Useful Verbs to Write Lesson Objectives

In order for any lesson to have a positive and constructive outcome, we need to make sure that students achieve the objective of the lesson. Last time, we have discussed the ABCD method of writing lesson objectives, which teachers can tailor to fit their students’ achievement goals. In this article, we will dive deeper into the Behavior component of lesson objectives. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy of cognitive skills (1956), we will introduce the action verbs teachers should utilize to ensure that students have mastered those skills. By creating learning objectives using measurable verbs, you indicate explicitly what the student must do in order to demonstrate learning.

The core idea of Bloom’s Taxonomy is that the projected outcomes of students can be arranged in a hierarchy from less to more complex. Since the taxonomy is hierarchical, one has to master the lower level skills before moving onto the next level.

There are six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, ordered from lowest to highest: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

In the following chart, all levels of the taxonomy are presented with sample action verbs. We hope that this chart will become a useful tool for educators when they write various lesson objectives in the future.

Examples of Lesson Objectives in Each Level

1. Knowledge

  • The students in ELA class will memorize the Haiku poem by the end of this session.

  • The students will list at least three mathematical problems about addition and subtraction by the end of the session.

2. Comprehension

  • The students will recognize the difference between a rectangle and a square.

  • The students will describe in prose what is shown in graph form.

3. Application

  • The students will apply Pythagorean Theorem to find the answer to five problems.

  • The students will demonstrate the principle of momentum to classmates through a DIY project.

4. Analysis

  • By the end of this class, the students will be able to differentiate between potential and kinetic energy.

  • Students will discriminate among a list of possible steps to determine which one(s) would lead to the breakdown of a machine.

5. Synthesis

  • After coming back from this field trip to the Museum of Fashion, student groups will design their own piece of clothing and present to the class.

  • The students in the Integrated Science class will set up a renewable energy device by the end of this session.

6. Evaluation

  • By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to evaluate the appropriateness for solving a dynamics problem, either using conservation of energy or conservation of momentum.

  • After coming back from the exhibition, the students will compare two sculptures of the same artist, giving an explanation for their positive evaluation of one over the other.