The use of Bloom's Taxonomy in the classroom has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. As a teacher, you can use this classification system to help your students think more deeply about the information you are teaching them, and to help them understand it on a deeper level. Benjamin Bloom created this taxonomy, which includes six cognitive levels. From lowest to highest, these levels are referred to as knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
Write down the first three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension and application.
Create three questions that test students' knowledge of the material. These would include simple questions such as "What is the chemical formula for water?" or "Who is the main character in the story?" Then create three questions that test students' comprehension of the material, such as "Why does cross-multiplication work?" Add three questions that test students' application of knowledge, such as "How would you explain this concept to someone who had no background in science?"
Look at a list of appropriate verbs for each level of the taxonomy (see Resources section), and substitute them for any other verbs in the questions you created in Step 2. Make sure that these verbs are as precise as possible, as they can change the cognitive level of a question.
Create three questions that ask students to compare and contrast two ideas or items, or to examine an idea more analytically (the "Analysis" cognitive level).
Create at least a combined three questions that prompt students to synthesise and evaluate what they have learnt. These questions may build on each other, with one question asking students to create a new understanding based on two different concepts, and another asking students to defend their opinion based on facts that they have learnt.
Tips and warnings
- Students do not need to know that these questions were created using Bloom's Taxonomy. The fact that they access the necessary cognitive levels is sufficient.
- In the 1990s, Bloom's student Lorin Anderson revised this taxonomy, but many teachers still rely on the original version.
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