I invite you to take a look at Langwitches' three part series of posts around the KWHLAQ chart and its use for reflection, metacognition and documenting learning.
- Introduction: What is KWHLAQ?
- Usage of the KWHLAQ
- Tools, Platforms and Visible Thinking Routines
The acronym “ KWHLAQ” stands for:
K- What do I know?
This step asks the learner to brainstorm what he/she already thinks they know about a given topic. It allows for space to connect previous knowledge to a current topic of inquiry.
W- What do I want to know?
This step embodies the answer to the question of “Who owns the learning?.” It supports self-motivated learning which is a critical component when looking at depth of learning. This step allows the learner to think about their needs and interests and to develop an articulation of deeper level questions.
H-How will I find out?
This step is at the heart of information literacy and the skills to find, analyze, evaluate, connect and curate information that will serve our learning. This step allows for exposure to and amplification of traditional means of locating information (traditionally from books, articles, magazines, online websites) to potentially include information crowdsourcing through a social media network or platform, from images or video searches, through hashtags or video conferencing.
L-What have I learned?
This step is the reflective component in the process. John Dewey said, “We don’t learn from the experience, we learn from reflecting on the experience.” Reflection can be added at the end of the process or be compiled as the process of learning is unfolding. This step allows the learner to stop, look back, look ahead, make connections, make predictions, pay attention to patterns and trends and look for the implications of their learning.
A- What action will I take?
This step connects what you have learned in the classroom to the real world. How will the learner apply their new found understanding creatively in other contexts or with other content? The action taken gives the learning content authenticity. The response in this step will give the student the answer to the question “Why do I have to learn this?”
Q- What further questions do I have? This step helps to reinforce the idea that learning is a lifelong, interconnected process, and that one question leads to another. This step reinforces that we are not “done” when a unit is over, a book is read or a project is completed. Learning is not contained to a single subject area, limited by the calendar age of a learner or the curriculum dictations.