Using Bloom's Taxonomy

Inverted Bloom's Taxonomy
Bloom's Taxonomy for Gifted Children. Carol Bainbridge

If you are familiar with Bloom's Taxonomy, have an idea of the different levels of cognitive skills in the taxonomy, and you are ready to prepare homeschooling lessons for your child or review your child's homework from school, you are ready to see exactly how the taxonomy works. You might want to have a look at some examples of questions to ask at each level to see how each level builds on the previous one.

Gifted children don't need to spend lot of time learning new information. They tend to have better memories and learn new concepts faster than non-gifted children. As you plan lessons for your homeschooled child, be sure to plan for less time for lower level cognitive skills and more time for higher level cognitive skills. As you review the lessons your child gets from his teacher, see how much time is being spent on each level. The levels, from lowest to highest, are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation.


Whenever you introduce a new concept or start a new unit, you first need to present your child with the facts. This is the level which requires some memorization, which is not something most gifted kids enjoy - unless the topic is one of their interests. But the facts form the foundation for the rest of the cognitive skills, so it is important that children learn them.

You can make it fun for your child by creating some different puzzles using the facts they are supposed to memorize. The Discovery Education Web site has a free puzzlemaker you can use to create word searches, cryptograms, and more. You can also make some crossword puzzles at

  The hints for crossword puzzles can be fact seeking questions, for example, "What is....," "Who is...," "When did ____ occur?"  You could even create a crossword puzzle for math facts, for example, "What is three times three?" 


It's one thing to have facts at your fingertips; it's another to understand them. At this level you can ask your child to compare and contrast, summarize, rephrase, classify or illustrate. Unless he understands the facts and concepts, your child will find it difficult to complete such tasks. For example, if you are studying trees, you could ask your child to compare and contrast different types of trees. You might find it useful to combine levels one and two. For instance, your child can learn about two different types of trees and then you can ask him to compare and contrast them before moving on to other types of trees. This can eliminate some of the tedium of just memorizing facts.


Once you know that your child knows and understands the information in the lesson, you can ask her to apply that information.

This could be asking your child to solve some math problems or draw pictures, write a story or play, create a diorama, or whatever else would require your child to use the information she learned. These kinds of activities help reinforce learning. If you want to test your child on information, ask questions that require your child to apply the information. For example, you could ask your child to discuss how a character in a story would behave in a different time or place.


At this level, you want to ask your child to break something down into parts. This can mean asking about the parts or features of something, whether that's a concept, a thing, or a person. It can also mean asking your child to identify motives or causes. For example, in a unit on reading, you might ask your child to explain why a character acted the way he or she did. Or you might ask your child to discuss the different characteristics of a character in a story.


At this level, children can take information and combine it in new and different ways or your child might suggest a different solution to some problem. For example, you might ask your child to suggest another solution to a problem that the main character of a story had. Your child could write an alternate conclusion to the story based on his solution. In a unit on invention, you might ask your child to suggest an invention to solve some problem.


This level has to be one that gifted children will enjoy working with because it asks children to make judgments and defend them. Their judgments would be based on criteria that they use to evaluate information and ideas. In a reading unit, you could ask your child to state whether she agrees with the actions of a character and then explain why she agrees or disagrees. Questions can be more open than that, too. For instance, children can be asked what their opinion is of a character or the character's actions. They can write about their opinion and their reasons for their opinion.

Additional Sources

Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Different Levels of Questions

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