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The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom

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'Bloom's Taxonomy as a wheel' photo (c) 2009, Doug Belshaw - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Bloom’s Taxonomy is talked about a lot in educational circles.  However, if you believe a recent survey of visits to 23,000 U.S. classrooms, the higher-order thinking skills it’s ideally designed to promote doesn’t get much use.

And I can understand why.

It’s easy to get caught-up in the day-to-day work involved in teaching a class or multiple classes, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing the “usual stuff” and not “think out of the box.”

I thought it might be useful to share in a  “The Best…” list the resources that help me try to use Bloom’s Taxonomy in my classroom.

There may very well be resources out there that do a far better job of explaining the Taxonomy and how to use it. However, a lot of them are caught up in academic jargon or are just not offered in a way that I find particularly usable.

I personally try to use Bloom’s Taxonomy in two ways. One, I have a big wall chart in the front of my classroom with a summary of each level of the Taxonomy and “question starters” for each of them. Since I spend a lot of time helping my students practice reading strategies, and one of them is asking questions, they can take advantage of the accessibility of this poster. After reviewing what the whole thing means, we discuss how — by practicing asking themselves the higher-level questions while they read a text — they can gain a deeper understand of its meaning.

In addition, I try to use Bloom’s to help me formulate my own lessons. In order to do that, I just need simple, accessible, and practical reminders that I can use. That’s what you’ll primarily find on this list.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom (most, though not all, are materials prepared by different school districts):

Here’s a Bloom’s Taxonomy chart that’s organized very simply, with many question-starters, and that I can keep on my desk or with my papers to help me remember the levels, questions, and practical activities that could go with them.

This short article has an even smaller Verb Chart that can serve as a reminder when planning lessons.

A blog called ESL School ran a series of posts last year on applying Bloom’s specifically to English Language Learners. Here are individual links to each of their posts:

Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

Memory

Understanding

Applying and Analyzing

More On Analyzing and Evaluating

Educational Origami has a wiki that is THE place to get ideas on how to relate technology to Bloom’s.

Here’s an interesting Bloom’s Activity Analysis Tool.

The New Jersey World Languages Curriculum Framework is a PDF document with a lot of interesting stuff. The most interesting item in it — by far — is a Bloom’s Taxonomy framework for language learners. It’s Figure 47. It lays-out teaching and learning strategies — specifically for language learners — for each level of the taxonomy.

Harry Tuttle has come-up with an intriguing way to evaluate student projects using Web 2.0 application.  I’d encourage you to read his post (and the comments section where he answers a question I left for him). He basically assigns each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy a number — the higher the level, the higher the number. He identifies the level the student achieved in his/her project, and then multiplies it by the number of days they worked on it.  It seems to me that this could be a useful formula.

The Differentiator is a cool online application designed to use Bloom’s Taxonomy and other similar thinking/planning “charts” to come-up with appropriate high-level student assignments (I’m sorry, I couldn’t think of any better way to describe it). Though I’m not that sure if it brings much more value than other sites on this list, it still belongs here just because it’s a cool-looking tool. Check it out and you’ll understand what I mean.

Developing Questions For Critical Thinking is an interactive site using a revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy that was developing in the 1990′s. It seems like it has some very useful resources.

A Three Story Intellect! is a nice lesson plan teaching Bloom’s Taxonomy. It’s a PDF file.

Educational Origami has created Six Quick Sheets For Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.

Blooming Orange: Bloom’s Taxonomy Helpful Verbs Poster

Bloom’s Taxonomy Poster for Elementary Teachers

I’ve just read an excellent post by George Couros titled Bloom’s Taxonomy and a Pen, which uses a pen as an analogy for explaining the different Taxonomy levels. It’s an excellent idea, and I’m kicking myself for not thinking of using an analogy before when we teach the Taxonomy in our ninth-grade English classes.

A Taxonomy of Reflection: Critical Thinking For Students, Teachers, and Principals is a post by Peter Pappas where he tries to use Bloom’s Taxonomy as a frame to create reflective questions. It’s an interesting and useful idea.

This page has good info on Bloom’s Taxonomy, especially a nice animation you can see if you scroll down a little bit.

Here’s a nice list of question starters.

You might want to read my post, “Bloom’s Taxonomy Book Review Questions.”

The ASCD In Service blog has republished two twenty-five year old interviews with Benjamin Bloom, creator of Bloom’s Taxonomy. They’re not specifically related to the Taxonomy, but they focus on two other very interesting topics — automaticity and talent development. Even thought they’re aren’t on the Taxonomy, I still think they’re worth being on this list.

Joshua Coupal has created a very useful slideshow on the changes in Bloom’s Taxonomy and how it can be applied through digital tools. He used Prezi, and I know it looks cool and everything, but just have to say that I find Prezi distracting and disorienting. But, perhaps I’m just an old fuddy duddy.

Developing Thinking Skills Through Higher-Level Questioning is an online presentation from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Here’s a nice new (to me, at least) Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy — slightly different from the one that most are familiar with.

A picture is worth a thousand thoughts: inquiry with Bloom’s taxonomy is the title of a very useful resource from Learn NC. It shows a photo, along with the original Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid. By clicking on each thinking level, you are shown questions about the photo reflecting the level. It’s a very simple and visual way to teach Bloom’s Taxonomy, and can easily be replicated as a student assignment in any classroom. I like this interactive A LOT.

Bloomin’ Mathematics is a great post sharing ways to incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy into teaching math.

Teaching with the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy from Northern Illinois University has some very nice hand-outs.

A Model of Learning Objectives based on A Taxonomy for Learning comes from Iowa State University.

Why Is It Important For Students To Learn About Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Do Students Think Learning About Bloom’s Taxonomy Is Useful?

BloomsApps is an intriguing, regularly changing collection of iPhone applications correlated to each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Thanks to Andrew P. Marcinek for the tip.

“Many great innovators asked better questions than everyone else…”

Near the end of the extensive Bloom’s Taxonomy lesson I describe in my book, I show some fun videos demonstrating the thinking levels through scenes from Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean:

I’ve previously posted about the Bloom’s Taxonomy of Reflection that Peter Pappas developed. I just discovered that he developed this excellent Prezi about it. I’d also strongly encourage you to read his post that explains it further, as well as one by Langwitches giving an example of how to apply it in the classroom.

51 Comments

  1. I’d like to see you describe the lessons you do, as I think that would help “paint pcitures” for all of us. I’m thinking about this a lot in my blog, too, and am in the process of describing several lessons now. (Reflections of the TZST Teacher @http://tzstchr.edublogs.org) You also might want to join the conversation at http://bloomsrubrics.wikispaces.com/ and add this link. Thanks for sharing the resources–getting the taxonomy in front of teachers in mindful ways is a great start. Conversations help move us along the continuum of use as well.

  2. The way to reach students is to understand how they think, and build from there. We have to stress basic principles. See “Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better” on amazon.

    • How to make theoretical framework, using Bloom’s Taxonomy, for the research thesis ” the impact of bilingual EFL teachers’ cognition on grammar teaching”

  3. Tremendously helpful post. This is something like the pyramids. I know it existed a long time ago, and I forget and rediscover it from time to time. The rediscovery always stimulates a great boost of mental activity.

    Thank you.

  4. Great post. So often we teach/train to a much lower level of learning that is necessary for people to be successful. I teach trainers for the corporate environment and emphasize that we need to teach people to do, think and create, rather than learn by rote.

  5. Hi Larry

    great set of what look like really useful resources – have added as a ‘cloud’ in our social networking site for sharing and discussing learning and teaching ideas – http://cloudworks.ac.uk/index.php/cloud/view/2330.html

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  7. Hi Larry,
    Here’s a link to some resources created by teachers in Australia – activity charts that combine Bloom’s Taxonomy with Multiple Intelligences…Great stuff!

    http://www.cap.nsw.edu.au/teachers/tech_based_resources/mi_pages/index.htm

  8. A couple of free Bloom’s Taxonomy posters:

    Blooming Orange: Bloom’s Taxonomy Helpful Verbs Poster
    http://blog.learningtoday.com/blog/bid/23376/Blooming-Orange-Bloom-s-Taxonomy-Helpful-Verbs-Poster

    Bloom’s Taxonomy Poster for Elementary Teachers
    http://blog.learningtoday.com/blog/bid/22740/Bloom-s-Taxonomy-Poster-for-Elementary-Teachers

  9. Thanks for compiling these resources, Larry. I just included your post in a list of recommended resources on our page, “A Model of Learning Objectives (based on A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives).”
    This model uses a different visualization of the cognitive process and knowledge domains:
    http://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/RevisedBlooms1.html

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  11. As a student in a concurrent education program I am definitely familiar and frustrated with jargon…. It is very overwhelming to have so much literature, but no idea how to apply it. The art of questioning has been a major topic in our classroom discussions as related to Bloom’s taxonomy. I really admire that fact that you are having your students take ownership of their learning by having them work with this taxonomy (as opposed to being strictly used by the teacher). Thank you so much for sharing these resources!

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  14. Hello Larry
    Although you posted this two years ago, it is JUST what I was looking for. I find your blog very informative and I have just subscribed, since you have an ELL point of view.

    I teach at a Mexican university, so my situation is all EFL. However, I also do teacher training workshops, and I have linked this valuable post to my trainees so they will be visiting you also. I look forward to having you in my PLN. Thanks, Ellen in Mexico

  15. i am very thankful for i have found this site… it helped me a lot in understanding the concepts of the bloom’s taxonomy of objectives… i just hope that you will expand and give a clearer explanations on the revised taxonomies of knowledge : re, factual , conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive; for this is what we are using in our school and many of us find difficulty in plotting our table of specification… GODBLESS and MORE POWER!

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  18. I am a teacher trainer and use Bloom’s taxonomy extensively. After having seen several websites in the last couple of years, I found some totally new resources on this site. I was looking for some material to teach this taxonomy to students in a college – to encourage them for higher order thinking. Thanks a lot.

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  23. Thank you for your great resources!

    However, I thought you’d want to know that one of these links doesn’t work anymore – the one in the sentence: “Here’s a Bloom’s Taxonomy chart that’s organized very simply, and that I can keep on my desk or with my papers to help me remember the levels, questions, and practical activities that could go with them.”

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  25. Pingback: Asking a better question? Online Resources to Support Higher Order Questions for Higher Order Learning – Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy « ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

  26. I really like your site and listing of all the Bloom resources. I am an education student seeking out good resources and finding so many all in one place is awesome.

  27. Pingback: Use Videos to Bring Some “Va Va Va Voom” to a Lesson! « Diary of a Public School Teacher!

  28. An overlooked resource on Bloom’s taxonomy is “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals.” Benjamin S. Bloom, Editor ©1956 by Longman Inc. (It’s the book that does not contain the triangle that educators regularly attibute to Bloom.)

  29. Pingback: Links for using Blooms taxonomy in the classroom | G – 2 – O

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  33. This link appears to be broken also
    A Taxonomy of Reflection: Critical Thinking For Students, Teachers, and Principals

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  36. thanks so much for your useful pieces of information in Bloom taxonomy. I am going to write a Ph.D thesis on Bloom taxonomy.
    I would be grateful if you could give me more information if in need.
    Many thanks again.

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  41. this is the most interesting information that I have read in my life. Taxonomy with videos. So amazing, congratulations

  42. Try Andrew Churche’s Educational Origami Wiki.

    http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/home

    Description from wiki…”Educational Origami is a blog and a wiki, about 21st Century Teaching and Learning. This wiki is not just about the integration of technology into the classroom, though this is certainly a critical area, it is about shifting our educational paradigm. The world is not as simple as saying teachers are digital immigrants and students digital natives. In fact, we know that exposure to technology changes the brains of those exposed to it. The longer and stronger the exposure and the more intense the emotions the use of the technology or its content evokes, the more profound the change. This technology is increasingly ubiquitous. We have to change how we teach, how we assess, what we teach, when we teach it, where we are teaching it, and with what.”

    http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/home

  43. This is such a great list, but it a shame that many of the links are no longer. If it could be updated or revised that would be great.

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