Action Words for Bloom’s Taxonomy: Enhance Your Teaching and Assessments

Action Words for Bloom’s Taxonomy: Enhance Your Teaching and Assessments

If you are an educator, you are probably familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy – a framework that categorizes different levels of cognitive abilities that students can attain through learning. Bloom’s Taxonomy is widely used in education to guide lesson planning, create assessments, and assess student achievement. While the taxonomy provides a valuable foundation for teaching and learning, it is the action verbs that truly bring it to life.

The key to utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy lies in the verbs that are used to describe the different levels of thinking and learning. These action words serve as a guide for teachers to create lesson plans, organize learning activities, and assess student understanding. By using the appropriate action verbs, instructors can help students develop higher-order thinking skills and engage in critical thought.

When planning lessons and assessments that are based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, it is important to choose verbs that reflect the desired cognitive level. For example, if the goal is for students to understand a concept, verbs like “explain,” “describe,” and “define” can be used. If the goal is to analyze information, verbs like “analyze,” “compare,” and “contrast” are more appropriate. By selecting the right action words, teachers can create engaging and meaningful learning experiences for their students.

Bloom’s Taxonomy – Application Category

Key Verbs for the Application Category:

  • Apply
  • Demonstrate
  • Utilize
  • Implement
  • Operate
  • Translate
  • Administer
  • Execute
  • Practice
  • Simulate

When teachers design lessons and assessments that require application, they encourage students to think critically and demonstrate their understanding beyond simple recall. It pushes them to transfer their learning to real-world situations and make connections between different concepts and ideas.

Examples of application tasks could include creating a website, writing a book report, organizing data, analyzing a case study, or solving a complex problem. These tasks prompt students to apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities in meaningful ways.

As instructors, it is key to provide students with strategies and support to help them apply their learning effectively. This can include providing clear instructions, scaffolding activities, and offering opportunities for practice and feedback.

Assessments in the application category can involve a variety of formats, such as project-based assessments, open-ended questions, or real-world simulations. The goal is to assess students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills to achieve specific outcomes.

By incorporating the application category of Bloom’s taxonomy into teaching and assessing, educators can promote higher-order thinking and help students develop the abilities they need to succeed in the world beyond the classroom.

Examples of Assessments Based on Application Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy

When assessing student achievement at the application level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, instructors can utilize various strategies that require students to apply their knowledge and skills in meaningful ways. Here are some examples of assessments based on the application level:

  • Simulate a real-life scenario: Students can be asked to simulate a real-life situation that requires them to apply their knowledge and skills. For example, in a science class, students can simulate a laboratory experiment and analyze the results.
  • Organize information: Students can be given a set of information and asked to organize it in a meaningful way. For instance, in a history class, students can be asked to create a timeline of important events.
  • Solve problems: Students can be presented with a problem and asked to apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills to find a solution. For example, in a math class, students can be given a word problem and asked to solve it.
  • Write a book review: Students can be tasked with reading a book and writing a review that involves applying their understanding and evaluation of the book’s key themes and messages.
  • Conclude a lesson: Students can be asked to conclude a lesson by summarizing the main points and applying their understanding to answer questions related to the lesson content.
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These are just a few examples of assessments that are based on the application level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Teachers and educators can create their own assessments using action words that align with this level, such as “apply,” “utilize,” “translate,” and “create.” By designing assessments that require higher-level thinking and application of knowledge, instructors can help students develop and demonstrate their abilities at the application level.

Emporia State University’s website on Bloom’s Taxonomy provides additional resources and examples for assessing at the application level:

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy in Teaching – Emporia State University

When applying Bloom’s Taxonomy, it is important to consider the verbs that are used at each level. These action words help guide teachers in creating activities and assessments that target specific levels of thinking. For example, at the lowest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, students should be able to understand the information presented. This can be achieved through activities such as reading a book or listening to a lecture.

At the evaluate level, students are asked to assess the value or quality of something based on specific criteria. This may involve critiquing another student’s work or evaluating the effectiveness of a particular strategy. Finally, at the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, students are asked to create something new based on their understanding of the subject matter. This may involve writing a research paper or developing a presentation.

Emporia State University provides a list of verbs that can be used at each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. These verbs help instructors translate the different levels of thinking into action. For example, at the understand level, some verbs that can be used include describe, define, and translate. At the apply level, verbs like solve, use, and apply are appropriate. At the analyze level, verbs like compare, contrast, and organize can be used. At the evaluate level, verbs like assess, critique, and evaluate are applicable. Finally, at the create level, verbs like design, develop, and compose can be used.

By utilizing the stems and action words provided by Bloom’s Taxonomy, teachers can help students discover their own ability to think critically and creatively. This approach to education encourages students to go beyond simple memorization and engage with the material in a more meaningful way. It also helps teachers assess student learning and guide their lesson planning to ensure maximum achievement.

When using Bloom’s Taxonomy, it is important to remember that it is not a linear process. Students may cycle through the different levels of thinking multiple times within a single lesson or assignment. Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a framework for teachers to structure their lessons and assessments, but it is up to the instructors to create an environment that allows students to explore and apply their learning in a variety of ways.

Examples of Question Stems for Application Category

When planning assessments and teaching strategies within the Application category of Bloom’s Taxonomy, teachers can utilize question stems that prompt students to apply their knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems. These stems are based on action words that describe the applying, manipulating, and utilizing of information and concepts.

Here are some examples of question stems for the Application category:

  1. How would you apply the concept of [insert concept] to [insert real-world scenario]?
  2. Can you solve [insert problem] by using [insert strategy]?
  3. What strategies would you utilize to [insert task]?
  4. Can you translate the information from [insert source] into [insert format]?
  5. When faced with [insert challenge], how would you apply [insert skill] to overcome it?
  6. How do you apply the theories learned in class to your own experiences?
  7. Can you manipulate [insert object] to create [insert outcome]?
  8. What are some examples of how [insert concept] can be applied in everyday life?
  9. When working on [insert project], what strategies did you use to apply the concepts learned?
  10. Based on your understanding of [insert topic], how would you apply this knowledge to [insert situation]?
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By asking these types of questions, instructors can assess the students’ abilities to apply their learning in practical ways. It also helps students enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they use their knowledge to analyze, evaluate, and create meaningful solutions.

How Does Bloom’s Taxonomy Work

The taxonomy consists of six levels: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Each level is associated with a set of action verbs that describe the type of thinking and learning involved. For example:


  • Recall
  • List
  • Define


  • Explain
  • Summarize
  • Interpret

As educators, we can use these action words when planning our lessons and assessments. By incorporating the appropriate action verbs, we can guide students to think at higher levels of cognitive complexity.

When designing a lesson, we can start with lower-level thinking skills, such as remembering and understanding, and gradually move towards higher-level skills, like applying and evaluating. This progression helps students build a solid foundation of knowledge and then apply that knowledge in more complex and meaningful ways.

For example, instead of asking a simple recall question like “What is the capital of France?”, we can ask students to analyze and evaluate by posing a question like “How would the history of Europe have been different if Paris was not the capital of France?”. This kind of question requires students to not only understand the concept of a capital city but also to think critically and consider the broader implications.

In addition to guiding our teaching, Bloom’s Taxonomy can also help us assess student learning. We can use the action verbs associated with each level to create assessments that align with our desired learning outcomes.

For example, if our goal is for students to be able to analyze a text, we can design an assessment that asks them to analyze and interpret a passage. By using the appropriate action verbs, we can assess whether students have achieved the desired level of thinking and understanding.

By utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy, educators can create a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to teaching and assessing student learning. By focusing on the different levels of cognitive achievement, we can help students develop their critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity.


Can you explain the concept of Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical framework that classifies learning objectives into different cognitive levels and describes the thinking skills required for each level.

How can Bloom’s Taxonomy be used in teaching?

Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used in teaching to help educators design effective lesson plans and assessments by providing a structure for developing learning objectives and determining the level of cognitive complexity required.

What are some examples of action words or key verbs in the application category of Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Some examples of action words or key verbs in the application category of Bloom’s Taxonomy include apply, demonstrate, illustrate, solve, use, show, employ, develop, and implement.

What are some strategies for using Bloom’s Taxonomy in lesson planning?

Some strategies for using Bloom’s Taxonomy in lesson planning include: identifying the desired cognitive level of learning, selecting appropriate learning objectives, designing activities and tasks that require students to think at the desired level, and developing assessments that align with the intended learning objectives.

How does Bloom’s Taxonomy work in assessing achievement?

Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a framework for assessing achievement by differentiating between lower- and higher-order thinking skills. Assessments can be designed to target specific cognitive levels and evaluate student understanding and application of knowledge.

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy and how can it enhance teaching and assessments?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a framework that categorizes learning objectives into six levels of cognitive complexity. It can enhance teaching and assessments by providing clear guidelines for designing curriculum, creating learning objectives, and evaluating student understanding. By using the various levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, teachers can better engage students in critical thinking, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking skills.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.