249 Bloom’s Taxonomy Verbs For Critical Thinking



Bloom’s Taxonomy’s verbs–also know as power verbs or thinking verbs–are extraordinarily powerful instructional planning tools.

In fact, next to the concept of backwards-design and power standards, they are likely the most useful tool a teacher-as-learning-designer has access to. Why?

They can be used for curriculum mapping, assessment design, lesson planning, personalizing and differentiating learning, and almost any other “thing” a teacher–or student–has to do.

For example, if a standard asks students to infer and demonstrate an author’s position using evidence from the text, there’s a lot built into that kind of task. First a student has to be able to define what an “author’s position” is and what “evidence from the text” means (Knowledge-level). They’ll then need to be able to summarize that same text (Understanding-level), interpret and infer any arguments or positions (Analysis-level), evaluate inherent claims (Evaluation-level), and then write (Creation-level) a response that demonstrates their thinking.

Though the chart below reads left to right, it’s ideal to imagine it as a kind of incline, with Knowledge at the bottom, and Create at the top. You may not always need this kind of tool to “unpack” standards and identify a possible learning sequence, but it also works ideally as an assessment design tool. If students can consistently work with the topic in the columns to the right–designing, recommending, differentiating, comparing and contrasting, and so on, then they likely have a firm grasp on the material.

While we’ve shared Bloom’s Taxonomy posters posters before, the simplicity and clean design of the chart format make it a bit more functional–even useful to hand to the students themselves as a hole-punch-and-keep-it-in-your-journal-for-the-year kind of resource. It also makes a powerful self-directed learning tool. Start at the left, and, roughly, move right.


249 Bloom’s Taxonomy Verbs For Critical Thinking  

  • Kathy Schrock

    Thanks for collating the list, but, as per Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, shouldn’t all the verbs be action verbs?

    • EBurm

      I agree, but I can’t find any that aren’t action verbs…? Maybe I’m just overlooking them. Can you give an example?

    • Kelly

      I dont’ see a problem. They are all action verbs. Mental actions are still actions.

  • Guest

    They are all action verbs. Mental actions are still actions.

  • Kathy Schrock

    I did not mean that…Krawthol and Anderson (the creators of Bloom’s Revised) specifically felt that action verbs indicate engaged thinking. That was one of their big changes. The levels are remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. All the verbs in the list, in my opinion, should be -ing verbs.

  • Floris Koot

    What a flawed list. Purely rational. Critical thinking needs feeling too. Like in “Something feels off/wrong here.” Intuition also is essential. So here’s the first feel action words for critical feeling: sensing, interpreting, love, hate, worry, laugh, laugh at, laugh with, laugh about, etc.