Bloom’s Thinking Prompts
*For more information on Bloom's Taxonomy, click here

Questions related to the six thinking skills in Bloom’s Taxonomy are purposely constructed to ensure students are stimulated to respond at all levels of the cognitive domain, especially the higher levels. Students may be asked to respond through quick writes, learning logs, tests, creative writing that answers the six prompts, role-audience-format-topic (RAFT) activities, or other writing or speaking activities.

Use before, during, and after reading to:
· Establish a purpose for reading
· Help students develop their thinking skills at all levels of cognition
· Ensure learning assignments respond to all levels of cognition
· Deepen student comprehension of text, especially at the higher levels
· Stimulate original thinking through the use of open-ended questions
· Provide an array of questions to support differentiation in students’ products to demonstrate what they have learned

1. Assess the cognitive demands of the reading assignment to determine which of the six levels of thinking are required for students to understand what they are reading.
2. Explicitly teach the students about Bloom’s Taxonomy of Critical Thinking and share a copy of the cue questions with them.
3. Develop questions in advance about the text and give them to students before they read, to provide a purpose for engaging with the text.
4. Model how to respond to Bloom’s thinking levels through think-alouds, whole group discussions, small group discussions, paired answers, and other methods to learn how to answer questions at the six levels.
5. Once students are comfortable with the six levels of thinking skills, assign independent after-reading tasks using questions from the chart.

· Provide choice for student responses by offering several questions from which they select one to answer for each of the six levels.
· Have students use the chart when previewing text before they read to set their own purposes for reading.
· Ask students to construct questions and answers about what they have read, using the cue questions on the chart.

Lower-order thinking skills
Higher-order thinking skills
· What is ?
· How is ?
· Where is ?
· When did _ happen?
· How did happen?
· How would you explain ?
· Why did ?
· How would you describe ?
· Can you recall ?
· How would you show ?
· Can you select ?
· Who (what) were the main ?
· Can you list three ?
· What are the parts or features of ?
· How is _ related to ?
· Why do you think ?
· What is the theme ?
· What motive is there ?
· What conclusions can you draw ?
· How would you classify ?
· Can you identify the different parts ?
· What evidence can you find ?
· What is the relationship between ?
· Can you make a distinction between ?
· What is the function of ?
· What ideas justify ?
· How would you classify the type of ?
· How would you compare ? contrast ?
· How would you rephrase the meaning ?
· What facts or ideas show ?
· What is the main idea of ?
· Which statements support ?
· Can you explain what is meant ?
· What can you say about ?
· Which is the best answer ?
· How would you summarize ?
· Do you agree with the actions? the outcomes?
· What is your opinion of ?
· How would you prove ? disprove ?
· Can you assess the value or importance of ?
· What would you recommend ?
· How would you rate or evaluate the ?
· What choice would you have made ?
· How would you prioritize ?
· What details would you use to support the view ?
· Why was it better than ?
· How would you use ?
· What examples can you find to ?
· How would you solve _ using what you have learned ?
· How would you organize _ to show?
· How would you show your understanding of ?
· What approach would you use to ?
· How would you apply what you learned to develop ?
· What other way would you plan to ?
· What would result if ?
· Can you make use of the facts to ?
· What elements would you choose to change ?
· What facts would you select to show ?
· What questions would you ask in an interview with ?
· What changes would you make to solve ?
· How would you improve ?
· What would happen if ?
· Can you elaborate on the reason ?
· Can you propose an alternative ?
· Can you invent ?
· How would you adapt _ to create a different ?
· How could you change (modify) the plot (plan) ?
· What could be done to minimize (maximize) ?
· What way would you design ?
· What could be combined to improve (change) ?
· How would you test or formulate a theory for ?
· Can you predict the outcome if ?
· Can you construct a model that would change ?
· Can you think of an original way for the ?

Activity: Generating Writing Prompts That Stimulate Critical Thinking

Directions: Read the selection below. Working alone or with a partner, create one question for each thinking level that would help the reader think more deeply about the concepts of this story. When you finish, share your ideas with others who have finished.

Application: _
Analysis: _
Evaluation: _
Synthesis: _

“The Empty Table” (Source: Unknown)
The noisy lunchroom made Sid feel lonely. All the kids were talking with their friends. He sat at an empty table and stared at his lunch. When his parents told him they were going to move from the city, he had felt a little worried. After all, he’d be leaving the friends he had grown up with. But he hadn’t known he’d feel so out of place, so lost. This was the third day of school. He still didn’t have a friend. A boy approached.
“M-m-mind if I sit here?” he asked.
“Yeah—OK, sure,” Sid answered. He was glad to have company—any company. The skinny kid with braces, glasses, and stuck out ears sat in the chair next to Sid.
“New in the school, huh?” the kid mumbled between nibbles.
“Yeah, from the city,” Sid said.
“I bet you’re scared being in a new school—not knowing anybody. You’ll make friends. Around here, though, you’ve got to know the right guys. See that table over there? That’s Mark White’s crowd. He’s the sharp guy with black hair. See the other table? Over there—that’s Ed Gralick’s crew. I’m Terry Ward.”
“I’m Sid Thomas.” The bell rang.
“See you tomorrow, Sid,” Terry said. “Same table.”
Sid was feeling better. Now he had a friend. For the next few weeks Sid and Terry ate lunch together every day. Sid met a few other kids. But Terry was his only real friend. Then one morning Sid learned that tryouts were to be held for the basketball team. Basketball was his sport—he couldn’t wait. At the tryouts Sid put on quite a show. From outside the foul line he fired jump shots that whipped through the hoop. He tossed long shots from the corners. And, using either hand, he popped in hook shots from under the boards. Sid knew he would make the team—so did everyone. The next day at lunch Sid was surrounded by backslapping boys and smiling girls. He was going to be the star of the team. They all said so. Mark White and Ed Gralick sat on either side of Sid. Then Terry appeared.
“What’s up, four eyes?” Ed snarled.
“Ya lost or something?” chuckled Mark.
“You know this square, Sid?” asked Ed.
Sid looked at Terry. He saw his stuck out ears, glasses, braces, and puny arms. “Nah, never saw him before,” Sid replied. Terry turned and walked across the lunchroom to an empty table.
Bloom’s Critical Thinking Cue Word List to Deepen Thinking

Lower-order thinking skills Higher-order thinking skills
· Called
· Describe
· How many
· Identify
· Is, are
· Label
· List
· Memorize
· Name
· Recall
· Recognize
· Repeat
· Select
· State
· What, what is/are/does
· When
· Where
· Which
· Who
· Allow, not allow, criteria
· Analyze, assess
· But, except, exception
· Cause
· Check
· Classify, organize
· Compare, contrast
· Conclude, conclusion
· Correct, proper, incorrect
· Determine, diagnose, suspect
· Difference, differs
· Distinguish, differentiate
· Divide, break apart
· Evidence
· Examine
· Failure
· Idea, concept
· Identify, indicate
· If, if - then
· Infer
· Like, unlike
· Logical
· Makes
· Define
· Discuss
· Example
· Explain
· How
· Locate
· Mean
· Paraphrase
· Restate
· Summarize
· Translate
· Visualize
· Advantages
· Affect
· Agree
· Appraise
· Appropriate
· Assess
· Better, best (-er, -est words)
· Choose
· Consider
· Criticize
· Defend
· Disagree
· Evaluate
· Importance
· Action
· Apply
· Assemble
· Build a model
· Calculate
· Construct
· Demonstrate
· Do, be done
· Dramatize
· Draw
· Duplicate, reproduce
· Function
· Give example
· Adapt
· Alternative
· Change, substitute
· Could
· Create
· Elaborate
· Formulate
· Imagine
· Improve
· Invent
· Maximize
· Minimize