KWHLAQ template

What is a KWHLAQ Chart?

A KWHLAQ chart is an extended version of the very popular KWL chart. Both are teaching tools that help to organize thoughts and ideas, before, during, and after a learning exercise. First, students identify what they know about a topic. Then, they think about what they want to research or learn. After the lesson, they then reflect on what they have learned.

KWHLAQ asks the following questions:

  • K – What students already KNOW about a topic?
  • W – WHAT students want to learn or find out?
  • H – HOW they will research or find the information they want to learn?
  • L – What students have LEARNED about the topic after taking action?
  • A – How will students APPLY the knowledge they’ve learned?
  • Q – What QUESTIONS they still have or have thought of as a result of the learning exercise?

Why Do a KWHLAQ Chart?

The KWHLAQ chart is a simple but effective instructional technique which puts the student at the center of inquiry-based learning. In addition to the benefits of the basic KWL Chart, the extended version:

  • Provides teachers with valuable information as to what students already know about a given topic (diagnostic assessment).
  • Builds collective learning by helping students to learn from each other (peer-to-peer learning).
  • Enables teachers to create more enjoyable lesson plans that address the interests, questions, and needs of the students
  • Creates interest and curiosity and encourages students to expand their ideas beyond the lesson or training provided in the classroom environment.
  • Facilitates a more authentic experience by asking them how they will apply their knowledge.

Who Should Use a KWHLAQ Chart?

A KWHLAQ chart is useful for both group and independent learning and formative assessment. Teachers and trainers can use this technique to create customized, student-centric lesson plans while still linking to a curriculum or organizational learning goals. Independent researchers can use the model to organize their ideas and keep track of their progress.

Because the KWHLAQ methodology presents information as a sequence of scaffolded steps, it is especially useful for visual, young, and ESL learners.

KWHLAQ Chart Template


Identify what the students already know.
Complete before planning and delivery of the lesson.

What I WANT to know

Investigate what students want to know.

Reinforce that knowledge gaps are not a deficiency but an opportunity to grow. Complete before planning and delivery of the lesson.

HOW will I find out

Assess strategies, resources, and tools available to help find the answers and create a plan.
Complete before research or delivery of the lesson.


Information about what the students have learned.
Complete during and after delivery of the lesson.

How I will APPLY this knowledge

Develop a list of how they can apply their new knowledge.
Complete after delivery of the lesson.

QUESTIONS I still have

Identify questions that remain and new questions that arose as a result of the exercise.

Complete after delivery of the lesson.

How to Use a KWHLAQ Chart

Set topic

Define the topic of the KWHLAQ chart.

Brainstorm (KWH)

Write down everything you know and want to know about the topic, and how you can learn.

Review (KWH)

Review results, discuss and prioritize.

Run Lesson

Students do the research, or the lesson is delivered.

Brainstorm (LAQ)

Write down everything you learned about the topic, how you will apply this knowledge, and any questions that remain.

Review (LAQ)

Review and reflect on the results, discuss.

Cross Device Compatibility

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