Appropriate Grade Level: 3rd to 12th Grade
Purpose: Improve Reading Comprehension by activating background knowledge.

The K-W-L strategy stands for what I Know, what I Want to learn, and what I did Learn. By activating students' background knowledge, it improves comprehension of expository text.

  1. Overhead Projector
  2. Transparency and individual student paper copies of the K-W-L Chart, one per student.

A. "Know" Step:
  1. Initiate discussion with the students about what they already know about the topic of the text.
  2. Start by using a brainstorm procedure. Ask the students to provide information about where and how they learned the information.
  3. Help them organize the brainstormed ideas into general categories.
B. "Want to Learn" Step:
  1. Discuss with the students what they want to learn from reading an article.
  2. Ask them to write down the specific questions in which they are more interested.
C. "What I Learned" Step:
  1. Ask the students to write down what they learned from the reading.
  2. Ask them to check the questions they had generated in the "Want to Learn" Step.

Evaluation of Effectiveness:
Compare the students' scores on comprehension questions or skill sheets or reading tests before and after implementation of this intervention.

Bos, C.S. & Vaughn, S. (2002). Strategies for teaching students with learning and behavior problems. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

K-W-L Chart
K-W-L Chart