Writing and Assessing Objectives

Dr. D. Molinari

During the last blog participants wrote lesson plans for a one hour, pre school cooking class

If you did not, read the blog, use the example learning plan, The present blog will enable you to critique and revise your objectives.

Learning to write objectives seems complicated at first because more concept vocabulary is required than in the lesson planning blog. This blogs provides the most popular book and tables for learning this skill. The following information will assess how much you need to buy the book or learn about the concepts from the internet.

The Bloom Taxonomy is named after the first co-author, Benjamin Bloom, of a group formed in 1948 to create a set of guidelines and principles for curriculum design and testing.  The final taxonomy was published by the group as Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in 1956. The tools have been used from kindergarten through College classes.

Today the revised tool is commonly used in most schools around the world. Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised, was written by Anderson and Krathwohl, (2001) two members of the original creation team. The revision changed the hierarchy of concepts, focused on action, and added more tables to understand the renamed categories

Bloom’s Taxonomy and its Revision

The classification of human learning enables education of diverse populations. The tool changed education practices and structures, evaluation methodologies, teacher education standards and evaluation of the different types of learning: cognitive (knowing), psycho-motor (kinesthetic, tactile, haptic), and affective (emotions, feelings). New taxonomies were created to understand various aspects of learning. The verbs were arranged in a hierarchy from simple to complex  and concrete to abstract learning levels.

The original taxonomy’s goal was to help teachers organize complex teaching plans by writing correct objectives and assessments for each lesson plan. This increased teaching more content at younger ages. The table permitted objective evaluation of teachers and instructional science. Lots of controversy was settled by hundreds of evaluation studies until teachers learned, writing an objective alone is less useful than creating an objective with a measure.

The Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt offers brief explanations of the main categories in Bloom’s Taxonomy. (Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Handbook One, pp. 201-207). The description of the categories enables instructors to learn the simplest learning activities and climb to the highest levels of performance.

The Original Table Explanation of Categories

  • Knowledge “involves the recall of specifics and universals, the recall of methods and processes, or the recall of a pattern, structure, or setting.”
  • Comprehension “refers to a type of understanding or apprehension such that the individual knows what is being communicated and can make use of the material or idea being communicated without necessarily relating it to other material or seeing its fullest implications.”
  • Application refers to the “use of abstractions in particular and concrete situations.”
  • Analysis represents the “breakdown of a communication into its constituent elements or parts such that the relative hierarchy of ideas is made clear and/or the relations between ideas expressed are made explicit.”
  • Synthesis involves the “putting together of elements and parts so as to form a whole.”
  • Evaluation engenders “judgments about the value of material and methods for given purposes.”


Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy simplifies measurement of the different objective levels. By changing all the categories as verbs, the measurement of skills is easier to understand.

The Revised Categories and Sub-Objectives

  • Remember
    • Recognizing
    • Recalling
  • Understand
    • Interpreting
    • Exemplifying
    • Classifying
    • Summarizing
    • Inferring
    • Comparing
    • Explaining
  • Apply
    • Executing
    • Implementing
  • Analyze
    • Differentiating
    • Organizing
    • Attributing
  • Evaluate
    • Checking
    • Critiquing
  • Create
    • Generating
    • Planning
    • Producing

Example: Handwashing can be taught as a principle for memorizing vocabulary, understanding concepts, analyzing skills, or producing clean hands. Each objective needs to be measured for individual achievement. The taxonomy provides vocabulary and suggested activities needed to measure each level of skill development.

“”Oh, dear! I hear complaints.

” But I don’t want to be a scientist,” you say. “I want to teach children to wash their hands!”  I hear you, hang in there. There are a few more principles of teaching to learn before you can decide how you will teach handwashing. Objectives and their assessments are created differently for each student’s age, experience, environment, class purpose, available resources, etc. Think of how many variables are involved in teaching a pre school class.

The answer to how many variables is in the big numbers. Lesson plans cannot be standardized.  Select five environmental differences that would impact the cooking lesson plan: I can name five. How many more can you list?

Variables: Is the class in a cooking school, a poverty stricken hut, a population of Diabetic children, The lack of safe water, or too much water like a flood. Each environmental variable requires a different objective. How many variables pertaining to the child alone can you name? I can think of age, cooking experience, amount of exposure to the kitchen, disabilities, cognitive gifts, and language and cultural differences.

Each objective may  need different pre and post assessments.

Example:  Objective: Students will use correct vocabulary for kitchen safety.  is a remember level objective. Learning can be measured through the completion of a fill-in-the-blank paper-based test, a matching exercise requires only a definition column and a word column, or an oral Q&A. Students draw lines from the definition to the term.

“Students will categorize kitchen safety tips”, an understanding objective, can be assessed a variety of ways; such as, identifying 5 things wrong with this kitchen picture. How would you measure it?

The following example: “Students will implement kitchen safety rules while cooking.” requires students to remember vocabulary, understand concepts, and analyze and apply knowledge to situations for safety. This is where the hierarchy comes into play. As teachers move up the pyramid, objectives include all the abilities for objectives created for the lower rungs..

The objective, “Students will create no-bake cookies while demonstrating kitchen safety” provides the highest levels of learning and measuring. Students must evaluate safety while creating cookies. The objective also gives hints about how the student will be evaluated. Teachers accomplish more by asking participants to create, evaluate, develop, or “Do” something.  A creative objective includes all the responsibilities of lower level objectives. Students can learn a complex objective in one hour instruction by using a “create” objective, or take up to six hours to learn how to create by using objectives for each learning  level on the table. The teacher decides which approach is best.

School measurements can differ from home objective measures. Homeschool time fades into homelife where abstract concepts are continually measured during play, talking, chores, reading time, etc. The home teacher often knows more about the child’s learning strengths, styles and skill development than a school teacher does. Fewer rules are needed at home. Less paperwork required to accomplish the day. Less rigidity, and more imagination is exercised due to the lack of educational supplies.

Homeschool is not filled with rainbows and roses. There are fewer experienced teachers, fewer school friends, more interruptions, and fewer supplies. So, the home teacher must adapt the lessons for the environment, but use the basic components of lesson planning which are Goals, objectives, assessments, and active learning content. The home teacher creates many educational activities, role plays, and other learning challenges. This takes time and money.

The lesson plan requires time limits for each activity and section. The tool allows teachers to use time as another teaching tool. No one wants to waste time through disorganization, lack of preparation, or inattention. Usually the time expectation is listed after the objective and before the description of the activities, and supplies lists.

The lesson plan helps teachers remember lessons from year to year. When the teacher can’t be present the plan communicates all the needed information for the substitutes. Each information tidbit enables a stranger to carry out the lesson and achieve skills without losing their hair.  The plan can also be used as a measure of class success. Was the equipment ready? How many students already know how to cook or were disruptive due to a low skill achievement goal? Were helpers needed? What level of goal achievement was reached on the Revised Taxonomy? What do you recommend for the next class? How did students evaluate their experience? Where are the objective evaluation tools kept?

The pressure of teaching day after day can result in repetitious learning activities and measures. The fun of learning disappears. Teacher can spend time once a week, month to develop lesson plans. The internet is full of ideas from other teachers. Continuous study prevents teacher and student boredom.

Parable: A child collected souvenirs from every test he took. When the closet shelf broke under the weight of multiple choice assessments, he vowed to never take another multiple-choice test.

The habit of giving children multiple choice tests needs to be broken. The tests are limited in effectiveness to  the lower level learning challenges. Apply, evaluate and create objectives require a variety of different assessment tools. How would you evaluate hand washing? I would use a black light to show the child what hands look like after more time scrubbing nails and wrinkles.

Parents teach success through life skills. More is learned when students experiment than when they read and write tests. For this reason, early childhood classes praise participants for their efforts, for staying on task, for taking turns and other behaviors. Skill achievement is not critiqued, but are provided with more opportunities to experiment.

Early child Life skills are learned in safe, happy environments. Some schools are built solely on this principle. Teachers provide happy learning environments and are not to compare standards or students with others. Each home teacher ponders their instructional values and beliefs before creating learning activities.

Is your goal to form an obedient citizen, a sportsman, an explorer, a scientist, or an artist? No matter your goal, there are standards to promote your success. Each state in the nation applies standards for achievement to their schools. Parents can find the indicators for progress on the internet along with methods of measuring yearly achievements. Early childhood indicators of progress aid parents in teaching their children,  measuring success and advise for seeking professional help.

Other Achievement Measures:

Exercise: Write an objective that requires students to develop a cookie assessment for their cooking class.

Begin class with Pre-Assessment: Test knowledge, feelings, past experience, and desires to accomplish.

Assessments can test emotional faces. At least five and as many as ten choices are provided for young children to describe emotions and facial expressions. Faces can be drawings, pictures, or photos. The photos can be paper or digital thumbnails with an emotional word under each picture. The picture can be chosen and put on the outlined body of a child. This tool can also be used as a post assessment for the day. The tool is used because it teaches vocabulary and affective concepts. Objects that teach and assess at the same time are appreciated.

Laminated faces with Velcro helps the child recognize emotions felt right now.  Children with trouble discerning feelings, or acting out are helped with frequent opportunities to use the emotions assessment. The home teaching aid becomes a tradition when placed on the refrigerator and used daily. Adults have as much fun as they did when they were children manipulating the faces.  Just keep a master set of faces with labels son the wall or refrigerator beside the child outline. When interest in the tool subsides, add more emotions and labels to the game.

Laminated Blue Feelings Poster, with Graphics – 18 x 24 in.


Children feel less embarrassment  using the feelings chart when unsure of their feelings.

Mother can describe the emotion by describing a personal experience and pointing to the master chart “ Whenever I feel ____ because I can’t have what I want, I feel angry and sad.” I don’t like the feeling. This jumble of sad and angry is called, ‘frustrated’.  Are you feeling frustrated? Do you like the feeling? How can we help you feel better?” Place the frustrated face on the head outline and then discuss actions that might help the situation. Waiting, asking permission, sharing, make a new choice, time out with a book or toy, eating, rocking, jumping, etc.  Do not critique the child’s responses. Liberally praise the effort. Let the child change the emotional face when needed to reflect his new feelings.

Active Learning Activities: Story chunks with thinking and doing exercises help children question their experience. Try again and again for success. Let the child measure personal success.

Evaluation Reports: Create success measuring tools for children and teachers.

  1. A laminated Circle with a spinning arrow in the center that points to sections with positive comments on growth and development., like “I will do it next time. I did it. I can do it again.”
  2. “Success By The Inch” includes a long narrow measuring device on the wall. Let the child measure his success by how far up the wall he grew in principle accomplishment. A yard stick will do.
  3. Another metaphor is a laminated picture of a child climbing a mountain. The figure can fall and start over.
  4. An active measurement is a take-off of the “Mother May I” Game. Child assesses his progress by using small large choice of steps, hops, across the room. Parents praise the child’s creativity in measuring. A symbol of the principle is positioned where the child feels he has progressed. Don’t be upset if the child always places the blue ribbon (or other device) at the finish line. Be an example by measuring your own success. Children need to know parents are growing too. Parents can support the child’s measurement by giving praise for progress. They can ask, How can I help you accomplish your goals this week?
  5. Well-developed metaphors can be purchased, anyone with scissors and glue can create all sorts of measurement tools. Just as teachers change the bulletin board each month, they can change the assessment reporting tool to fit the season. Raking leaves on the wall requires removing them from the ground to a bag. Snowflakes can pile up with each activity. The flakes can be labelled to indicate the progress of each try. When children manage their own measures they try hard to succeed.
  6. The participant can measure progress twice. Once to indicate the last try’s score and once to measure the goal for next try.
  7. This approach is a metaphor for the plan of salvation. Real life involves setting goals and measuring progress. One day we all will stand the bar of God and measure our own lives by reviewing our goals, experience, and motivation against the standards Christ has set. While we live on earth, we expect the do-over gift. This exercise gives the individual a chance to set new goals and achieve them.


Post Assessment: Reflect on you lesson plan. Make changes if needed. Try it out on your family. What did you learn by Doing?  How did you evaluate your progress?

Send your assessment and lesson plan to info@molinariart.com for five free lesson plans.