Higher Order Thinking and Questioning


At Darlinghurst, we encourage higher order thinking and questioning

Critical thinking skills allow a child to think independently, find and fix mistakes, solve problems, evaluate alternatives, and reflect on their own beliefs.

Bloom's Taxonomy provides learning levels to increase higher order thinking skills for children of all ages. The levels include remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate, and create.

The way a parent or teacher talks to a child, engaging them in learning, and activities that they provide for learning should have a basis on Bloom's Taxonomy.

At Darlinghurst School, we want to encourage children to think for themselves. We want them to have the skills necessary to listen, analyse and interpret the information that will be a constant part of their lives. Memory and understanding are part of this process, but to succeed in further processing this flow of knowledge requires higher level techniques.

Remember & Understand

The Remember and Understand levels are where most teachers and parents typically ask questions of their children. This includes questions that involve who, what, where, when, and why. Basically, the child just need to memorize the information and then spit it back out on a test.

Apply & Analyse

At the Apply and Analyse levels, as a parent, you can take a basic activity that would require a child to learn basic facts and then add a twist. For example, you can ask your child to do things like predict what will happen next in a story or to predict what would happen if you made a change to the story. They could also share if they had to write a sequel to a story, how would it begin? You can ask them to illustrate a math word problem or draw a scene from their favourite part of a story they are reading.

Evaluate and Create

At the Evaluate and Create levels a child would be asked to debate, work in groups, write reflective summaries about literature, make decisions and challenge situations. Activities at home that would integrate these activities would be teaching your child how to build a model car or robot from a kit, have them write and perform a play based on a topic they're learning in school, come up with their own creative project for a museum.


Here are some examples of how to use Bloom's Taxonomy with your child:

Most questions asked of children fall in either the Remembering or Understanding level. As a parent you can help your child to use critical thinking skills and work on exercising their mind so that they can develop as higher order thinkers.

Here are some examples you may like to try, for questions beyond remembering and understanding, within the next four stages of Blooms Taxonomy.

Applying: Ask your child how they would solve a given real-life problem. Ask why they think something is significant. Ask your child to continue a story or predict what would happen in a given situation. Encourage your child to make a model of what they learned on a given topic.

Analysing: Ask your child to identify motives or causes from real-life stories. Encourage them to conduct an interview or survey. Have your child make a flow chart, family tree or role play a real-life situation.

Evaluating: Ask your child to form and defend an opinion on a subject. Example: encourage your child to write a letter to an editor or evaluate a character's actions in a story.

Creating: Ask your child to put together several bits of old information to form a new idea. Such as, ask them to create, design or invent a new item, proposal or plan. This requires a bit of creativity and the ability to think in the abstract.


Higher Order Questioning