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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.

I really like this site because of its list of “potential activities and products” for each level.

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.

There are two very nice tutorials on Bloom’s Taxonomy on this site. They were created using FLASH.

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

Here’s a nice reproducible Bloom’s Wheel.

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

Here’s another interesting online interactive.

Here are two nice downloadable posters from Learning Today:

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.

The American Psychological Association has published a very useful quasi “pie” chart on Bloom’s Taxonomy divided by activities and products. It’s one of the better one page “tip sheets” that I’ve seen related to Bloom’s. I’ve printed one out to keep in my desk.

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.

Here’s a hyperlinked Bloom’s pyramid showing how different Web 2.0 tools can be integrated into each level. Thanks to Darren Draper for the tip.

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.

Kathy Schrock has developed a “digital” Bloom’s Taxonomy chart with tools from Google. Blogger Ryan Bretag has also written a post with some useful comments about it.

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.

Bloomin’ iPad is a collection of iPad apps that encourage higher-order thinking. It was put together by Kathy Schrock.

K-5 iPad Apps to Evaluate Creating: Part Six of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy is a series of useful posts at Edutopia.

Here’s another Digital Bloom’s interactive.

Bloom’s Taxonomy and iPad Apps
is a useful post from Langwitches.

I just learned about APPitic, which describes itself as:

…an directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning.

It has over 1,300 categorized apps, including a ton organized by Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Android Apps Meet Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy is by Kathy Schrock.

In my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves, I have a very extensive lesson plan on Bloom’s Taxonomy. The lesson ends with students applying the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy to The Three Little Pigs story. The Guardian newspaper in the UK published a short video imagining how the same story might play-out if it took place today. It’s pretty strange, but engaging. I’ve embedded it below, and think it could be a short and fun video to show students at the end of the lesson:

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Wheel is a very cool interactive, but it also seems a bit strange to me. I’m just not sure how helpful people will find it.

Kathy Schrock has put all her “Bloomin’ Apps” collection in one place.

Here’s a fun video using Seinfield to illustrate the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I don’t necessarily think it’s as good as the Star Wars or Pirates of the Caribbean videos already on this list, but it’s fun. I can’t embed it here because that ability was disabled.

Bloom’s taxonomy and English language learners is by Judie Haynes.

Flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy is from Powerful Learning Practice.

Do students need to learn lower-level factual and procedural knowledge before they can do higher-order thinking? is from Scott McLeod.

Thanks to Lisa Johnson (I’ve learned about other resources from her, too), who has also collected a number of other excellent Bloom’s resources on her blog, I learned about Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised) According to Homer Simpson. I’ve embedded the video below:

Here’s a short video demonstrating Bloom’s Taxonomy through scenes from the movie, “Finding Nemo.” It only has still scenes for each level with a description, but it would be easy enough to show the scenes from a DVD or via Netflix and use this video as a guide:

If Math Is Basketball, Let Students Play The Game is by Dan Meyer, and is just a very thoughtful commentary on teaching and applicable to all subjects. His comments can be applied to some recent additions I’ve made to this list questioning whether students have to start at lower levels of thinking in order to “build-up” to the higher ones, so I’m adding it here.

In my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves, I include an extensive and engaging lesson plan on Bloom’s Taxonomy. There and in this “The Best” list, I also include discussions of the dangers of viewing it as a rigid pyramid that must be climbed rung-by-rung.

A new addition to that lesson plan, which I hadn’t gotten around to sharing here previously but which has worked well with students, is to show them different illustrations of Bloom’s Taxonomy and have them determine which they think is best and why (and to also give them the option of creating their own). I do this near the end of the lesson after they’re familiar with the different levels and the interplay between them.

It’s easy to find different versions on the Web by searching images with “Bloom’s Taxonomy,” but I thought readers might find it useful to see the ones I’ve used or am planning to use. Feel free to offer suggestions of other ones I’ve missed, too:

Blooming Butterfly

Blooming Circle

Flipped Bloom’s

Kathy Schrock’s Bloom’s As Gears

Bloomin’ Peacock

The Common Core and Bloom’s Taxonomy is from Reach Common Ground.

A “Taxonomy For Understanding”

Critical Thinking Skills

Here’s a shorter version:

This video was created by “baldmisery.”

Infographic: Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy in Your Classroom is from Eye on Education.

I found this nice and simple Bloom’s Taxonomy Poster on Pinterest via Carla Arena. I believe, though I’m not sure, that teacher Jennifer Jones created it. She seems to have a number of useful materials on her site, so I’d encourage you to check it out.

Source: helloliteracy.blogspot.com via Carla on Pinterest

22 Ways To Use Twitter With Bloom’s Taxonomy is from teachbytes.

14 Brilliant Bloom’s Taxonomy Posters For Teachers is from Teach Thought.

25 Ways To Use Pinterest With Bloom’s Taxonomy is a useful chart from TeachBytes.

This Is A Cool “A Taxonomy of Innovation” Interactive — I Wish I Understood It

44 Prompts Merging Reflective Thinking With Bloom’s Taxonomy is by Peter Pappas.

Incorporating Bloom’s Taxonomy into your lesson objectives is by Adam Simpson.

iPadagogy Wheel

In yet another example of how much I do not know, I’ve recently learned about the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO), which can be characterized as an alternative to Bloom’s Taxonomy. I read about it at Peter DeWitt’s fine Education blog in his post, What’s Our Best Taxonomy? Bloom’s or SOLO?

I’ve spent a little time trying to understand it and, though I’m not persuaded a convincing case can be made that we need an alternative to Bloom’s, I thought it would be important to add information on it to this list, which continues to be the all-time most popular post on this blog and gets several hundred visits each day.

In addition to Peter’s post, here are some other useful SOLO resources:

I found this slide presentation at Ewan McIntosh’s blog, which also included several other helpful links:

Here’s a Prezi on it:

And here’s a link to an intriguing visual representation of it.

Feedback is always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

49 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.”

  24. Pingback: Solving Problems « Geoff's Blog

  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

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