Using Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy to Develop Learning Objectives

Using Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy to Develop Learning Objectives


Since it was published in 1956, teachers at all levels of education have used Bloom’s Taxonomy as an aid to develop measurable learning objectives for students. In its latest version, Bloom’s Taxonomy consists of six major categories, listed here from higher order to lower order: Create, Evaluate, Analyze, Apply, Understand, and Remember. Each level includes specific verbs that can aid in constructing learning objectives. Effective teaching aims to guide students from remembering toward creation.


Use Bloom’s Taxonomy to create higher order learning objectives that are specific, measurable, and performance-based. Clear and organized objectives help teachers to:

  • deliver appropriate instruction
  • design valid assessments
  • align instruction/assessment with the objectives.

Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy Hierarchy (2001):

6. Create: Generating, Planning, Producing

Related verbs: choose, support, relate, determine, defend, judge, grade, compare, contrast, argue, justify, support, convince, select, evaluate

5. Evaluate:Checking, Critiquing

Related verbs: design, formulate, build, invent, create, compose, generate, derive, modify, develop

4. Analyze: Differentiating, Organizing, Attributing

Related verbs: classify, outline, break down, categorize, analyze, diagram, illustrate

3. Apply: Executing, Implementing

Related verbs: calculate, predict, apply, solve, illustrate, use, demonstrate, determine, model

2. Understand: Interpreting, Exemplifying, Classifying, Summarizing, Inferring, Comparing, Explaining

Related verbs: describe, explain, paraphrase, restate, give original examples of, summarize, interpret, discuss

1. Remember: Recognizing, Recalling

Related  verbs: list, recite, define, name, match, quote, recall, identify, label, recognize



  • Identifying learning objectives requires careful, thorough analysis of lectures, lessons, and activities.


  • Beginner


Marzano, Robert J., and John S. Kendall. Designing & Assessing Educational Objectives: Applying the New Taxonomy. Thousand Oaks: Corwin, 2008. Print.

Task-Oriented Question Construction Wheel Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy ©2004 St. Edward’s University Center for Teaching Excellence.

Writing Objectives Using Bloom’s Taxonomy from UNC Charlotte Center for Teaching and Learning

Bloom’s Taxonomy from Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Anderson, Lorin W., and David R. Krathwohl. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman, 2001. Print.

Erica Andree

Director of the Center for Languages and International Collaboration at Pacific University

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