Introduction to Bloom's taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification of cognitive skills into hierarchical levels of complexity that can help teacher teach and learners learn. While the affective and sensory domains have been given less attention, the cognitive domain has been the primary focus of most traditional education and is frequently used to structure curriculum learning objectives, assessments and activities. The image below visually demonstrates the hierarchy of Bloom’s taxonomy, separating lower order thinking skills form higher order thinking skills. 

Levels of cognition

According to Benjamin Bloom, there are six levels of cognition. Each of these levels of cognition have verbs that can be used in stating lesson objectives in preparing to teach. Some of the verbs that can be used to state lesson objectives are mentioned below together with the categorized level of cognition:

  1. Knowledge: remember or recall previous learned information.

    Example: recall country capitals, memorize a poem
    Verbs: define, repeat, list, name, …

  2. Comprehension: demonstrate an understanding of the facts.

    Example: summarize the plot of a story, explain a process in one’s one words
    Verbs: explain, interpret, paraphrase, defend, convert, estimate, …

  3. Application: apply knowledge to actual situations, use of a concept or method.

    Example: use a formula to solve a problem
    : apply, develop, restructure, illustrate, modify, …

  4. Analysis: break down objects/ideas into simpler parts and find evidence to generalize.

    Example: explain how the steps of the scientific process work together
    Verbs: analyze, compare, examine, contrast, investigate, experiment, …

  5. Evaluation: make and defend judgments based on internal evidence or external criteria.

    Example: make a judgment regarding an ethical dilemma
    evaluate, compose, criticize, appraise, defend, justify, support, …

  6. Creation: Compile component ideas into a new whole or propose alternatives.

    : design a new solution to a problem that acknowledges the previous failures
    Verbs: create, combine, compose, generate, reconstruct, rewrite, combine


   1.3 Levels of cognition                                               How Bloom's taxonomy is useful for teachers

Last modified: Monday, 2 March 2020, 2:21 PM