Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy with Newsela

In planning lessons, you know what it’s like to hone your lesson objective until it’s clear, rigorous, and achievable. After all, how can your students be successful unless everyone in the room understands the day’s goal?

As you seek to create these learning goals, you may have come across Bloom’s Taxonomy, a method of organizing skills for learning into categories. The most recent version of Bloom’s Taxonomy (revised in 2001) proposes that educational goals can be grouped into six main categories, starting with the most simple and concrete (Remembering)  and moving toward the more complex and abstract (Creating).

Bloom-Taxonomy

Using the Bloom’s Taxonomy categories as you plan your lesson can help you:

  • scaffold learning for your students
  • accurately measure student success
  • ensure your instruction is aligned with your assessment

For example, when teaching the concept of government to fourth-graders, you might want to ease students into the topic by first asking them to find and remember information about the U.S. government. Then, you might request that they apply what they’ve learned to help them understand how governments work in other countries. Finally, you might ask them to construct their own imaginary government based on the information they have gathered and skills they have practiced.

So how do Newsela’s articles and assessment tools align to Bloom’s Taxonomy? Quite nicely, we think. And when you add in your own creativity and teaching expertise, you’ll be able to use the taxonomy to extend learning even further.

Here are some examples of how we’ve categorized recent Newsela quiz questions using Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Level 1: Remember and recall information https://newsela.com/articles/rockmusic-college/id/12652/quiz/questions/41620/

Based on the article, which of the following sentences is true?

Level 2: Understand facts and concepts https://newsela.com/articles/copeland-balletfame/id/12606/quiz/questions/41346/

How is Misty different from other top dancers in her dance group?

Level 3: Apply new information https://newsela.com/articles/colorado-drought/id/11440/quiz/questions/38511/

How might Arizona use the map to renegotiate its water rights?

Level 4: Analyze information and make connections https://newsela.com/articles/samuelclemens-angelscamp/id/9585/quiz/questions/22394/

What is the connection between the introduction and the last two paragraphs in the article?

Level 5: Evaluate a claim or position https://newsela.com/articles/projectsyndicate-africadrones/id/12632/quiz/questions/41491/

Which sentence from the article directly supports the argument above?

Finally, we encourage you to challenge students by designing your own questions that align with Bloom’s Level 6: Create new ideas. To get you started, take a look at our paired-text exercises. Many of these ask students to use Level 6 skills such as considering hypothetical situations or imagining a connection between two individuals or concepts.

Then, use our customizable Write prompt feature to fill in questions of your own. (Here’s our Quick Start Guide to Write prompts.)

For example, you could assign students our recent wildly popular article about monkey selfies, then customize the Write prompt by adding one of these Level 6 extension questions:

  • If PETA wins the lawsuit, how might it affect animal photographers in the future?
  • Do you think that PETA has a strong case? Why or why not?
  • Imagine that you worked for PETA. Write a speech explaining why the monkey should own the rights to the photos.
  • If Slater had pressed the camera button himself, how might this have changed the events that followed?

Tweet us @newsela and let us know how you use Bloom’s Taxonomy to create high-quality learning objectives for your students.