What is it?

The KWHL Chart is essentially a graphic organiser that allows the student and the teacher to discern learning needs. The process asks students to record:

  1. What do we Know about a topic?

  2. What do we want to find out?

  3. How can we find out more?

  4. What did we Learn?

Why use it?

Identifying students’ existing knowledge of a topic at the beginning of a course/unit sets the context for the activity. Use it:

  • As a way of formulating questions to guide what happens during the course/unit

  • As a way of reflecting on the learning that has taken place

  • To build a community of inquiry

How does it work?

Students write down their responses to what they know about a topic (K); and what questions they have (W). Adding how can we learn more (H) can help students focus on what they need to research or do next. Ultimately the students summarise what has been learnt (L).


Present students with the problem or problems you would like them to attempt and provide them with any additional resources they may need during the exercise.

  1. Provide students with a KHWL worksheet.

  2. Introduce the activity and explain the problem.

  3. Give students time to think on their own and record their responses. As an alternative this can be completed in pairs or small groups.

  4. When students are ready, ask them to share their responses with the class

Where to find resources?

  • Download a KWHL worksheet below


This resource is based on the “Not a waste of space” project materials produced by RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, with the support of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Except where otherwise noted, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.