interested in learning even more about Upgrading the KWL chart to the 21st Century? I created a course that walks you step-by -step through applications in the classroom.

The blog post included the visual chart below, which seemed to have made it the most popular blog post searched for and shared on Langwitches of all times. That seemed to demand an update to the visual after 4 years. 🙂 KWHLAQ chart templateI have used the chart consistently over the last few years as a framework to upgrade FOR the 21st century in lesson planning, professional development workshops, coaching and working directly with students and teachers. An essential component of sharing, as a teacher,  is the knowledge that one’s work has an impact on other teachers and students, who most likely one will never meet. It is even more gratifying reading of the excellent work others have done:

I have also used the KWHLAQ chart as one framework to promote Reflection as Part of the Learning Process, Not as an Add-on. In the following visual below I share ideas of how to embed the KWHLAQ framework in analog and digital activities. KWHLAQ-reflection-frameworkI am continuing to be intrigued by John Barell’s original inquiry strategy, how to use to bring awareness and experience opportunities for modern learning skills and literacies. Since Project Zero’s Visible Thinking Routines have been playing an integral part of my continuous work of Documenting4Learning, is was an easy connection to bring in the routines as a strategy in the KWHLAQ flow.

The new visual below is intended to give teachers and students more choices of make their thinking and learning visible using the following platforms, activities, tools, Visible Thinking Routines as an option or starting off point. The suggestions include tools and platforms that are specifically suited to connect, collaborate, communicate and create, 21st century style, one’s process and make it easier to amplify and to document4learning. The framework is based on

  • REFLECTION being an integral part of the learning process
  • the understanding that through technology tools our access to INFORMATION has exponentially expanded as well
  • our ability to take ACTION beyond affecting people we are able to reach face to face
  • that technology tools allow us to express and communicate in OTHER FORMS of media beyond words and text

KWHLAQ-v2-tolisanoWhat do you think? What other platforms, tools and activities would you include and organize according to the KWHLAQ chart? Let’s crowdsource more resources for the use of KWHLAQ for the 21st Century!

Interested in learning even more about Upgrading the KWL chart to the 21st Century? I created a course that walks you step-by -step through applications in the classroom. Head on over to amplifiEDucation to check it out.

9 thoughts on “An Update to the Upgraded KWL for the 21st Century”

  1. This is nice to hear. Its also worth noting that except for some inconsequential terminology this is what a group of us put together 25 years ago; today its called the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate. One of the inspirations for our work at the time was that the KWL model was missing the items mentioned in its recent incarnation.

    In the interim some of us have moved on even from that; note the work of Kevin Bartlett and Common Ground Collaborative and my own recent attempt at writing a new primary curriculum with the current title of Wonder~Discover~Create.
    P.S. – Hi Maggie.

  2. ….., which is not to say that that the information in the new KWL is not useful, in fact it is, nicely laid out, information clearly displayed in a well designed graphic………..i should think it will be quite useful to a lot of teachers, especially where the curriculum framework they are working with lacks these ideas.

  3. I love this update! It works wonders with 7th graders. I used it with my Personal Learning Projects in my history classes. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Anne, you said “classes.” How do you use a chart like this for all classes or do you use a separate chart for each individual class?

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