Critical Thinking Skills - Questioning

Teachers use a guide, often referred to as "Bloom's Taxonomy" to plan questions for instruction. It it important for teachers to help students answer a variety of questions so that students learn to become critical thinkers. I believe in teaching students to become lifelong learners, and this is a key piece in achieving that goal. There are six different levels of questioning in Bloom's taxonomy. The lower level thinking skills are in the first half of the list, while the second half of the list includes the higher level thinking skills.

Level 1 - Knowledge

This level focuses on recalling bacis facts and concepts.

Key words to use in forming knowledge questions:

who, what, why, when, where, which, choose, find, how, define, label, show, spell, name, tell, select...

Level 2 - Comprehension

This level focuses on students demonstrating an understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, giving the main idea and describing.

Key words to use in forming comprehension questions:

compare, contrast, demonstrate, interpret, explain, outline, infer, illustrate, rephrase, summarize, show, classify, extend...

Level 3 - Application

This level focuses on students solving problems in new situations by applying prior knowledge.

Key words to use in forming application questions:

apply, construct, build, plan, develop, organize, select, choose, experiment with, identify, solve...

Level 4 - Analysis

This level focuses on students examining and breaking apart information.

Key words to use in forming analysis questions:

analyze, categorize, compare, dissect, divide, examine, list, test for, theme, relationships, motive, assumption, conclusion...

Level 5 - Synthesis

At this level students take pieces of knowledge and combine them to form a new whole.

Key words to use in forming synthesis questions:

adopt, assemble, collect, combine, form, design, develop, explain, create, predict, modify, construct, adapt, test, imagine...

Level 6 - Evaluation

At this level students form opinions by making judgments.

Key words to use in forming evaluation questions:

award, criticize, determine, judge, choose, compare, recommend, agree, support, prove, decide, justify, influence, perceive, disprove, appraise, conclude, defend, measure, select, prioritize, rate, assess, value...