A Model of Learning Objectives
A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing:
A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
Among other modifications, Anderson and Krathwohl’s (2001) revision of the original Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom & Krathwohl, 1956) redeines the cognitive domain as the intersection of the Cognitive Process Dimension and the Knowledge Dimension. This document offers a three-dimensional representation of the revised taxonomy of the cognitive domain.
Although the Cognitive Process and Knowledge dimensions are represented as hierarchical steps, the distinctions between categories are not always clear-cut. For example, all procedural knowledge is not necessarily more abstract than all conceptual knowledge; and an objective that involves analyzing or evaluating may require thinking skills that are no less complex than one that involves creating. It is generally understood, nonetheless, that lower order thinking skills are subsumed by, and provide the foundation for higher order thinking skills.
The Knowledge Dimension classifies four types of knowledge that learners may be expected to acquire or construct— ranging from concrete to abstract (Table 1).
(Table 1 adapted from Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, p. 46.)
*Metacognitive knowledge is a special case. In this model, “metacognitive knowledge is knowledge of [one’s own] cognition and about oneself in relation to various subject matters . . . ” (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, p. 44).
This taxonomy provides a framework for determining and clarifying learning objectives.
Learning activities often involve both lower order and higher order thinking skills as well as a mix of concrete and abstract knowledge.
The Cognitive Process Dimension represents a continuum of increasing cognitive complexity—from lower order thinking skills to higher order thinking skills. Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) identify nineteen specific cognitive processes that further clarify the scope of the six categories (Table 2).
Table 2. The Cognitive Processes dimension — categories & cognitive processes and alternative names
(Table 2 adapted from Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, pp. 67–68.)
A statement of a learning objective contains a verb (an action) and an object (usually a noun).
- The verb generally refers to [actions associated with] the intended cognitive process.
- The object generally describes the knowledge students are expected to acquire
or construct. (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, pp. 4–5)
In this model, each of the colored blocks shows an example of a learning objective that generally corresponds with each of the various combinations of the cognitive process and knowledge dimensions.
Remember: these are learning objectives—not learning activities.
It may be useful to think of preceding each objective with something like: “Students will be able to …”
*Anderson, L.W. (Ed.), Krathwohl, D.R. (Ed.), Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M.C. (2001).
A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Complete edition). New York: Longman.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Activities
On the following three pages are 40 specific literature activities listed in rising levels of difficulty, skill development, and critical thinking. These may be adapted to different types of literature, as well as providing the teacher with flexible types of activities to match the differing abilities, needs, and aspirations of students in the modern classroom. Such an overall scope and framework allows the teacher to plan with assurance that all students are provided with activities designed to develop the full range of their cognitive abilities.
This level provides the student an opportunity to recall fundamental facts and information about the story. Success at this level will be evidenced by the student’s ability to . . .
■ Match character names with pictures of the characters.
■ Identify the main characters in a crossword puzzle.
■ Match statements with the characters who said them.
■ List the main characteristics of one of the main characters in a WANTED poster.
■ Arrange scrambled story pictures in sequential order.
■ Arrange scrambled story sentences in sequential order.
■ Recall details about the setting by creating a picture of where a part of the story took place.
This level provides the student an opportunity to demonstrate a basic understanding of the story. Success at this level will be evidenced by the student’s ability to . . .
■ Interpret pictures of scenes from the story.
■ Explain selected ideas or parts from the story in his or her own words.
■ Draw a picture showing what happened before and after a passage or illustration found in the book.
■ Predict what could happen next in the story before the reading of the entire book is completed.
■ Construct a pictorial time line which summarizes what happens in the story.
■ Explain how the main character felt at the beginning, middle, and/or end of the story.
This level provides the student an opportunity to use information from the story in a new way. Success at this level will be evidenced by the student’s ability to . . .
■ Classify the characters as human, animal, or thing.
■ Transfer a main character to a new setting.
■ Make finger puppets and act out a part of the story.
■ Select a meal that one of the main characters would enjoy eating; plan a menu, and a method of serving it.
■ Think of a situation that occurred to a character in the story and write about how he or she would have handled the situation differently.
■ Give examples of people the student knows who have the same problems as the characters in the story.
This level provides the student an opportunity to take parts of the story and examine these parts carefully in order to better understand the whole story. Success at this level will be evidenced by the student’s ability to . . .
■ Identify general characteristics (stated and/or implied) of the main characters.
■ Distinguish what could happen from what couldn’t happen in the story in real life.
■ Select parts of the story that were funniest, saddest, happiest, and most unbelievable.
■ Differentiate fact from opinion.
■ Compare and/or contrast two of the main characters.
■ Select an action of a main character that was exactly the same as something the student would have done.
This level provides the student with opportunity to put parts from the story together in a new way to form a new idea or product. Success at this level will be evidenced by the student’s ability to . . .
■ Write three new titles for the story that would give a good idea what it is about.
■ Create a poster to advertise the story so people will want to read it.
■ Create a new product related to the story.
■ Restructure the roles of the main characters to create new outcomes in the story.
■ Compose and perform a dialogue or monologue that will communicate the thoughts of the main characters at a given point in the story.
■ Imagine that he or she is one of the main characters and write a diary account of daily thoughts and activities.
■ create an original character and tell how the character would fit into the story.
■ Write the lyrics and music to a song that one of the main characters would sing if he/she became a rock star—and then perform it.
This level provides the student with an opportunity to form and present an opinion backed by sound reasoning. Success at this level will be evidenced by the student’s ability to . . .
■ Decide which character in the selection he or she would most like to spend a day with and why.
■ Judge whether or not a character should have acted in a particular way and why.
■ Decide if the story really could have happened and justify the decision.
■ Consider how this story can help the student in his or her own life.
■ Appraise the value of the story.
■ Compare the story with another one the student has read.
■ Write a recommendation as to why the book (story) should be read or not.
Other resources can be found below:
Blooms Flower for classroom display: