Comprehension Passages

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Suppose you are eating some dish. How do you feel the taste of the dish? All at once? Obviously no! Because there are different flavors which come at different levels while eating. Similarly, there are some levels of understanding and thinking skills that we apply while reading a text too. For instance, there are levels of understanding and analyzing skills in a comprehension passage as well. Such lower and higher order thinking skills come under Bloom’s Taxonomy. Let’s study about Bloom’s Taxonomy in detail.

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Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a three hierarchical model. It gives the skill of thinking in some particular orders. Furthermore, it helps in categorizing the intellectual skills into some orders of complexity and specificity. The authors do not write the passage in one way only. There can be layers of emotions and understanding in the passage. In order to decode these layers, we need Bloom’s Taxonomy. The three levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy are:

Browse more Topics under Comprehension Passages

  • Cognitive domain (mental skills or knowledge)
  • Affective domain (growth in feelings or emotions or attitude)
  • Psychomotor domain (manual skills)

Bloom's Taxonomy

Cognitive Domain

The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. There are six categories of the cognitive domain which shows the level of complexity. They are

  • Knowledge
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Create

Each of these categories has a specific meaning.

  • Knowledge basically deals with recalling facts and basic concepts
  • Comprehension involves understanding the facts and ideas by comparing, translating and interpreting
  • Application means using the ideas and the concept in a new way
  • Analysis deals with drawing the conclusion and finding the relation between the different parts
  • Evaluation involves defending opinions by making judgments about information
  • Create means producing new work. It deals with designing, developing, and constructing

Bloom’s Taxonomy helps a student to use all these skills in comprehension passage.

Affective Domain

Affective domain emphasizes emotions, feelings, etc.  It varies from complex phenomena but consists of qualities like character and conscience.

Here are the few points of the affective domain

  • Receiving
  • Responding
  • Valuing
  • Organization
  • Characterization

Psychomotor Domain

It includes the physical movement, coordination, movement of sensory organs. Examples include playing guitar or keyboard, driving, etc. To master these skills it requires practice.

Application of Bloom’s Taxonomy

In a comprehension passage, we are given an unseen passage. We need to answer some questions from this passage only. Now, Bloom’s Taxonomy helps to analyze these questions and use the skills to recall the facts and answer the questions. The ways in which categories of Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used are:

  • Finding the meaning of words/phrases/idioms given in the passage – understand and apply
  • Drawing the conclusion of the passage – analyze, evaluate
  • Finding details from the passage – remember and understand
  • Finding the main idea of the passage – understand, apply, evaluate
  • Identifying the tone of the author – evaluate
  • Finding a suitable title for the passage – understand, evaluate, create

Ways of Improving Reading Speed

It is quite difficult to read a long comprehension and remember the main ideas of each paragraph. Reading comprehension, again and again, will cost us more time. So, we need to improve our reading speed so as to take less time than before.

  • Read as much as you can
  • Always read to understand and not just for reading
  • Read in a quiet environment whenever you are attentive
  • Reading loud does not help in improving speed on its contrary, it hampers the reading speed
  • Set yourself a target of time and pace to improve the reading speed
  • Cover the text already read if you are uncomfortable reading further as your eyes tend to stray to the previous content
  • Practice as much as you can and try to read in lesser time than earlier
  • Underline or mark important words so as to pick the words
  • Continuous reading does not help in improving the speed. In fact, it increases the strain on your eyes. So, you should try and avoid this and keep your eyes relaxed
  • Use a dictionary for a new word for its meaning and pronunciation

Solved Example for You

Problem: Read the passage and answer the question using Bloom’s Taxonomy.

The Titanic was a huge passenger ship. It was provided with all possible luxuries and comforts. It was on its first voyage to America. There were 2200 passengers on board. The sea was calm. The ship was moving at its normal speed. Around midnight there was an alarm call from the bridge of the ship. The man on duty had sighted an iceberg ahead. The captain ordered his men to change the course of the ship. But before his order could be carried out, the Titanic had collided against the huge iceberg. It was a fatal blow, ice fell all over the decks of the ship and burst into six of the watertight compartments. The Titanic which enjoyed the reputation of being unsinkable was sinking now.

1. What was Titanic?

  1. Titanic was a huge cargo ship.
  2. The Titanic was a small passenger bus.
  3. Titanic was a place in America.
  4. Titanic was a huge passenger ship.

2. What reputation did Titanic enjoy?

  1. Sinking now
  2. Sinkable
  3. Unsinkable
  4. Huge passenger ship

3. How many passengers were there and where was the Titanic going?

  1. 2200, America
  2. 2200, Australia
  3. 1200, America
  4. 1500, Antartica

4. Choose the alternative most opposite (antonym) to the word fatal.

  1. Deadly
  2. Destructive
  3. Beneficial
  4. Lethal

Solutions: The correct choices of alternatives are

  1. d. Titanic was a huge passenger ship.
  2. c. Unsinkable.
  3. a. 2200, America.
  4. c. Beneficial.
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