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Levels of thinking (adapted from "Bloom's Taxonomy")

When we study history, there are different levels of thinking skills that we can use, depending on the types of questions that we ask. While the lower levels (LOTS) are necessary as a foundation for historical understanding, we will also try to incorporate the higher levels (HOTS) as much as possible, with an emphasis on original, critical thinking and analysis.

Level 1: Knowledge - exhibits previously learned material by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers.

Key words: who, what, when, omit, where, which, choose, find, how, define, label, show, spell, list, match, name, relate, tell, recall, select


Level 2: Comprehension - demonstrating understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions and stating main ideas.

Key words: compare, contrast, demonstrate, interpret, explain, extend, illustrate, infer, outline, relate, rephrase, translate, summarize, show, classify


Level 3: Application - solving problems by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way.

Key words: apply, build, choose, construct, develop, interview, make use of, organize, experiment with, plan, select, solve, utilize, model, identify


Level 4: Analysis - examining and breaking information into parts by identifying motives or causes; making inferences and finding evidence to support generalizations.

Key words: analyze, categorize, compare, contrast, discover, dissect, divide, examine, inspect, simplify, survey, take part in, test for, distinguish, list, distinction, theme, relationships, function, motive, inference, assumption, conclusion.


Level 5: Synthesis - compiling information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.

Key Words: build, choose, combine, compile, compose, construct, create, design, develop, estimate, formulate, imagine, invent, make up, originate, plan, predict, propose, solve, solution, suppose, discuss, modify, change, original, improve, adapt, minimize, maximize, delete, theorize, elaborate, test, improve, happen, change


Level 6: Evaluation - presenting and defending opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria.

Key Words: award, choose, conclude, criticize, decide, defend, determine, dispute, evaluate, judge, justify, measure, compare, mark, rate, recommend, rule on, select, agree, interpret, explain, appraise, prioritize, opinion, ,support, importance, criteria, prove, disprove, assess, influence, perceive, value, estimate, influence, deduct