It’s a family tradition. Every year, around the Fourth of July, we head to Maine to visit my grandparents. I look forward to this trip every year. However, this year’s trip held a special place in my heart. I will have to wait two years to set foot in the great state of Maine again as I will be in Malaysia next July. Until then, I’ll have these photographs to remind me of the journey.
“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”
- Anatole France
Think back to your days in an introductory-level education or psychology course. If I were to guess, you were most likely exposed to Bloom’s Taxonomy when you discussed higher-level thinking. The taxonomy is a visual representation of the different levels of thinking learners engage with while processing information. Lower-level questioning can be categorized at the bottom of the model: simple fact recall and comprehension questions. Higher-order questions fall in the upper levels of the model: applying information or analyzing content.
During my undergraduate coursework and early in my teaching career, I have found myself referring back to this model to help guide my instruction. Teaching in its purest form is effective questioning. As an educator, I am responsible for guiding my students on a path towards understanding. One of the most effective, and student-friendly, ways of doing this is through questioning. To be an impactful teacher is to be a skillful questioner.
But this is where it can get tricky: how can we, as educators, take what we know about Bloom’s taxonomy and higher-order questioning and apply it in a day-to-day classroom setting? Thankfully, I stumbled upon this Curriculet article. The article addressed this exact issue by generated question stems for each of the levels in Bloom’s taxonomy. The stems are laid out below. I hope that these stems will find their way into your classroom, I know they will end up in mine.
Level 1: Remember – Recalling Information
Key words: Recognize, List, Describe, Retrieve, Name, Find, Match, Recall, Select, Label, Define, Tell
- What is…?
- Who was it that…?
- Can you name…?
- Describe what happened after…?
- What happened after…?
Level 2: Understand – Demonstrate an understanding of facts, concepts and ideas
Key words: Compare, Contrast, Demonstrate, Describe, Interpret, Explain, Extend, Illustrate, Infer, Outline, Relate, Rephrase, Translate, Summarize, Show, Classify
- Can you explain why…?
- Can you write in your own words?
- Write a brief outline of…?
- Can you clarify…?
- Who do you think…?
- What was the main idea?
Level 3: Apply – Solve problems by applying knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a unique way
Key words: Apply, Build, Choose, Construct, Demonstrate, Develop, Draw, Experiment with, Illustrate, Interview, Make use of, Model, Organize, Plan, Select, Solve, Utilize
- Do you know of another instance where…?
- Demonstrate how certain characters are similar or different?
- Illustrate how the belief systems and values of the characters are presented in the story.
- What questions would you ask of…?
- Can you illustrate…?
- What choice does … (character) face?
Level 4: Analyze – Breaking information into parts to explore connections and relationships
Key words: Analyze, Categorize, Classify, Compare, Contrast, Discover, Divide, Examine, Group, Inspect, Sequence, Simplify, Make Distinctions, Relationships, Function, Assume, Conclusions
- Which events could not have happened?
- If … happened, what might the ending have been?
- How is… similar to…?
- Can you distinguish between…?
- What was the turning point?
- What was the problem with…?
- Why did… changes occur?
Level 5: Evaluate – Justifying or defending a position or course of action
Key words: Award, Choose, Defend, Determine, Evaluate, Judge, Justify, Measure, Compare, Mark, Rate, Recommend, Select, Agree, Appraise, Prioritize, Support, Prove, Disprove. Assess, Influence, Value
- Judge the value of…
- Can you defend the character’s position about…?
- Do you think… is a good or bad thing?
- Do you believe…?
- What are the consequences…?
- Why did the character choose…?
- How can you determine the character’s motivation when…?
Level 6: Create – Generating new ideas, products or ways of viewing things
Key words: Design, Construct, Produce, Invent, Combine, Compile, Develop, Formulate, Imagine, Modify, Change, Improve, Elaborate, Plan, Propose, Solve
- What would happen if…?
- Can you see a possible solution to…?
- Do you agree with the actions?…with the outcomes?
- What is your opinion of…?
- What do you imagine would have been the outcome if… had made a different choice?
- Invent a new ending.
- What would you cite to defend the actions of…?
“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less.”
Tech companies across the globe have been beefing up their offerings for this year’s World Cup in Brazil. While social media outlets such as Twitter have been providing new services such as minute-by-minute updates and “hashflags,”, Google has taken things one step further. Google Trends provides analysis of “what’s happening now.” Through simple yet powerful graphics and maps, Google helps to contextualize global events. Needless to say their World Cup special feature is spectacular. Take a look at how the world reacted to the United States’ most recent match against Portugal on Sunday:
Left wanting more? Check out Google’s analysis of the USA’s previous match: Match 13; GHAvUSA
Upset that graduation season has come to an end? Are you left looking for more inspirational messages delivered during commencement addresses? Or are you simply interested in prestigious academic institution’s ceremonial regalia? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions check out National Public Radio’s recent page: The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever. The page includes inspirational excerpts from over 300 speeches, see below, as well as archived video.
For more inspiration, as well as in-depth reporting, check out NPR’s website.