Back to Basics - Bloom's Taxonomy
What teacher ever made it out of college or the 90's without spending lots of time with Bloom's Taxonomy? I remember at least a dozen in-services based on this tool, but a good tool has multiple uses. The other day I was cleaning out my portable hard drive when I ran across some jpegs of Bloom's taxonomy I had tucked away and had an epiphany. When I read the verbage that was categorized by the taxonomy skills I realized that right before my eyes were great beginnings of real life language tasks waiting to be employed in my lessons. So, being the tinkerer that I am, I took the verbs and came up with a few ideas of my own...
- Restate a classmate's description of the person.
- Describe a photo of someone or something beautiful that you yourself have taken.
- Duplicate what you hear me say about myself, but personalize the content of your response.
- Tabulate the results of a class survey and report them to the class.
- Explain why the person is good-looking.
- Compare the person to a classmate.
- Predict what a classmate's opinion is of the person.
- Model writing sound sentences using X concept.
- Paraphrase part of a story or novel you are reading to your partner.
- Experiment with the new vocabulary and write three crazy sentences of your own.
- Complete the following statement: I don't like it when...
- Change the ending of the novel we are reading. Relate your ending to the class.
- Predict which classmates will wind up married in the future based on what they do in class now.
- Create a questionnaire about beauty / handsomeness and survey your classmates about it.
- Categorize your classmates into groups based on their responses to your questions about their favorite TV shows, songs and other favorites.
- Compare yourself to a character in the book/movie X.
- Criticize your partner's hobbies and pastimes. How should she spend her free time?
- Invent a new holiday. Explain what it is to the class and how it should be celebrated.
- Generalize about the activities of typical girls/boys in the U.S.
- Rewrite the story of Pobre Ana using a celebrity of your choice. How does the story change?
- Arrange an intervention for Justin Bieber. Who would you invite and what would you say?
- Critique a painting done by a Hispanic artist. Share your thoughts with the class.
- Argue against your schools rules about cell phones. Why should they be allowed or Why shouldn't they?
- Prioritize a list of chores that need to be done before a party you are hosting.
- Rank the most good-looking celebrities and justify the position you put them in.
- Grade a partner's composition and give him feedback.
When we vary the language tasks we have our students perform, we are adding depth to their practice, strengthening and expanding their proficiency. Granted, the linguistic task will always have to be appropriate for the proficiency level of the learner we are working with, but Bloom's reminds us that there is more to life than just describing and stating. I would even go as far as to say that our students get mentally bored when all they are asked to do is describe. We have to give them meatier tasks that evoke emotion and excite them about the topic otherwise why would they want to do what we are asking them to do? Also, why is Bloom's appropriate for their core classes, but often overlooked in the world language classroom? Consider finding a well organized Bloom's Wheel, printing it and keeping it near where you do your planning. Try to reference it at least one time per lesson and see if it doesn't add a little spice to the tasks you design for your students. It's a goal I have set for myself, too.