Bloom’s Taxonomy question stems is a tool for educators that will help them create and scaffold questions to meet the needs of their learners. It can be challenging to know where to start when setting a question for your students, but you’ll have all the tools necessary with this resource!
Bloom’s taxonomy is a multi-layered model for encouraging learning by progressing through six levels of increasing complexity. Bloom’s taxonomy encourages learners to engage with knowledge at a deeper and more interactive level, working with what they are learning in the real-world sense, rather than passively taking information on board.
Question stems are used to generate questions that respond to each level in the taxonomy. Below is a comprehensive list of question stems for all levels that teachers in the class can use.
Remembering is the act of retrieving knowledge and can be used to produce things like definitions or lists. The student must be able to recall or recognise information and concepts. The teacher must present information about a subject to the student, ask questions that require the student to recall that information and provide written or verbal assessment that can be answered by remembering the information learnt.
- Can you name all the …?
- Describe what happens when …?
- How is (are) …?
- How would you define …?
- How would you identify …?
- How would you outline …?
- How would you recognise…?
- List the … in order.
- What do you remember about …?
- What does it mean?
- What happened after?
- What is (are) …?
- What is the best one?
- What would you choose …?
- When did …?
- Where is (are) …?
- Which one …?
- Who spoke to …?
- Who was …?
- Why did …?
The next level in the taxonomic structure is Understanding, which is defined as the construction of meaning and relationships. Here the student must understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read and interpret or summarise the ideas in their own words. The teacher must ask questions that the student can answer in their own words by identifying the main idea.
- Can you clarify…?
- Can you illustrate …?
- Condense this paragraph.
- Contrast …
- Does everyone think in the way that … does?
- Elaborate on …
- Explain why …
- Give an example
- How can you describe
- How would you clarify the meaning
- How would you compare …?
- How would you differentiate between …?
- How would you describe…?
- How would you generalise…?
- How would you identify …?
- Is it valid that …?
- Is this the same as …?
- Outline …
- Select the best definition
- State in your own words
- This represents …
- What are they saying?
- What can you infer from …?
- What can you say about …?
- What could have happened next?
- What did you observe?
- What does this mean?
- What expectations are there?
- What information can you infer from…?
- What is the main idea of …?
- What restrictions would you add?
- What seems likely?
- What seems to be …?
- What would happen if …?
- What would happen if …?
- Which are the facts?
- Which statements support …?
The third level in Bloom’s taxonomy, Applying, marks a fundamental shift from the pre-Bloom’s learning era because it involves remembering what has been learnt, having a good understanding of the knowledge, and applying it to real-world exercises, challenges or situations. Students must apply an abstract idea in a concrete case to solve a problem or relate it to prior experience. The teacher must provide opportunities for students to use theories and problem-solving techniques in new situations and review and check their work. Assessment questions should be provided that allow students to define and solve problems.
- Can you group by characteristics such as …?
- Choose the best statements that apply
- Clarify why …
- Do you know of another instance where …?
- Draw a story map
- Explain why a character acted in the way that he did
- From the information given, can you develop a set of instructions about …?
- How could you develop …?
- How would you change …?
- How would you demonstrate…?
- How would you develop … to present ?
- How would you explain …?
- How would you modify …?
- How would you present…?
- How would you solve … ?
- Identify the results of …
- Illustrate the …
- Judge the effects of … What would result …?
- Predict what would happen if …
- Tell how much change there would be if …
- Tell what would happen if …
- What actions would you take to perform …?
- What do you think could have happened next?
- What examples can you find that ?
- What other way would you choose to …?
- What questions would you ask of …?
- What was the main idea …?
- What would the result be if …?
- Which factors would you change if …?
- Who do you think…?
- Why does this work?
- Write a brief outline …
- Write in your own words …
Analysing is the cognitive level where students can take the knowledge they have remembered, understood and applied, then delve into that knowledge to make associations, discernments or comparisons. Students should break down a concept or idea into parts and show relationships between these parts. Teachers must give students time to examine concepts and their requisite elements. Students are required to explain why they chose a solution.
- Can you distinguish between …?
- Can you explain what must have happened when …?
- Determine the point of view, bias, values, or intent underlying the presented material
- Discuss the pros and cons of …
- How can you classify … according to …?
- How can you compare the different parts?
- How can you sort the different parts…?
- How is … connected to …?
- How is … similar to …?
- How would you categorise…?
- How would you explain ?
- If … happened, what might the ending have been?
- State the point of view of …
- What are some of the problems of …?
- What assumptions …?
- What can you infer about…?
- What can you point out about ?
- What conclusions …?
- What do you see as other possible outcomes?
- What does the author assume?
- What explanation do you have for …?
- What ideas justify the conclusion?
- What ideas validate…?
- What is the analysis of …?
- What is the function of …?
- What is the problem with …?
- What motive is there?
- What persuasive technique is used?
- What statement is relevant?
- What was the turning point?
- What were some of the motives behind …?
- What’s fact? Opinion?
- What’s the main idea?
- What’s the relationship between?
- Which events could not have happened?
- Why did … changes occur?
- Why do you think ?
The fifth level in Bloom’s Taxonomy is evaluation. This level requires the learner to make criteria-based judgements through the processes of critiquing and checking. Students must be able to make informed judgments about the value of ideas or concepts. They must use standards and criteria to support their opinions and views. The teacher must provide opportunities for students to make judgments based on appropriate criteria and have students demonstrate this using standards and benchmarks.
- Can you defend your position about …?
- Determine the value of …
- Do you believe …?
- Do you think … is a good or bad thing?
- Find the errors
- How could you verify …?
- How effective are …?
- How would you determine the facts …?
- How would you feel if …?
- How would you grade …?
- How would you have handled…?
- Is there a better solution to…?
- Judge the value of …
- Rank the importance of …
- Rate the …
- What are the alternatives?
- What are the consequences of…?
- What are the possible outcomes for…?
- What are the pros and cons of…?
- What changes to … would you recommend?
- What choice would you have made …?
- What criteria would you use to assess…?
- What data was used to evaluate …?
- What do you think about …?
- What fallacies, consistencies, inconsistencies appear?
- What influence will … have on our lives?
- What information would you use to prioritise?
- What is the most important …?
- What is your opinion of …?
- What sources could you use to verify…?
- What would you suggest ?
- Which is more important, moral, better, logical, valid, appropriate?
- Who will gain and who will lose?
- Why is … of value?
The final taxonomic level is concerned with taking various elements and creating a new, coherent product. This level draws on all of the other levels, with the learner remembering, understanding and applying knowledge, analysing and evaluating outcomes and processes, and then constructing the end product, which may be either physical or conceptual. Students must now be able to bring together parts of knowledge to form a whole and transfer these skills into new situations. The teacher must provide opportunities for students to demonstrate they can assemble parts of knowledge into a whole using creative thinking and problem-solving.
- Can you brainstorm a better solution for…?
- Can you create new and unusual uses for …?
- Can you design a … to …?
- Can you develop a proposal which would…?
- Can you see a possible solution to …?
- Devise a way to …
- How many ways can you…?
- How would you compile the facts for …?
- How would you elaborate on the reason …?
- How would you generate a plan to …?
- How would you improve …?
- How would you portray …?
- How would you test …?
- If you had access to all resources, how would you deal with …?
- List the ways you can…?
- Predict the outcome if …
- Propose an alternative. How else would you …?
- What changes would you make to revise …?
- What could you invent …?
- What facts can you gather …?
- What would happen if…?
- Why don’t you devise your own way to …?
If you are a teacher looking for ways to engage your students in learning, this blog post might be interesting for your classroom practice. Bloom’s Taxonomy question stems can help elicit higher-order thinking skills and promote critical thinking among learners at different taxonomy levels. These question stems can also encourage students to think about their knowledge through reflection before answering questions.
How do you use Bloom’s Taxonomy in your teaching? Let me know if this resource is helpful to you. I’d would love to hear about the ways this blog has helped or not helped your classroom!