Selecting a Study Guide with Bloom's Taxonomy
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By Beverly S. Krueger
Study guides are useful for the busy homeschool mom or dad who does not
want to create their own study. One common feature of most study guides
is discussion questions. Selecting a study guide is a process that involves
evaluating many different aspects of the study guide. You may choose a
particular guide because you like the activities included. One step in
the evaluation process should be a look at the study questions.
Study questions can be used for many different purposes. If you're working
on listening skills with your children, you may want to have study questions
that focus on the facts of the story or text. Benjamin Bloom created a
taxonomy to categorize questions and the level of critical thinking they
require. Using Bloom's Taxonomy to determine the types of questions in
a particular guide will allow you to plan that portion of your study to
meet specific goals.
In the listening skills example, you would be looking for study guides
that focus on Knowledge. Knowledge is the first level of critical thinking
in Bloom's Taxonomy. It involves questions that call for observation and
recall of information. This can include names, dates, places, events and
major ideas. You can use question cues to help decide which of Bloom's
levels of taxonomy a question fits. Question cues for questions in the
Knowledge level include list, define, tell, describe, identify, show,
label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, and where.
Tasks that help learning at this level include classifying, distinguishing
opinion from fact, writing definitions, giving examples, and creating
outlines or summaries.
There are six levels to Bloom's Taxonomy: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application,
Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. Over the course of your homeschooling
you should use materials that help your child develop in each area of
critical thinking. The levels move from the concrete to the abstract,
so don't plan on working on the higher levels of the taxonomy with primary
age children. They aren't ready for abstract thinking. You'll probably
want to reject a study guide for high school age that doesn't move beyond
the Knowledge or Comprehension levels.
Bloom's Taxonomy is a useful tool to take with you to your local curriculum
fair. In addition to including below on this page, we've made
available a printer friendly version.
(Adobe PDF requires Acrobat
Copyright ©2002 Eclectic Homeschool Association
Information in this article has been adapted from: Bloom,
B.S. et al., eds. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification
of Educational Goals: Handbook I, Cognitive Domain (New York; Toronto:
Longmans, Green, 1956).
Observation and recall of information.
list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine,
tabulate, quote, name, who, when, and where.
classify, distinguish opinion from fact, write definitions, give
examples, and create outlines or summaries.
Understanding information, grasping its meaning.
summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish,
estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend, convert, defend, explain.
interpret material by explaining or summarizing it, predict outcomes
or effects, rewriting, make comparisons, order the steps in a process,
Using learned material in a new context or applying the rules,
methods, or theories learned.
apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve,
examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover,
compute, operate, use.
estimate based on past experience, work with probabilities, make
inferences, apply formulas or methods.
Seeing patterns, recognizing hidden meanings and identifying and
organizing parts of a whole.
analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide,
compare, select, explain, infer, distinguish, diagram, outline,
determine completeness, recognize relevance and irrelevance, identify
elements in a story, determine proper sentence sequence, recognize
Generalizing from known facts, putting together ideas or knowledge
from several areas to create new ideas, drawing conclusions, seeing
combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create,
design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize,
communicate ideas, plan a project, writing hypotheses for science
experiments, draw conclusions.
Comparing and discriminating between ideas, assessing the value
of theories, ideas, presentations, or plans; verifying the value
of evidence, determining the objectivity or subjectivity of information
and value of evidence, using reasoned arguments to make choices.
assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince,
select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare,
summarize, appraise, criticize, contrast.
judge the accuracy of historical evidence, identify the mood of
a story, write a persuasive essay, evaluate a story or situation
from a Biblical perspective, make judgements about political or
moral ideas, develop criteria for evaluating something.
Copyright © 2002 Eclectic Homeschool Association