by Jen Donovan
The International Reading Association partners with the NCTE and Verizon Thinkfinity to produce ReadWriteThink.org, a website devoted to providing literacy instruction and interactive resources for grades K-12. ReadWriteThink presents teachers with effective lesson plans and strategies, a professional community, and engaging online interactive student tools. One of their most popular interactives that can be applied to almost any literacy lesson is the K-W-L Creator.
Just as modern technology has replaced blackboards with smart-boards, and turned written papers into online assignments, the traditional K-W-L chart has been transformed from its paper format to a new online interactive tool. The K-W-L method helps students prepare for what they are reading by organizing what they know (K), what they want (W) to learn, and reflecting on what they’ve learned (L). The K-W-L Creator provides teachers and students with an interactive way to learn through reading comprehension.
The interactive tool is easy to use and understand. Because it is accessible online, students can use the internet to further explore their topic. They can include links to images, videos, and other online resources in their own K-W-L charts, creating visual presentations of what they’ve learned. Teachers can also display the tool on their interactive whiteboards and use it for a class exercise. Each individual chart can be printed separately, so the teacher can focus on a certain area with the entire class. For example, the “L” section can be used to consider and summarize what the class has learned from the readings.
The worksaver feature is what makes this interactive really unique. It allows users to save their work to either their computer or to their e-mail. Teachers are able to modify the K-W-L charts by asking their own questions and save these modifications for the next lesson. The worksaver functionality also enables students to save their progress and reflect on the overall process of completing the entire K-W-L exercise online. ReadWriteThink has an online video tutorial about saving work for those who need assistance.
The K-W-L Creator is a highly customizable tool that can be as interactive as you want it to be. Printouts of the K-W-L chart as well as individual charts are available for download from the website. There are also several different versions of K-W-L graphic organizers which create print-out graphic organizers on any specific topic, creating an instant classroom exercise.
The K-W-L Creator, along with all the other interactive tools from the website, is an engaging way of teaching literacy and organization to students. It’s easy to use and the students have fun with the interactive, online-learning component of the tool. ReadWriteThink.org gives teachers the freedom and the resources to tailor their lesson plans, making learning literacy fun and exciting. Visit the K-W-L Creator webpage for more information.
Jen Donovan is an intern in the Strategic Communications Department of the International Reading Association.