Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alphabet Soup - KWL or KWHLAQ?

You see KWL charts everywhere.  Students are often asked what they know, what they want to know and then later on what they have learned.  Today I was reading about an alternative called KWHLAQ.

K- What we do think we know about this subject?  Some students may think they know something at the beginning of the unit, only to find out that it is in fact a misconception as they delve in deeper.  It's ok to think something and then later on to revise what they are thinking.

W - What do we need to find out?  Students need to think about what they need to find out in order to address the provocation, solve the problem or to answer questions they may have.

H - How will we find out the answers to our questions?  Students need to think about what resources are available to help them find the answers.

L - What are we learning and what have we learned?  We can ask this question every day as students find out new information.

A - What action will we take?  This is another way of asking how students are applying what they have learned.  Action is one of the 5 essential elements of the PYP and it is an expectation of the PYP that inquiry will lead to responsible action initiated by students as a result of the learning process.

Q - What new questions do we have?  At the end of a unit of inquiry there should be time to reflect on whether we have successfully addressed our initial questions and whether we have come with with other questions.  Actually, if the unit is successful I believe there should be more questions - we should not be "done" with learning.

This KWHLAQ chart is taken from the book "Why are School Buses always Yellow?" by John Barell

Photo Credit:  Alphabet 02 by Leo Reynolds AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike 

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