Know-Wonder-Learn Activity


  1. Experience working individually, in pairs and in groups.
  2. Identify what they think they know about the topic. Topics can be broad. (Example: Saskatchewan’s Geological History and outcomes from the Grade 7 Earth and Space Science: Earth’s Crust and Resources, which includes fossils, Saskatchewan’s fossils, mineral resources, landforms, the rock cycle etc.)
  3. Identify aspects of the topic that they would like to learn more about.
  4. Open up all “brain files” regarding vocabulary, ideas and concepts.
  5. Learn from others.
  6. Identify New Learning about the topic.


approximately 45 minutes


  1. Photocopies of the KWL Chart
  2. Pencils
  3. KWL Chart reproduced on chart paper or on a whiteboard (would be best if it can remain on display in the classroom for reference)
  4. Marker for completing the KWL Chart as a group


  1. Hand out the KWL Chart to each student.
  2. Explain that K is “What they think they already know about the topic”.  Explain that the title is “What I think I already know” vs “What I Know” on purpose so that they can feel free to jot down ideas that may not be factual/accurate but that this is important to allow them to completely open up their “brain files” and experiences without worry of being incorrect. There is no incorrect in this process!
  3. Explain that they will be asked to work individually in silence, then share in partners, and then in groups and then as a class. Therefore, for the individual work, there needs to be complete silence, as they will have time to discuss later.
  4. Give the group about 5 minutes to jot down everything they think they know about the topic (remember topic can be very wide as discussed above). Suggest that they can use words or pictures, whatever way allows them to best express themselves. During this time, walk around to offer support.
  5. After the 5 minutes of silent work, ask the students to break into partners to share and discuss and create a common list. Explain to the participants that they can use their original papers and just add to one, or if they want you can give them a fresh copy to create a new list. Different people will want different options. Provide the participants about 10 minutes to do so. During this time, walk around to question and offer support.
  6. After approximately 10 minutes, ask the students to break into a group of four, repeating the above process.
  7. Give the students 15 minutes to share and create a common list.  Repeat.
  8. Ask each group to share their results. Write down all of the ideas on the chart paper under “What I Think I Know”…
  9. Repeat this process for “Wonderings.” These wonderings will be the basis for Inquiry Project topics.
  10. Have students jot down new learnings they personally experienced through the process under "What I learned." They can be pictures, too.