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Lessons go from comprehension level to application or higher

LKSD Best Practice #4

Focus Friday: October 20, 2023

It's human nature that, when presented with a task, we will use as little cognitive energy as is required by that task. 

When it comes to our students, the situation is no different. Lower order questioning and associated tasks require lower amounts of cognitive energy and therefore they produce lower levels of output.


However, higher order questioning and associated tasks require higher order thinking and processing, thereby leading us to generate more sophisticated output. By providing higher order thinking prompts, tasks and questions, we stretch the brains of our students and promote thinking on a deeper cognitive level.   

If Google can answer it, it's a low level question

When planning for the lesson cycle, action verbs are used to inform our objectives and lesson outcomes.

As part of our LKSD lesson cycle, there are two separate activities embedded in each lesson. The first activity should be oriented with a Bloom's Comprehension level verb. The second activity should use an Application level verb or higher.    

Bloom’s taxonomy can be used to differentiate lessons and prompt deeper thinking.

When writing content & language objectives,

  • The 1st verb should come from the Comprehension level of Bloom’s

  • The 2nd verb should come from the Application (or higher) level of Bloom’s

When in doubt, teach at the higher level ​

Click here to download the pdf 

Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Levels can be used during the planning process to identify or assign the level of complexity to an activity or project. 

The DOK levels are task-oriented and provide task ideas to support planning with regard to cognitive involvement and depth of thinking.    

Click here to download the pdf 

In this document are question starters that reflect the varying levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Consider incorporating these to enhance writing expectations, stimulate higher order thinking, and promote robust conversation among student pairs or groups. 

Click here to download this file 

Do not confuse different goals and expectations with a lack of rigor

Ideas to Support Your Instruction 

Low Level

  • Flashcards

  • Study Guide

  • Categorization 

  • Matching & sorting

  • Edpuzzle 

  • Blooket

  • Gimkit

  • Kahoot, Quizziz, Padlet

  • Flipgrid

  • Illustrating

  • Journaling

  • Math games

  • bell ringer activities

  • 1 Minute Drill

  • Gallery walks

  • Compare/contrast

  • Boom Cards

  • practice worksheets

  • memory games

  • picture identification

  • Enumeration

  • Fill in the blanks

  • Crossword Puzzles

  • turn and talks

  • Story maps

  • Sentence starters

  • “Quiz, quiz, trade”

  • Comprehension discussions with sentence frames

High Level

  • Dialogic reading

  • Analyze, infer, prompting, explain why

  • Transforming texts to infographic materials

  • Documentary making

  • Song writing

  • Experiments

  • Lab conclusions

  • Create political cartoons

  • STEM challenges

  • Socratic seminars

  • Readers theater

  • Draft an alternate ending or prediction

  • Catching the teacher’s mistakes

  • Rewriting a story from a different perspective

  • Project-based learning in general

  • “What if…”

  • My favorite no/ find the errors

  • Analysis, predictions for reading

  • What song would be a soundtrack for this reading and why?  

  • Create a trailer for the book..

  • Debates

  • Student as teacher

  • Start a story, crumble it, throw it, another student will continue the story and so forth

  • Empathize with subject

  • Students making their own definitions

LKSD Best Practices Lesson Cycle 

Introduction/ Hook

1-2 minutes
Establish purpose for the lesson and activate prior knowledge

Direct Instruction

15-20 minutes

Teacher explains, models and demonstrates the lesson objective 

Activity 1

1st verb/ objective guides academic pairs in the comprehension level activity

Teacher monitors and facilitates

Activity 2

Students stay in their pairs to work on the higher order thinking (application) activity

Teacher monitors and facilitates


<5 minutes

Students partner-share their completed activities to the whole group. The teacher reviews the objectives and purpose of the lesson.

Conceptual Refinement (CR)

15 minutes

Teacher leads small group refinement of 2-5 students while the rest of the class works on independent practice 

Journal Reflection

Students engage in independent reflective writing based on activities and reflections prompted by the lesson.
Reflective journal writing should happen all throughout the lesson. 

1 full page or longer 

We recommend using & displaying a timer during activities to reinforce expectations and keep students on track

If your daily schedule only accounts for a 45minute lesson but you need more time, spend two days on the lesson*:

45min x 2 days= full BP lesson cycle

*The idea is to not cut out any of the LKSD BP Lesson Cycle components

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