Revised Bloom's Taxonomy and English Language Arts

Web address:

Definitions of Critical Thinking

1. "Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action" (Scriven, 1996).

2. "Critical thinking is thinking that assesses itself" (Center for Critical Thinking, 1996b).

Activity: Characteristics of Critical Thinking


Activity: Revised Bloom's Taxonomy and Critical Thinking

The North Carolina Essential Standards were developed based on Revised Bloom's Taxonomy (RBT). While the Common Core State Standards were not based on RBT, using this taxonomy can push our students to think more critically and creatively.

This activity is based on the following book:

Bellanca, J. A., Fogarty, R. J., & Pete, B. M. (2012). How to teach thinking skills within the common core: 7 key proficiencies of the new national standards. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
how to teach thinking skills.jpg

Each table will work with one of the verbs from Revised Bloom's Taxonomy. For this Haywood County presentation, we will have handouts, but feel free to explore the links more on your own time.
  1. Read the vignette, description of the verb, and the "Looks Like/Sounds Like" table.
  2. Explore the graphic organizer or acrostics found on the Solution Tree website.
  3. Create an instructional strategy and assessment aligned with your verb.
  4. Decide where in the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy table your strategy, assessment, or reflection fits.
  5. Record your thoughts on chart paper. Each group will have 20 minutes to work and will then share out.


Visit the Solution Tree website for reproducibles and live links:

Revised Bloom's Taxonomy resources:


Question Activity

Read the article provided at your table. As you read, record questions in the margins that you might ask students, or that you think about as a reader.
Share your questions with your table group, then categorize the questions into each level of RBT. If any of the verbs are not addressed with your questions,
develop several as a table group to fit that category. Write at least one question per taxonomy level on chart paper.


"Why Men Fail" by David Brooks

"Blissfully Lost in the Woods" by Nicholas Kristof

Tools for Classroom Use

Tools, Strategies, and Resources Used in this Session

Web 2.0 Tools and Activities

  • Poll Everywhere: A free online polling service. Ask students questions and get answers back via text or online. Instantaneous formative assessment. Create open-ended or multiple choice polls.

  • Tagul: Tagul is a web service that enables you to create gorgeous tag clouds.

  • Modified Jigsaw: Students break into groups, and each person has a number. Then, like a [[#|jigsaw puzzle]], each team member breaks away from their group to join all of the like numbers from another group. For example, Jackson is a #3 in a group of five students. When the teacher gives the signal, Jackson joins the four other #3s in the classroom to form an “expert” group. In the expert groups, each student learns about information that they will take back to their jigsaw group to share. The success of the jigsaw group is contingent upon each member’s expert knowledge that is brought back into the jigsaw. This is a great method of differentiation and a way to help students see each other as imparters of knowledge.

  • Graffiti Write: In graffiti write, students are provided a concept or topic and asked to write everything they know about a specific topic on [[#|chart paper]], a [[#|white board]], or other large sheet of paper. Their responses should look “graffiti-like.” Students should not write in straight lines or be forced to write in complete sentences. This is a brainstorming activity that can be used as a pre-assessment or a review. Teachers may opt to have students rotate through several stations and either add to or review the work of their peers. (See Gallery Walk.)

  • GIST: Students read a passage and highlight or determine the 7 most important words or concepts in the passage. (The teacher will provide a specific number of words from 5-10, but it is important NOT to go over 10. Students then pair to share their lists and come to consensus on the top 7 number of words. During this time, students will have to justify, explain, and evaluate the text in order to come to consensus. Once consensus is reached, the students then write a 1-2 sentence summary of their reading, incorporating as many of their important words as possible.

  • Tricider: Collect ideas and then vote on your favorite. Tricider makes it easy to share ideas as well as pros and cons that accompany each..

  • Google Docs: Create and share online documents, presentations, charts, etc. Also create online surveys that allow for easy data collection.

  • Animoto: Creating a music video from images couldn’t be any easier! With Animoto,, users upload images/video clips and choose music. The program does the rest by importing transitions, creating a visual slideshow that will remind you of a music video. Free registration allows you to create 30 second videos, but teachers can register to create full-length (3 minute) videos at no cost. Animoto can also be used by students to allow them an opportunity to express their knowledge/understanding.

  • Smore: Design beautiful online flyers and publish instantly.

  • Piktochart: Have graphics tell a story from your information. Infographics are an awesome way to tell stories out of data. With a lite set of professional design tools, Piktochart helps you create wow presentations to engage your web audience. Combine themes, shapes, icons, vectors, text, uploaded images, chart exporter (8 types of visualizations) to create the story you want.

  • aMap: aMap is short for ‘argument map’. The idea is to promote the art of arguing by mapping out debates in a simple visual format.

Additional Resources Related to Creativity and Innovation