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BLOOMS

TAXONOMY AND
THE DIFFERENT
LEVELS OF
QUESTIONS
THE TAXONOMY OF BLOOM
As teachers and as people part of the world, we ask questions to
our learners and people everyday. Not all questions are on the
same level. Some questions are easy to answer where other
questions may require a great deal of thinking.

Bloom (1956) has provided us with his taxonomy to assist us to


compose questions on different levels of thinking. This taxonomy
ranges from lower to higher levels of cognitive thinking. These levels
are (I will shortly provide more detail of each level):
(1)

Knowledge

(2)

Comprehension

(3)

Application

(4)

Analysis

(5)

Synthesis

(6)

Evaluation

EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS IN THE TAXONOMY


Dalton and Smith

[1]

(1986) provide us with the following examples:

KNOWLEDGE
USEFUL
VERBS

SAMPLE
QUESTIONS

POTENTIAL
ACTIVITIES AND

PRODUCTS

What happened
after...?

How many...?

Who was it

Make a list of the main


events..

Tell
List
Describe
Relate
Locate
Write
Find
State
Name

that...?

Make a timeline of

Can you name


events.
the...?

Describe what

Make a facts chart.

Write a list of any

happened at...?
pieces of information

Who spoke
you can remember.
to...?

List all the .... in the

Can you tell


story/article/reading
why...?
piece.

Find the

Make a chart

meaning of...?
showing...

What is...?

Which is true or
false...?

COMPREHENSION
USEFUL
VERBS

SAMPLE
QUESTIONS

POTENTIAL
ACTIVITIES AND
PRODUCTS

Explain

Interpret

your own

pictures to show a

Outline

words...?

particular event.

Discuss

Distinguish

Predict

Restate

think could of

Translate

happened next...?

strip showing the

Compare

Who do you

sequence of events.

Can you write in

Can you write a

Cut out or draw

Illustrate what you

brief outline...?

think the main idea

What do you

was.

Make a cartoon

Describe

think...?

What was the

play based on the

main idea...?

story.

Who was the key

your words.

Can you

Paint a picture of

distinguish

some aspect you

between...?

like.

What differences

Can you provide

Write a summary
report of an event.

Prepare a flow chart

an example of

to illustrate the

what you

sequence of events.

mean...?

Retell the story in

character...?

exist between...?

Write and perform a

Can you provide

Make a colouring
book.

a definition for...?

APPLICATION
USEFUL
VERBS

SAMPLE
QUESTIONS

POTENTIAL
ACTIVITIES AND
PRODUCTS

Solve

Show

another instance

to demonstrate how

Use

where...?

it will work.

Illustrate

Construct

Complete

Examine

characteristics

Classify

such as...?

photographs to

What factors

demonstrate a

would you change

particular point.

Do you know

Could this have

Construct a model

Make a scrapbook

happened in...?

about the areas of

Can you group by

study.

if...?

Take a collection of

Make up a puzzle

Can you apply the

game suing the

method used to

ideas from the study

some experience
of your own...?

Make a clay model


of an item in the

would you ask

material.

Design a market

From the

strategy for your

information given,

product using a

can you develop a

known strategy as a

set of instructions

model.

about...?

What questions

of...?

area.

Would this
information be

Paint a mural using


the same materials.

useful if you had a

Write a textbook
about... for others.

...?

ANALYSIS
USEFUL
VERBS

SAMPLE
QUESTIONS

POTENTIAL
ACTIVITIES AND
PRODUCTS

Analyse

Distinguish

could have

questionnaire to

Examine

happened...?

gather information.

Compare

Contrast

what might the

to sell a new

Investigate

ending have

product.

Categorise

been?

Identify

Explain

Separate

Advertise

Which events

I ... happened,

Design a

Write a commercial

Conduct an

How was this

investigation to

similar to...?

produce information

What was the

to support a view.

underlying theme

Make a flow chart to

of...?

show the critical

What do you see

stages.

as other possible

illustrate selected

Why did ...

information.

showing

compare your ...

relationships.

presented in...?
Can you explain

happened

the study person.

Prepare a report
about the area of

How is ... similar

study.

Arrange a party.

What are some

Make all the

of the problems

arrangements and

of...?

record the steps

Can you

needed.

distinguish

Write a biography of

when...?

to ...?

Put on a play about


the study area.

what must have

Make a family tree

Can you

with that

Construct a graph to

outcomes?

changes occur?

Review a work of art

between...?

in terms of form,

What were some

colour and texture.

of the motives

Review a film

behind...?

What was the


turning point in
the game?

What was the


problem with...?

SYNTHESIS
USEFUL
VERBS

SAMPLE
QUESTIONS

POTENTIAL
ACTIVITIES AND
PRODUCTS

Create

Invent

Compose

Predict

compose a song

Plan

about...?

Construct

Can you design a

... to ...?

Why not

Invent a machine to
do a specific task.

Design a building to
house your study.

Create a new

Can you see a

product. Give it a

Design

possible solution

name and plan a

Imagine

to...?

marketing campaign.

Propose

Devise

to all resources

feelings in relation

Formulate

how would you

to...

If you had access

deal with...?

Write about your

Write a TV show,

Why don't you

play, puppet show,

devise your own

role play, song or

way

pantomime about...?

to deal with...?

What would

book, or magazine

happen if...?

cover for...?

How many ways

Design a record,

Make up a new

can you...?

language code and

Can you create

write material suing

new and unusual

it.

uses for...?

Sell an idea.

Can you write a

Devise a way to...

new recipe for a

Compose a rhythm

tasty dish?

or put new words to

Can you develop

a known melody.

a proposal which
would...

EVALUATION
USEFUL VERBS

SAMPLE
QUESTIONS

POTENTIAL
ACTIVITIES AND
PRODUCTS

Judge

Select

Choose

Decide

Justify

Debate

your position

about an issue of

Verify

about...?

special interest.

Argue

Recommend

a good or a bad

about 5 rules you

Assess

thing?

see as important.

Discuss

How would you

Convince others.

Rate

Prioritise

Determine

Is there a better

Prepare a list of

solution to...

criteria to judge a ...

Judge the value

show. Indicate

of...

priority and ratings.

Can you defend

Do you think ... is

have handled...?

Conduct a debate

Make a booklet

Form a panel to

What changes to

discuss views, e.g.

... would you

"Learning at

recommend?

School.".

Do you believe?

Are you a ...

advising on

person?

changes needed

How would you

at...

Write a letter to ...

feel if...?

Write a report.

How effective

Prepare a case to

are...?

present your view

What do you

about...

think about...?