Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains

Performance Indicator:  

P.S ELA-2 Reading Analysis: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

A. Evaluate the relevant themes and synthesize how they are present in the novel in oral and written responses.
B. Interpret the implications of setting and circumstance.
C. Analyze the role of characters in the plot in oral and written responses.
D. Analyze important quotations from the text in oral and written responses.
E. Annotate the text.

P.S ELA-3 Reading Craft and Structure: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of a text.

A. Understand SOAPSTone: Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, Tone
B. Analyze the plot and/or design of the text, following shifts in time and place.

 P.S ELA-4 Writing Analysis:   Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

A. Select and limit a debatable thesis.
B. Research evidence using credible sources.
C. Select an appropriate organizational plan.
D. Acknowledge alternate sides of a position.
E. Apply the standards of English conventions.
F. Apply persuasive strategies.



The Three Types of Learning
There is more than one type of learning. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom (1956), identified three domains of educational activities:

Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude)
Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)
Since the work was produced by higher education, the words tend to be a little bigger than we normally use. Domains can be thought of as categories. Trainers often refer to these three categories as KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude). This taxonomy of learning behaviors can be thought of as “the goals of the learning process.” That is, after a learning episode, the learner should have acquired new skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes.

The committee also produced an elaborate compilation for the cognitive and affective domains, but none for the psychomotor domain. Their explanation for this oversight was that they have little experience in teaching manual skills within the college level (I guess they never thought to check with their sports or drama departments).

This compilation divides the three domains into subdivisions, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The divisions outlined are not absolutes and there are other systems or hierarchies that have been devised in the educational and training world. However, Bloom’s taxonomy is easily understood and is probably the most widely applied one in use today.

Cognitive Domain

The cognitive domain (Bloom, 1956) involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. This includes the recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. There are six major categories, which are listed in order below, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first ones must normally be mastered before the next ones can take place.

At various times during the academic year (designated on your syllabus), your novel annotations (notes based upon your reading*)  will be collected and assessed based upon your ability to construct a question for each of the Bloom’s Taxonomy categories.  For each assigned reading you are to write at least one question, related to the novel content, for each of the six categories.  Label, in parenthesis, what type of question each is according to Bloom’s Taxonomy.  These reading journals are not designed to make the process of reading more cumbersome, rather your notes should, if they are composed purposefully, enhance your ability to analyze the reading.

mid-15c., from L. annotationem (nom. annotatio), from annotatus, pp. of annotare “to add notes to,”

Bloom’s Taxonomy Model



Category                                                                   Example and Key Words (verbs)

Knowledge: Recall data or information.            Examples: Recite a policy. Quote prices from
memory to a customer. Knows the safety

                                                                                    Key Words: defines, describes, identifies,
knows, labels, lists, matches, names,
outlines, recalls, recognizes, reproduces,
selects, states.

Comprehension: Understand the                        Examples: Rewrites the principles of test
meaning, translation, interpolation,                   writing. Explain in one’s own words the
and interpretation of instructions and               steps for performing a complex task.
problems. State a problem in one’s own            Translates an equation into a computer
words.                                                                        spreadsheet.

Key Words: comprehends, converts,
defends, distinguishes, estimates, explains,
extends, generalizes, gives an example,
infers, interprets, paraphrases, predicts,
rewrites, summarizes, translates.

Application: Use a concept in a new                  Examples: Use a manual to calculate an
situation or unprompted use of an                     employee’s vacation time. Apply laws of
abstraction. Applies what was learned              statistics to evaluate the reliability of a
in the classroom into novel situations in          written test.
the work place.
Key Words: applies, changes, computes,
constructs, demonstrates, discovers,
manipulates, modifies, operates, predicts,
prepares, produces, relates, shows, solves,

Analysis: Separates material or concepts        Examples: Troubleshoot a piece of
into component parts so that its                        equipment by using logical deduction.
organizational structure may be                        Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning.
understood. Distinguishes between facts        Gathers information from a department
and inferences.                                                      and selects the required tasks for training.

Key Words: analyzes, breaks down,
compares, contrasts, diagrams, deconstructs,
differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes,
identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, relates,
selects, separates.

Synthesis: Builds a structure or pattern          Examples: Write a company operations or
from diverse elements. Put parts together      process manual. Design a machine to
to form a whole, with emphasis on                   perform a specific task. Integrates training
creating a new meaning or structure.              from several sources to solve a problem.
Revises and process to improve the outcome.

                                                                                 Key Words: categorizes, combines, compiles,
composes, creates, devises, designs, explains,
generates, modifies, organizes, plans,
rearranges, reconstructs, relates, reorganizes,
revises, rewrites, summarizes, tells, writes.

Evaluation: Make judgments about the          Examples: Select the most effective solution.
value of ideas or materials.                                Hire the most qualified candidate.
Explain and justify a new budget.

                                                                                 Key Words: appraises, compares, concludes,
contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends,
describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains,
interprets, justifies, relates, summarizes,

Bloom’s Taxonomy Question Stems May help you to compose questions.  Study the following stems in order to help you think of appropriate questions for your assignment.


•    What happened after . . .?
•    How many . . .?
•    Who was it that . . .?
•    Can you name the . . .?
•    Described what happened at . . .?
•    Who spoke to . . .?
•    Can you tell why . . .?
•    Find the meaning of . . .?
•    What is . . .?
•    Which is true or false . . .?
•    Can you write in your own words . . .?
•    Can you write a brief outline . . .?
•    What do you think might happen next . . .?
•    Who do you think . . .?
•    What was the main idea . . .?
•    Who was the key character . . .?
•    Can you distinguish between . . .?
•    What differences exist between . . .?
•    Can you provide an example of what you mean . . .?
•    Can you provide a definition for . . .?
•    Do you know another instance where . . .?
•    Could this have happened in . . .?
•    Can you group by characteristics such as . . .?
•    What factors would you change if . . .?
•    Can you apply the method used to some experience of your own . . .?
•    What questions would you ask of . . .?
•    From the information given, can you develop a set of instructions about . . .?
•    Would this information be useful if you had a . . .?
•    Which events could have happened . . .?
•    If . . . happened, what might the ending have been?
•    How was this similar to . . .?
•    What was the underlying theme of . . .?
•    What do you see as other possible outcomes?
•    Why did . . . changes occur?
•    Can you compare your . . . with that presented in . . .?
•    Can you explain what must have happened when . . .?
•    How is . . . similar to . . .?
•    What are some of the problems of . . .?
•    Can you distinguish between . . .?
•    What were some of the motives behind . . .?
•    What was the turning point in the game . . .?
•    What was the problem with . . .?
•    Can you design a . . . to . . .?
•    Why not compose a song about . . .?
•    Can you see a possible solution to . . .?
•    If you had access to all resources how would you deal with . . .?
•    Why don’t you devise your own way to deal with . . .?
•    What would happen if . . .?
•    How many ways can you . . .?
•    Can you create new and unusual uses for . . .?
•    Can you write a new recipe for a tasty dish?
•    Can you develop a proposal which would . . .?
•    Is there a better solution to . . .?
•    Judge the value of . . .?
•    Can you defend your position about . . .?
•    Do you think . . . is a good or a bad thing?
•    How would you have handled . . .?
•    What changes to . . . would you recommend?
•    Are you a . . . person?
•    How would you feel if . . .?
•    How effective are . . .?
•    What do you think about . . .?