Easy Way to Write Learning Objectives

We all want to believe that our students are learning something when we teach. When some beginning teachers write learning objectives for their lessons, they may say they want students to “know the lesson” or to “understand” some concepts. But if you think about this for a moment, I’m sure you’ll agree…

It’s impossible to see “learning” or “knowing” as a goal because those take place INSIDE our students’ brains! We can only see the evidence of knowing, in something students DO.

For example, if you simply look at a student, it is impossible to tell if that student knows the English alphabet.

The student must SAY the alphabet to DEMONSTRATE his knowledge. Therefore, if you plan a lesson on the alphabet, but your objective is only that “students will know the alphabet,” you may or may not plan an effective lesson, but if you plan a lesson where your objective is that each student will recite the alphabet by the end of it, then you will plan activities that will help students to accomplish that goal.

When you have a clear, specific objective for something your students will DO, your lesson will be much more effective AND much easier to plan.

Here’s a resource, an easy to use chart, that makes writing objectives much easier.

You may have heard that you should use verbs to write objectives. Many sites offer lists of verbs, based on Bloom’s taxonomy for use in writing learning objectives. However, in researching those lists, I found that they often repeat verbs in overlapping categories and quickly become difficult to use.

I simplified the list and then put the verbs and Bloom’s taxonomy in the context of three-stage lesson planning to make an easy-to-use resource for writing lessons that can be used by any type of educator.

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