I first learned about Bloom's Taxonomy during my undergraduate years and I have used it with many different groups of kids.  It's a wonderful way to make sure that our kids are learning many aspects about one topic.

Bloom's Taxonomy was created in the 50's by a panel of educators (lead by Mr. Bloom).  This theory of teaching divides learning into three domains:  cognitive (head/knowledge), affective (heart/feeling), psychomotor (hands/doing).  It is also creates a hierarchy of learning, beginning with the simplest form (knowledge) and getting progressively harder ending with evaluation (judging, discussing, evaluating).

When I taught deaf education, we would have a different theme each week (or sometimes a theme would last for two weeks).  I would then take that theme (i.e. space) and each day focus on a different Bloom's level.  I would send a form home with the parents of questions they could ask their children each day.  The questions corresponded with the Bloom's level that we would have focused on that day.  It was a great way for carryover to take place.

What are the levels?
  • Knowledge:  learning facts, terms, and basic concepts
  • Comprehension:  demonstration of an understanding of the facts by organizing, comparing, or describing
  • Application:  using the knowledge to show how it can be applied to your life or in order to solve a problem
  • Analysis:  examine and break the information down into parts
  • Synthesis:  compiling information in different ways
  • Evaluation:  give and defend opinions using the information previously collected

So how did this look in my classroom?  Let's use the previously mentioned "space" theme:
  • Knowledge:  learn the new vocabulary words that the kids might not know.  We typically used flash cards in many different ways - searched for the picture, matching game, etc.
  • Comprehension:  We might sort pictures from our book into two categories:  space items (astronaut suit, stars, moon, space shuttle) and earthly items (books, playground, trees, clothes).  Another great activity for comprehension is describing some of the space pictures used from the previous day.
  • Application:  Talk about if we have ever been to space?  (no) How might we be able to go to space? (become an astronaut)
  • Analysis:  What are the parts of a space shuttle?  (window, door, wing, etc)
  • Synthesis:  How would you change the space shuttle?  Let's draw a new space shuttle and tell me what you would include.
  • Evaluation:  Do you think it's important that we study space?  Why or why not?

Bloom's Taxonomy is also a great way for kids to analyze books they are reading.  For more information on how this can be done, see this link: Applying Bloom's Taxonomy to Books

If you need to help getting started, there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet (here's a simple one that is good).  If you would like books that has everything spelled out (what questions to ask, what activities to do, and pictures that only need to be colored and printed), then check out the "Blooming" series at Linguisystems.com.  (two of my professors have written the newer versions of these books)

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