Unit Two Blooms Taxonomy in Social Studies


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Applying and Analyzing Effective Strategies

Learning Objectives

Participants will be asked examine different assessment strategies of both the formal and informal variety. Participants will be asked to apply an analytically based teaching strategy in this module.

Ticket In the Door

  1. Assessments are a key part of any effective learning strategy, in your own words explain what you think of when you hear the terms formal and informal assessments.


Social studies is a living breathing course that looks for the students to tie together events and ideas that are sometimes hundreds of years apart. In order to do so as the teacher two of the most critical skills that must be developed by your students are application and analysis as these are what are most commonly assessed on unit and final exams.

  • "Application refers to the “use of abstractions in particular and concrete situations.”(Armstrong, 2020)
  • "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.”" (Armstrong, 2020)

By mastering these two skills students is now able to develop multiple conclusions concerning the motives, causes, inferences and generalizations that can be derived from the material’s component parts and organization. As well as applying learned material such as rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws, and theories.

In order to properly develop these skills effective assessment strategies are of the upmost importance as well as an understanding of informal and formal assessments. "There are two general categories of assessments: formal and informal.

  • Formal assessments have data which support the conclusions made from the test. We usually refer to these types of tests as standardized measures. These tests have been tried before on students and have statistics which support the conclusion such as the student is reading below average for his age. The data is mathematically computed and summarized. Scores such as percentiles, stanines, or standard scores are mostly commonly given from this type of assessment.
  • Informal assessments are not data driven but rather content and performance driven. For example, running records are informal assessments because they indicate how well a student is reading a specific book. Scores such as 10 correct out of 15, percent of words read correctly, and most rubric scores are given from this type of assessment.

The assessment used needs to match the purpose of assessing. Formal or standardized measures should be used to assess overall achievement, to compare a student's performance with others at their age or grade, or to identify comparable strengths and weaknesses with peers. Informal assessments sometimes referred to as criterion referenced measures or performance based measures, should be used to inform instruction.

The most effective teaching is based on identifying performance objectives, instructing according to these objectives, and then assessing these performance objectives. Moreover, for any objectives not attained, intervention activities to re-teach these objectives are necessary."(Weaver, 2020)

Learning Activities

1) After reading through the mini-lecture watch the following Ted-Talk and answer the questions below.

  1. How does the presenter use the technique of analysis in a social studies classroom?
  2. Why is analysis and application so important in a social studies classroom?
  3. In what ways do you see yourself applying analysis based activities in your classroom in the future?

2) Compare and contrast the following question set regarding the image below.

  • Question Set 1

a. Who is the man in the cartoon? b. What is on the wall? c. Describe what you see.

  • Question Set 2

a. Explain the historical circumstance surrounding the cartoon? b. Who is the audience this cartoon is designed for? Why? c. What conclusions can you draw from the cartoon?

3) Compare and contrast the question sets above.

  • Is one more effective than the other? Why?
  • Which of Blooms techniques do you see in question set 1?
  • Which of Blooms techniques do you see in question set 2?

Conclusion & Ticket out the Door

  1. List two examples of both informal and formal assessment techniques that you would use in a social studies classroom.

Moving Forward-Unit Three Blooms Taxonomy in Social Studies