What is the Knowledge Framework?


The Knowledge Framework (KF) is a powerful organizational tool that improves students' ability to comprehend and organize material. It incorporates critical thinking skills with langauge and content across subject areas and grade levels

It is “a systematic framework for relating language and content” (Mohan, 1986, p. iv).

It integrates language with content through:

  • Thinking skills/Knowledge structures

  • Language related to the thinking skills/knowledge structures

  • Key visuals related to thinking skills/knowledge structures

How does the KF integrate language and content?


The KF integrates language and content by:

  • building background knowledge, making connections, and by strengthening thinking skills through reading, listening, viewing and reconstructing knowledge.

  • providing graphic organizers (key visuals) which structure students' thinking.

  • providing language structures connected to the six thinking skils:

Classifiying Explaining Evaluating
Describing Sequencing Choosing

(Woo and Bennett, 2001)

How can key visuals be used?


Graphic organizers (key visuals) model target language and provide a structure to support understanding

They can be presented to pupils:

  1. already completed which requires them to interpret information, or

  2. for completion which help pupils organize their thinking in relation to another source such as a picture or text

  • Key visuals can be used as an aid to show how information is related.

  • They can be used to summarize ideas.

  • They can help to enhance pupil discussion and comprehension.

  • They facilitate the recall of language and concepts as the information is presented visually and key words and phrases are recorded rather than large chunks of text.

  • When pupils become familiar with key visuals they can select the appropriate ones for a particular activity.

  • They help with pupils' note-taking skills.

  • They can help to organize pupils' thinking about: a piece of text, a picture, a listening activity, a practical activity (science, cooking, etc.), a video, a visit.

  • They can be used by the teacher as a presentation to a class or group to demonstrate ideas and concepts on a board.

  • They can be used to preview information--by recording elicited prior knowledge or predictions of a text or to generate appropriate key questions.

  • They can be used during a reading activity to help reinforce pupils' understanding of different features in a text (e.g. sequence, cause and effect, description).

  • They can help pupils to report back on some research, demonstrate an experiment or summarize a piece of text before writing.

  • They can be used in a writing activity to record information without the need to write out large chunks.

  • They are useful in collaborative learning activities as pairs so groups of pupils can work together to complete them.

  • For pupils who have difficulties in knowing what to write, a key visual with headings and brief notes can be used to help draft a piece of writing.

  • They can be used when pupils need to report back or summarize information.

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