Bloom’s hierarchical classification from low-level to high-level thinking has proven invaluable for classroom instruction. The taxonomy provides a way to classify objectives and learning outcomes while showing its versatility as its use spread to a variety of educational applications. An important resource for writing objectives with verbs classified by level, the taxonomy helps teachers to track whether students are using higher-order thinking skills while engaged in a lesson.

Bloom’s taxonomy underwent a major revision by Krathwohl & Anderson (2001), as depicted in the Figure One. This revision allows teachers to identify the complexity of thinking required of the students by a lesson. The image below shows the increasing cognitive load and provides a short definition of each level.

The verbs associated with differing levels of thinking skills required for any given task provide guidance as a teacher writes outcomes of any lesson for a class. For instance, a lower order outcome may be: The student will recall multiplication tables one through four. A higher order outcome might be: The student will differentiate between nutritious foods and foods with processed ingredients. When teachers understand the complexity of thinking levels required by the lesson, they may ensure that students have a good balance among all skills in the spectrum.