Nocturnal Animals Preschool Unit: Using a KWL Chart | Still Playing School

Nocturnal Animals Preschool Unit: Using a KWL Chart

We love KWL Charts to inspire, organize, and introduce a new unit of study for our homeschool preschool. Here we used the graphic organizer to discuss and record what we want to learn about nocturnal animals.

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This week's Playful Preschool theme is Night Time! You can always search the #PlayfulPreschool hashtag on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, & Twitter to find all of our ideas and activities! 

A KWL chart records what learners Know, Want to know, and Learned about a topic. We love to use Post-Its large paper because later we can hang the chart up anywhere to guide our learning. This is important because during the unit we are constantly updating and editing our KWL Chart to match our work.

Our preschooler's first fact under the Know column was, "Bats drink blood." Someone was very inspired by our visit to Zoo America last week where we saw dishes of blood out for their vampire bats! We counted the words in her sentence on our fingers: Bats, drink, blood. Once she wrote a word we reread the sentence: Bats. Bats drink. Bats drink blood. "What do you need at the end of your sentence?" "A period!"

Next I wrote the question she had under Want to Know (since it was a longer amount of writing and we were taking turns). What kind of blood do bats drink? Oh, I can't wait to help her find the answer to her question in our research this month!

Another great advantage of KWL Charts for kids is that they are so adaptable. We've written ours together (just like with our Polar Animal KWL Chart) and shared the writing. My little artist loves to draw so she listed the nocturnal animals she knew with illustrations and the labeled them! Here she is using a space man to remind her to use spaces between her words as that is what we are currently working on with her kid writing. (You could easily make your own version with a craft stick!) 

If your children aren't writing yet they can dictate to you. More advanced writers can create their own KWL Chart for any topic. It really leads and guides the learning. Our preschooler explained to her dad that she'd fill in the Learned portion after she gathered information from "books, videos, and other learning stuff!" She was so proud to hang it on our wall. (And yes, she's wearing her new comfy nocturnal animal pajamas! That's the beauty of homeschooling!) We'll be sure to update our KWL Chart as we learn and discover more about nocturnal animals all month!

For MORE Playful Preschool Nighttime Activities:

Nighttime Alphabet Treasure Hunt at Growing Book by Book

Shoe Box Constellations at Rainy Day Mum

Find the Big Dipper at Tiny Tots Adventures

Night Time Musical and Dance at Learning 2 Walk

Night Owl Painting and Books at The Educators' Spin On It

Join us tonight for a live Google + Hangout at 9:00 PM EST. We will discuss Night Activities for Preschoolers. If the time doesn't work for you, it will be recorded and available to watch afterwards.

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  1. KWL charts are a fabulous learning tool. What a great explanation of how to use it with your gifted preschooler!

  2. I love that the KWL chart inspires children to think about what they already know and then to expand their knowledge by learning new information triggered by their own curiosity.

  3. I'm a big fan of KWL charts as well. Great explanation. Although your daughter is gifted, I still think it's a great tool for all preschoolers at any academic level!

  4. So, I just learned about these amazing charts and I will be including on in my lessons from know on. I love how they will help me with keeping track of how much of the lessons that she picked up throughout the week.

  5. Love KWL charts as it helps kids THINK about what they would like to learn and own their own documentation of learning! Great idea!

  6. Yes, we've definitely used KWL charts - great way to focus the children on what they want to learn, then record what they have learned. :) We use those same "spacemen"! :)

  7. I had never heard of the KWL charts until I saw them on your blog - but I love the idea! It's such a great way to get kids to really think about a particular topic.

  8. KWL charts are new to me but I love the idea - can see it working all the way through to high school as well.