SOLO Taxonomy Resources for Secondary Schools

SOLO Taxonomy is a powerful model for learning. It aids students to shift their level of understanding from surface to deep to conceptual.  

Explore our secondary school resources to bring this reliable and robust model to your classroom. You will find SOLO Taxonomy symbols, graphic organisers, templates and writing frames for academic language (verbs and connectives) and hexagonal thinking. SOLO self-assessment rubrics make student learning visible, encouraging feedback and student agency.  

Furthermore, SOLO Taxonomy can be applied across curriculum areas, from music education to the social sciences

Design learning experiences that support students to become critical thinkers and allow you to see the impact of your teaching.  


How can SOLO Taxonomy benefit my teaching?  

SOLO Taxonomy can benefit your teaching by making student learning visible to you and the students. It is a means of creating a common language for learning, which can be used across the school by teachers and students. 

SOLO allows you to create learning experiences (using SOLO Taxonomy questions) that are appropriate to students’ level of understanding.  

In addition, you can use SOLO rubrics as a means for giving feedback and developing self-assessment resources for the students.  

SOLO is a framework for designing innovative curricula and student-led inquiry. SOLO Taxonomy in Student Inquiry explains how integrating SOLO Taxonomy into student inquiry addresses the weaknesses often seen in this pedagogy.  

SOLO can be used to help you design inquiry learning experiences that shift the focus from behavioural outcomes to cognitive activity. This drives learning outcomes from surface to deep.  

What are some examples of SOLO Taxonomy verbs? 

Some examples of verbs for the SOLO levels can be seen below: 

  • unistructural – define, identify, name, draw and label 
  • multistructural – describe, list, combine and outline 
  • relational – sequence, classify, apply, organise and relate 
  • extended abstract – generalise, predict, evaluate and construct.  

The SOLO Taxonomy verbs are associated with the levels of understanding. Pam Hook says in her resource, SOLO Taxonomy: A Guide for Schools

“Associating the levels in SOLO with “declarative knowledge verbs” in the process of “constructive alignment” is fundamental to building clarity, competence and confidence into the process of writing learning intentions.” 

What is the difference between Bloom’s Taxonomy and SOLO Taxonomy? 

Professor John Hattie explains the difference between Bloom’s Taxonomy and SOLO Taxonomy: 

  • Unlike SOLO Taxonomy, Bloom’s Taxonomy has been subject to little research and evaluation. 
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy distinguishes “knowledge” from the intellectual abilities or processes that are involved in utilising that knowledge. Alternatively, SOLO Taxonomy is based mainly on the processes of understanding used by students. As a result, knowledge is present at all levels of SOLO Taxonomy.  
  • In Bloom’s Taxonomy, questions and answers must all be at the same level. SOLO Taxonomy allows for differing levels. 
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy lacks criteria for judging outcomes. SOLO Taxonomy provides an explicit means for assessing learning outcomes. 

Additionally, Bloom’s is more content-orientated, whereas SOLO aims to measure the learner’s quality of understanding.  

Teachers tend to use Bloom’s more, whereas SOLO can be taught to students. This encourages secondary school students to write progressively more complex answers.