How Bloom’s Taxonomy Can Help Educators: A Guide to Question Stems and Examples

Introduction to Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy is a powerful tool for educators to design a curriculum that can evaluate objective learning outcomes, including critical thinking skills. It also provides pre-made question sets that can simplify the planning of discussions, learning activities, and formative assessments. The taxonomy consists of hierarchical levels arranged in a pyramid that gradually builds towards higher-order thinking skills. Each level includes verbs that indicate the type of learning activity, such as “demonstrate” or “design,” which can be measured to gain a deeper understanding of student learning.

Bloom’s taxonomy (1956)

The original Bloom’s Taxonomy framework consists of six levels that build off of each other as the learning experience progresses. It was developed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom, an American educational psychologist. Below are descriptions of each level:

  • Knowledge: Identification and recall of course concepts learned
  • Comprehension: Ability to grasp the meaning of the material 
  • Application: Demonstrating a  grasp of the material at this level by solving problems and creating projects
  • Analysis: Finding patterns and trends in the course material
  • Synthesis: The combining of ideas or concepts to form a working theory 
  • Evaluation: Making judgments based on the information students have learned as well as their own insights

Revised Bloom’s taxonomy (2001)

A group of educational researchers and cognitive psychologists developed the new and revised Bloom’s Taxonomy framework in 2001 to be more action-oriented. This way, students work their way through a series of verbs to meet learning objectives. Below are descriptions of each of the levels in the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy:

  • Remember: To bring an awareness of the concept to learners’ minds.
  • Understand: To summarize or restate the information in a particular way.
  • Apply: The ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations.
  • Analyze: Understanding the underlying structure of knowledge to be able to distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Evaluate: Making judgments about the value of ideas, theories, items and materials.
  • Create: Reorganizing concepts into new structures or patterns through generating, producing or planning.

Bloom’s Taxonomy for adjunct professors

Bloom’s Taxonomy questions are a great way to build and design curriculum and lesson plans. They encourage the development of higher-order thinking and encourage students to engage in metacognition by thinking and reflecting on their own learning. In The Ultimate Guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy Question Stems, you can access more than 100 examples of Bloom’s taxonomy questions examples and higher-order thinking question examples at all different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. 

Examples of Bloom’s Taxonomy question stems

Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956) question samples:

  • Knowledge: How many…? Who was it that…? Can you name the…? 
  • Comprehension: Can you write in your own words…? Can you write a brief outline…? What do you think could have happened next…?
  • Application: Choose the best statements that apply Judge the effects of… What would result …? 
  • Analysis: Which events could have happened…? If … happened, how might the ending have been different? How was this similar to…?
  • Synthesis: Can you design a … to achieve …? Write a poem, song or creative presentation about…? Can you see a possible solution to…?
  • Evaluation: What criteria would you use to assess…? What data was used to evaluate…? How could you verify…?

Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (2001) question samples:

  • Remember: Who…? What…? Where…? How…?
  • Understand: How would you generalize…? How would you express…? What information can you infer from…?
  • Apply: How would you demonstrate…? How would you present…? Draw a story map. 
  • Analyze: How can you sort the different parts…? What can you infer about…? What ideas validate…? How would you categorize…?
  • Evaluate: What criteria would you use to assess…? What sources could you use to verify…? What information would you use to prioritize..? What are the possible outcomes for…?
  • Create: What would happen if…? List the ways you can…? Can you brainstorm a better solution for…?


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