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ELA TASKS

DOK 1: Recall and Reproduction  DOK 2: Skills and 


Teacher:  Students:  Concepts/Basic Reasoning  
Directs, shows,  Responds, 
Teacher:  Students: 
questions,  remembers, absorbs, 
Shows, observes,  Solves problems, 
demonstrates,  recognizes, 
organizes,  calculates, completes, 
compares, examines,  memorizes, describes, 
facilitates,  constructs, demonstrate 
tells, examines,  explains, translates, 
evaluates,  use of knowledge, 
evaluates, listens,  demonstrates, 
questions  complies, illustrates 
contrasts  interprets   
 

List animals that survive by eating other  Students will make predictions based on 
animals  what is read. 
   
Locate or recall facts explicitly found in  Predict a logical outcome based on 
text  information in a reading selection 
   
Describe physical features of places  Compare desert and tropical 
  environments 
Describe three characteristics of   
metamorphic rocks.  Identify and summarize the major events, 
  problem, solution, conflicts in literary 
Recall elements and details of story  text 
structure, such as sequence of events,   
characters, plot and setting  Explain the cause-effect of historical 
  events 
Label locations on a map.   
  Describe the difference between 
Represent in words or diagrams a  metamorphic and igneous rocks. 
scientific concepts or relationships   
  Identify and summarize the major events 
Describe the features of a place or people  in a narrative 
   
Recall and list 5 facts about bats  Use context cues to identify the meaning 
  of unfamiliar words 
POV: Who is telling the story?   
  Describe the cause/ effect of a particular 
What did the Gingerbread man do when  event. 
the oven opened?   
  Identify patterns in events or behavior. 
List the names of the characters who   
chase the gingerbread man.  Compare and contrast bats and birds 
   
Entry Level: After reading a story, cut  Identify the point of view from two 
paste and sort pictures into categories of  versions of the same fairy tale; Compare/ 
characters, setting and plot  contrast their view of the events 
   
Common Core Institute   What is the effect of the gingerbread 
Recall, restate, remember, or recognize  man’s escape? 
facts, terms, properties   
heard, viewed, or read  Predict what might have happened if the 
  gingerbread man was not caught by the 
Use a dictionary, glossary, or thesaurus  fox. 
to find word meanings    
  Advanced activities: Draw pictures of 
Locate information found in a map,  events in the story. Organize your 
chart, tables, graph, temperature)  pictures into a comic strip sequential 
diagram, caption  order. 
   
Retell in your own words/paraphrase  Common Core Institute  
  Explain the meaning of a concept using 
Skim for facts/details/dates about an  words, objects, and/or visuals  
event   
  Demonstrate how to perform a particular 
Memorize lines for a play  task 
   
Report or present findings to the class  Make a puzzle or game about the topic 
   
Cut out, draw, or match a picture that  Make a captioned scrapbook or photo 
illustrates an event,process, or story  essay about the area of study (create 
nonfiction text) 
 
 
Write/retell in your own words ...   Write a diary/blog entry for a character or 
  historical figure 
Recite/recall a fact or date related to …   
  Make a diorama to illustrate/explain an 
event 
Write a list of keywords you know about… 
 
  Construct a model to demonstrate how it 
Describe an event, character, setting, etc.  looks or works 
in a story   
  Develop a concept map or diagram 
Use step-by-step directions to make a  showing a process or describing 
relationships about a topic of study 
model, plant seeds, bake a cake, etc. 
 
  Identify appropriate strategies or sources 
Edit applying a standard set of  for conducting research  
conventions and/or criteria that should   
eventually be automated (e.g., applying  Write a summary /informational report 
or develop an outline of central ideas and 
rules for punctuation, grammar, spelling) 
supporting details [main idea/supporting 
  details] 
Recognize or identify features, objects, or   
steps that don’t vary greatly in form (e.g.,  Sequence a key chain of events and 
supporting details using a timeline, 
recognizing features of basic tools or 
cartoon strip, outline or flow chart 
properties of materials or objects)  Identify appropriate strategies or sources 
  for conducting research projects that 
Locate or retrieve information in  involve locating, collecting, organizing 
verbatim form to answer a questi on  and displaying, and summarizing 
information  
 
Create a questionnaire or survey to 
answer a question 
 
Participate in a simulation in order to 
understand and describe differing 
perspectives 

 
Locate information to support 
explicit-implicit central ideas 
 
Identify main ideas or accurate 
generalizations of texts or issues 
 
Make basic inferences or logical 
predictions from data or texts 
 
Summarize results, concepts, ideas in one 
text or one data set 
 
Give non-examples/examples 
 
Specify, explain, show relationships, 
explain why, cause-effect 
 
Apply simple organizational structures 
(paragraph, sentence types) in writing 
 
Develop a text that may be limited to one 
paragraph 
 
Obtain and interpret information using 
text features 
 
Use context to identify the meaning of 
words/phrases 
 
Identify characteristic text features; 
distinguish between texts, genres 
 
Distinguish relevant-irrelevant 
information, fact/opinion 
 
Analyze format, organization & internal 
text structure (e.g., signal words, 
transitions, semantic cues) of different 
texts 
 
Identify use of literary devices 
 
Categorize/compare library elements, 
terms, facts/details, events 
 
Generate conjectures or hypotheses based 
on observations or prior knowledge and 
experience 
ELA TASKS
DOK 3: Strategic  DOK 4: Extended 
Thinking/Complex Reasoning  Thinking/Reasoning 
Teachers:  Students:    
Probes, Observes,  Discusses, debates, 
Teachers:  Students: 
Acts as a  examines, judges, 
Facilitates, reflects,  Designs, ​takes risks​, 
resource,  assesses, justifies, 
evaluates, extands,  proposes, creates, 
organizes,clarifie uncovers, thinks deeply, 
analyses  modifies, formulates, 
s, guides,  questions, disputes, 
plans 
evaluates,  decides, argues, tests,   

questions,  calculates, compares, 


dissects, accepts  selects 
 

Use a Venn Diagram that shows how two  Gather, analyze, organize, and interpret 
topics are the same and different  information from multiple (print and non 
  print) sources to draft a reasoned report 
Compare consumer actions and analyze   
how these actions impact the  Analyzing author’s craft (e.g., style, bias, 
environment  literary techniques, point of view) 
   
Analyze or evaluate the effectiveness of  Analyze and explain multiple perspectives 
literary elements (e.g., characterization,  or issues within or across time periods, 
setting, point of view, conflict and  events, or cultures 
resolution, plot structures)   
  Specify a problem, identify solution paths, 
Explain, generalize or connect ideas,  solve the problem, and report the results 
using supporting evidence from a text or   
source  Write and produce an original play 
   
Describe a model that you might use to  Conduct a project that requires specifying 
represent the relationships that exist  a problem, designing and conducting an 
within the rock cycle.   experiment, analyzing its data, and 
  reporting results/ solutions. 
Support ideas with details and examples   
  Analyze and synthesize information from 
Use voice appropriate to the purpose and  multiple sources 
audience   
  Describe and illustrate how common 
Identify research questions and design  themes are found across texts from 
investigations for a scientific problem  different cultures 
   
Determine the author’s Purpose and  Analyze and prove the effects of 
describe how it affects the interpretation  deforestation on a bat's life cycle 
of a reading selection   
Apply what you know about fairy tales and 
Construct a diagram of a bat’s habitat   write the fairy tale from a different point 
  of view. Does it change the outcome of the 
Justify the character’s actions based on  story? Why or Why not? 
their version of the story. How does the   
character see things differently because  Applying information from more than one 
of their point of view?  discipline to solve ill-defined problems in 
  novel or real-world situations 
Formulate a plan to catch the gingerbread   
man and explain why you think it might  Research tasks that involve generating 
work.  questions, and formulating and testing 
  hypotheses  
Choose a character from the story and   
modify their story to catch the  Tasks that require making multiple 
gingerbread man.  strategic and procedural decisions as new 
  information is processed 
“Most challenging activities:” Develop an   
alternative ending of a story  Tasks that require multiple roles and 
  collaboration and coordination with 
Prepare a speech to support your  others (e.g., script writing, camera work, 
perspective about …  editing, and acting/ talent) 
   
Explain and apply abstract terms and  Tasks that involve drawing evidence from 
concepts to real-world situations  multiple sources to support 
  solutions/conclusions  
Participate on a panel to discuss differing   
viewpoints on…  Conducting an internship in industry 
  where students are faced with real-world, 
Make a booklet or brochure about a topic,  unpredictable problems 
organization, or issue    
  Organizing/conducting a community 
Use evidence to generate criteria for  service project or school based event  
making judgments    
  Use multiple sources to elaborate on how 
Prepare for and participate in a debate  concepts or ideas specifically draw from 
  other content domains or differing 
Write a letter to the editor after  concepts (e.g., research paper, arguments 
evaluating a product  of policy: – should this law be passed? 
  What will be the impact of this change?)  
Prepare an informational report about an   
area of study  Develop generalizations about the results 
  obtained or strategies used and apply 
Analyze results of a questionnaire or  them to a new problem or contextual 
survey (e.g., survey classmates/industry  scenario 
members to find out what they think   
about a current issue)  Select or devise an approach among many 
  alternatives to research and present a 
Propose an alternate solution to a  novel problem or issue 
problem studied   
  Illustrate how multiple themes (e.g., 
Design, conduct, or critique an  historical, geographic, social) may be 
investigation to answer a research  interrelated within a text or topic  
question   
  Analyze multiple sources of evidence, or 
Write an essay, short story, poem, or play  multiple works by the same author, or 
  across genres, or time periods  
Solve complex, non-routine problems   
that draw upon multiple skills, concepts,  Analyze complex/abstract themes, 
and processes  perspectives, concepts  
   
Write multi-paragraph composition for  Gather, analyze, and organize multiple 
specific purpose, focus, voice, tone &  information sources  
audience   
  Compare and contrast conflicting 
Describe how word choice, point of view,  judgments or policies (e.g., Supreme 
or bias may affect the readers’  Court decisions) 
interpretation of a text   
  Evaluate relevancy, accuracy, and 
Identify/make inferences about explicit or  completeness of information across 
implicit themes  multiple sources  
   
Explain, generalize, or connect ideas  Apply understanding in a novel way, 
using supporting evidence (e.g., quote,  provide argument or justification for the 
example, text reference)  application  
   
Apply word choice, point of view, style to  Critique the historical impact (e.g., policy, 
impact readers’/viewers’ interpretation  writings, discoveries, etc.) 
of a text   
  Synthesize information across multiple 
Apply a concept in a new context   sources or texts in order to articulate a 
  new voice, alternate theme, new 
Revise final draft for meaning or  knowledge or nuanced perspective 
progression of ideas    
 
Apply internal consistency of text 
organization and structure to composing 
a full composition 
 
Analyze information within a text or 
source Analyze interrelationships among 
concepts, issues, problems  
 
Analyze or interpret author’s craft 
(literary devices, viewpoint, or potential 
bias) to create or critique a text or to 
support text interpretations  
 
Use reasoning and evidence to generate 
criteria for making and supporting an 
argument of judgment (e.g., Was FDR a 
great president? Who was the greatest 
ball player?) 
 
Cite evidence and develop a logical 
argument for conjectures  
 
 
Describe, compare, and contrast solution 
methods  
 
Verify reasonableness of results  
 
Justify or critique conclusions drawn   
   
Synthesize information within one source   
or text  
 
Develop a complex model for a given 
situation  
 
Develop an alternative solution 
 

 
MATH TASKS
DOK 1  DOK 2 
Memorize and recognize formulas and  Explain a series of steps used to find a 
algorithms  solution  
   
Use a formula where at least one of the  Complex calculation tasks involving 
unknowns are   decision point s (e.g., standard 
  deviation) 
Make conversions between metric and   
customary units provided (e. g., area  Conduct measurement or observational 
formula, y=mx + b)  tasks that involve organizing the data 
  collected into basic presentation forms 
Complete measurement tasks (e.g., use a  such as a table, graph, Venn diagram, 
ruler to measure length; thermometer  etc 
or temperature probe to measure   
  Specify and explain relationships (e.g., 
Complete basic /routine calculation  non-examples/examples, cause-effect)  
tasks (e.g., addition, subtraction,   
division, etc.)  Make and record observations  
   
Brainstorm ideas, concepts, or terms  Explain steps followed Summarize 
related to a topic  results or concepts  
   
Retrieve information from a table or  Make basic inferences or logical 
graph to answer a question  predictions from data/observations  
Identify whether specific information is   
contained in graphic representations  Use models (e.g., diagrams to represent 
(e.g.table graph, T-chart, diagram)  or explain mathematical concepts)  
   
Identify a pattern/trend  Make and explain estimates 
   
Follow simple procedures (e.g.,  Select a procedure according to criteria 
recipe-type directions)   and perform it  
   
Calculate, measure, apply a rule (e.g.,  Solve routine problem applying multiple 
rounding)   concepts or decision points  
   
Apply algorithm or formula (e.g., area,  Retrieve information from a table, 
perimeter)   graph, or figure and use it to solve a 
  problem requiring multiple steps  
Solve linear equations unfamiliar task   
  Translate between tables, graphs, 
Make conversions among  words, and symbolic notations (e.g., 
representations or numbers, or within  graph data from a table)  
and between customary and metric   
measures  Construct models given criteria 
   
Evaluate an expression   Categorize, classify materials, data, 
  figures based on characteristics  
Locate points on a grid or number on a   
number line   Organize or order data  
   
Solve a one-step problem   Compare/contrast figures or data  
   
Represent math relationships in words,  Select appropriate graph and organize & 
pictures, or symbols   display data  
   
Read, write, compare decimals in  Interpret data from a simple graph  
scientific notation   
  Extend a pattern 
Recall/identify conversions among   
representations or numbers (e.g.,  Generate conjectures or hypotheses 
customary and metric measures)  based on observations or prior 
knowledge and experience 

DOK 3  DOK 4 
Create complex graphs or databases  Relate mathematical or scientific 
where reasoning and approach to data  concepts to other content areas, other 
organization is not obvious  domains, or other concepts  
   
Use concepts to solve non-routine  Develop generalizations of the results 
problems   obtained and the strategies used (from 
  investigation or readings) and apply 
Explain, generalize, or connect ideas  them to new problem situations 
using supporting evidence    
  Select or devise an approach among 
Make and justify conjectures   many alternatives to solve a problem  
   
Explain thinking when more than one  Conduct a project that specifies a 
response/solution is possible   problem, identities solution paths, 
  solves the problem, and reports results 
Explain phenomena in terms of   
concepts  Analyze multiple sources of evidence  
   
Design investigation for a specific  Analyze complex/abstract themes  
purpose or research question    
  Gather, analyze, and evaluate 
Conduct a designed investigation   information 
   
Use concepts to solve non-routine  Gather, analyze, & evaluate information 
problems   in order to draw conclusions  
   
Use and show reasoning, planning, and  Apply understanding in a novel way, 
evidence   provide argument or justification for the 
  application 
Translate between problem & symbol   
notation when not a direct translation  Synthesize information across multiple 
  sources or texts  
Compare information within data sets or   
texts or across related data sets  Design a mathematical model to inform 
  and solve a practical or abstract 
Analyze and draw conclusions from  situation  
data, citing evidence 
 
Generalize a pattern 
 
Interpret data from complex graph 
 
Analyze similarities/differences 
between research procedures or 
solutions 
 
Cite evidence and develop a logical 
argument for concepts or solutions 
 
Describe, compare, and contrast 
solution methods 
 
Verify reasonableness of results 
 
Synthesize information within one data 
set, source or text  
 
Formulate an original problem given a 
situation  
 
Develop a scientific/mathematical 
model for a complex situation 
DOK 1 r​ equires recall of information,  DOK 2​ includes the engagement of some 
such as a fact, definition, term, or  mental processing beyond recalling or 
performance of a simple process or  reproducing a response. Items require 
procedure.   students to make some decisions as to 
  how to approach the question or 
Answering a Level 1 item can involve  problem.  
following a simple, well-known   
procedure or formula. Simple skills and  These actions imply more than one 
abilities or recall characterize DOK 1.  mental or cognitive process/step. 
DOK 3​ requires deep understanding as  DOK 4​ requires high cognitive demand 
exhibited through planning, using  and is very complex. Students are 
evidence, and more demanding  expected to make connections—relate 
cognitive reasoning. The cognitive  ideas within the content or among 
demands at Level 3 are complex and  content areas—and have to select or 
abstract.   devise one approach among many 
  alternatives on how the situation can be 
An assessment item that has more than  solved.  
one possible answer and requires   
students to justify the response they  Due to the complexity of cognitive 
give would most likely be a Level 3.   demand, DOK 4 often requires an 
extended period of time. 

DOK 3- Describe a model that you might use to represent the 


relationships that exist within the rock cycle. (requires deep 
understanding of rock cycle and a determination of how best to 
represent it) 
 
DOK 2- Describe the difference between metamorphic and 
igneous rocks. (requires cognitive processing to determine the 
differences in the two rock types) 
 
DOK 1- Describe three characteristics of metamorphic rocks. 
(simple recall) 
 
OTHER RESOURCE!

Developing Higher Order Thinking Questions… 


Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK). 
· A scale of cognitive demand ​(thinking)​ t​ o align standards with assessments 
· Defines the “​ ceiling” or highest DOK level​ f​ or each Core Content standard for the state assessment 
· Guides ​item development​ f​ or state assessments 

Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in Reading 


Level 1: Recall 
· Requires students to use simple skills or abilities to recall or locate facts from the text 
· Focus on basic initial comprehension, not on analysis or interpretation 
· Items require shallow/ literal understanding of text presented and often consist of verbatim recall from 
text or simple understanding of a single word or phrase 
Level 2: Skill/ Concept 
· Requires both initial comprehension and subsequent processing of text or portion of text 
· Important concepts are covered but not in a complex way 
· Items at this level may include words such as “paraphrase, summarize, interpret, infer, classify, 
organize, collect, display, and compare” 
· Items may require students to apply skills and concepts that are covered in level 1 
Level 3: Strategic Thinking 
· Requires deep knowledge 
· Students encouraged to go beyond text 
· Students asked to explain, generalize, or connect ideas 
· Students must be able to support their thinking, citing references from the text or other sources 
· Items may involve abstract theme identification, inferences between or across passages, application of 
prior knowledge, or text support for analytical judgment about a text 
Level 4: Extended Thinking 
· Requires complex reasoning, planning, developing, and thinking most likely over an extended period 
of time, such as multiple works by the same author or from the same time period 
· Students take information from at least one passage and are asked to apply this information to a new 
task. 
· They may also be asked to develop hypotheses and perform complex analyses of the connections 
among texts. Some examples that represent but do not constitute all of Level 4 performance are: 
Analyze and synthesize information from multiple sources 
Examine and explain alternative perspectives across a variety of sources 
Describe and illustrate how common themes are found across texts from different 
cultures. 

Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in Math 


Level 1 (Recall)​ includes the recall of information such as a fact, definition, term, or a simple procedure, as 
well as performing a simple algorithm or applying a formula. That is, in mathematics, a one-step, 
well-defined, and straight algorithmic procedure should be included at this lowest level. Other key words 
that signify Level 1 include “identify,” “recall,” “recognize,” “use,” and “measure.” Verbs such as 
“describe” and “explain” could be classified at different levels, depending on what is to be described and 
explained. 

Level 2 (Skill/Concept)​ includes the engagement of some mental processing beyond a habitual response. A 
Level 2 assessment item requires students to make some decisions as to how to approach the problem or 
activity, whereas Level 1 requires students to demonstrate a rote response, perform a well-known 
algorithm, follow a set procedure (like a recipe), or perform a clearly defined series of steps. Keywords that 
generally distinguish a Level 2 item include “classify,” “organize,” ”estimate,” “make observations,” 
“collect and display data,” and “compare data.” These actions imply more than one step. For example, to 
compare data requires first identifying characteristics of objects or phenomena and then grouping or 
ordering the objects. Some action verbs, such as “explain,” “describe,” or “interpret,” could be classified​ ​at 
different levels depending on the object of the action. For example, interpreting information from a simple 
graph, or reading information from the graph, also are at Level 2. Interpreting information from a complex 
graph that requires some decisions on what features of the graph need to be considered and how 
information from the graph can be aggregated is at Level 3. Level 2 activities are not limited only to number 
skills, but may involve visualization skills and probability skills. Other Level 2 activities include noticing or 
describing non-trivial patterns, explaining the purpose and use of experimental procedures; carrying out 
experimental procedures; making observations and collecting data; classifying, organizing, and comparing 
data; and organizing and displaying data in tables, graphs, and charts. 

Level 3 (Strategic Thinking)​ requires reasoning, planning, using evidence, and a higher level of thinking 
than the previous two levels. In most instances, requiring students to explain their thinking is at Level 3. 
Activities that require students to make conjectures are also at this level. The cognitive demands at Level 3 
​ omplex and abstract. The complexity does not result from the fact that there are multiple answers, a 
are​ c
possibility for both Levels 1 and 2, but because the task requires more demanding reasoning. An activity, 
however, that has more than one possible answer and requires students to justify the response they give 
would most likely be at Level 3. 
Other Level 3 activities include drawing conclusions from observations; 
citing evidence and developing a logical argument for concepts; explaining phenomena in terms of 
concepts; and deciding which concepts to apply in order to solve a complex problem. 

Level 4 (Extended Thinking)​ requires complex reasoning, planning, developing, and thinking, most likely 
over an extended period of time. The extended time period is not a distinguishing factor if the required work 
is only repetitive and does not require applying significant conceptual understanding and higher-order 
thinking. For example, if a student has to take the water temperature from a river each day for a month and 
then construct a graph, this would be classified as a Level 2. However, if the student is to conduct a river 
study that requires taking into consideration a number of variables, this would be a Level 4. At Level 4, the 
cognitive demands of the task should be high and the work should be very complex. Students should be 
required to make several connections—relate ideas within the content area or among content areas—and 
have to select one approach among many alternatives on how the situation should be solved, in order to be 
at this highest level. Level 4 activities include designing and conducting experiments and projects; 
developing and proving conjectures, making connections between a finding and related concepts and 
phenomena; combining and synthesizing ideas into new concepts; and critiquing experimental designs. 

Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in Science 


Level 1 Recall and Reproduction​ r​ equires recall of information, such as a fact, definition, term, or a simple 
procedure, as well as performing a s ​ imple ​science process or procedure. Level 1 only requires students to 
demonstrate a rote response, use a well-known formula, follow a set procedure (like a recipe), or perform a 
clearly defined series of steps. A “simple” procedure is well defined and typically involves only ​one-step​. 
Verbs such as “identify,” “recall,” “recognize,” “use,” “calculate,” and “measure” generally represent 
cognitive work at the recall and reproduction level. Simple word problems that can be directly translated 
into and solved by a formula are considered Level 1. Verbs such as “describe” and “explain” could be 
classified at different DOK levels, depending on the complexity of what is to be described and explained. 

A student answering a Level 1 item either knows the answer or does not: that is, the answer does not need to 
be “figured out” or “solved.” In other words, if the knowledge necessary to answer an item automatically 
provides the answer to the item, then the item is at Level 1. If the knowledge necessary to answer the item 
does not automatically provide the answer, the item is at least at Level 2. 

Level 2 Skills and Concepts​ i​ ncludes the engagement of some mental processing beyond recalling or 
reproducing a response. The content knowledge or process involved is m ​ ore complex ​than in level 1. Items 
require students to make some decisions as to how to approach the question or problem. Keywords that 
generally distinguish a Level 2 item include “classify,” “organize,” ”estimate,” “make observations,” 
“collect and display data,” and “compare data.” These actions imply ​more than one step​. For example, to 
compare data requires first identifying characteristics of the objects or phenomenon and then grouping or 
ordering the objects. Level 2 activities include making observations and collecting data; classifying, 
organizing, and comparing data; and organizing and displaying data in tables, graphs, and charts. 

Some action verbs, such as “explain,” “describe,” or “interpret,” could be classified at different DOK 
levels, depending on the complexity of the action​. For example, interpreting information from a simple 
graph, requiring reading information from the graph, is a Level 2. An item that requires interpretation from 
a complex graph, such as making decisions regarding features of the graph that need to be considered and 
how information from the graph can be aggregated, is at Level 3. 
Level 3 Strategic Thinking​ r​ equires deep knowledge using reasoning, planning, using evidence, and a 
higher level of thinking than the previous two levels. The cognitive demands at Level 3 are ​complex and 
abstract​. The complexity does not result only from the fact that there could be multiple answers, a 
possibility for both Levels 1 and 2, but because the multi-step task requires ​more demanding reasoning​. In 
most instances, requiring students to explain their thinking is at Level 3; requiring a very simple 
explanation or a word or two should be at Level 2. An activity that has more than one possible answer and 
requires students to justify the response they give would most likely be a Level 3. Experimental designs in 
Level 3 typically involve more than one dependent variable. Other Level 3 activities include drawing 
conclusions from observations; citing evidence and developing a logical argument for concepts; explaining 
phenomena in terms of concepts; and using concepts to solve non-routine problems. 

Level 4 Extended Thinking​ r​ equires h


​ igh cognitive demand ​and is ​very complex​. Students are required to 
make several connections—relate ideas w ​ ithin t​ he content area or ​among ​content areas—and have to select 
or devise one approach among many alternatives on how the situation can be solved. Many on-demand 
assessment instruments will not include any assessment activities that could be classified as Level 4. 
However, standards, goals, and objectives can be stated in such a way as to expect students to perform 
extended thinking. “Develop generalizations of the results obtained and the strategies used and apply them 
to new problem situations,” is an example of a Grade 8 objective that is a Level 4. Many, but not all, 
performance assessments and open-ended assessment activities requiring significant thought will be at a 
Level 4. 

Level 4 requires complex reasoning, experimental design and planning, and ​probably will require an 
extended period of time ​either for the science investigation required by an objective, or for carrying out the 
multiple steps of an assessment item. However, the extended time period is not a distinguishing factor if 
the required work is only repetitive and does not require applying significant conceptual understanding and 
higher-order thinking. For example, if a student has to take the water temperature from a river each day for 
a month and then construct a graph, this would be classified as a Level 2 activity. However, if the student 
conducts a river study that requires taking into consideration a number of variables, this would be a Level 4. 

Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in Social Studies 


Level 1 Recall of Information​ asks students to recall facts, terms, concepts, trends, generalizations and 
theories or to recognize or identify specific information contained in graphics. This level generally requires 
students to identify, list, or define. The items at this level usually ask the student to recall who, what, when 
and where. Items that require students to “describe” and “explain” could be classified at Level 1 or 2 
depending on what is to be described and explained. A Level 1 “describe or explain” would recall, recite or 
reproduce information. Items that require students to recognize or identify specific information contained 
in maps, charts, tables, graphs or drawings are generally level 1. 

Level 2 Basic Reasoning​ includes the engagement of some mental processing beyond recalling or 
reproducing a response. This level generally requires students to contrast or compare people, places, events 
and concepts; convert information from one form to another; give an example; classify or sort items into 
meaningful categories; describe, interpret or explain issues and problems, patterns, reasons,cause and 
effect, significance or impact, relationships, points of view or processes. A Level 2 “describe or explain” 
would require students to go beyond a description or explanation of recalled information to describe or 
explain a result or “how” or “why.” 

Level 3 Complex Reasoning​ requires reasoning, using evidence, and a higher level of thinking than the 
previous two levels. Students would go beyond explaining or describing “how and why” to justifying the 
“how and why” through application and evidence. The cognitive demands at Level 3 are more complex and 
more abstract than Levels 1 or 2. Items at Level 3 include drawing conclusions; citing evidence; applying 
concepts to new situations; using concepts to solve problems; analyzing similarities and differences in 
issues and problems; proposing and evaluating solutions to problems; recognizing and explaining 
misconceptions or making connections across time and place to explain a concept or big idea. 

Level 4 Extended Reasoning​ requires the complex reasoning of Level 3 with the addition of planning, 
investigating, or developing that will most likely require an extended period of time. The extended time 
period is not a distinguishing factor if the required work is only repetitive and does not require applying 
significant conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking. At this level the cognitive demands should 
be high and the work should be very complex. Students should be required to connect and relate ideas and 
concepts within the content area or among content areas in order to be at this highest level. The 
distinguishing factor for Level 4 would be evidence through a task or product that the cognitive demands 
have been met. A Level 4 performance will require students to analyze and synthesize information from 
multiple sources, examine and explain alternative perspectives across a variety of sources and/or describe 
and illustrate how common themes and concepts are found across time and place. In some Level 4 
performance students will make predictions with evidence as support, develop a logical argument, or plan 
and develop solutions to problems. Many on-demand assessment instruments will not include assessment 
activities that could be classified as Level 4. However, standards, goals, and objectives can be stated so as to 
expect students to perform thinking at this level. On-demand assessments that do include tasks, products, 
or extended responses would be classified as Level 4 when the task or response requires evidence that the 
cognitive requirements have been met. 

DOK and Assessment 

“Firm evidence shows that formative assessment is an essential component of classroom work and that its 
development can raise standards of achievement.” 

P. Black & D. Williams (1998) inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment. P
​ hi Delta Kappa, ​80(2) 

  
DOK is N
​ OT​…   

· a taxonomy (Bloom’s) 

· the same as difficulty 

· about using “verbs” 

· determined by the verb (Bloom’s Taxonomy), but by the context in which the verb is used and the 
depth of thinking required. 

Verbs are not always used appropriately... 


Words like explain or analyze have to be considered in context. 
• “Explain to me where you live” does not raise the DOK of a simple rote response. 
• Even if the student has to use addresses or landmarks, the student is doing nothing more than recalling 
and reciting. 

Same Verb—
Three Different DOK Levels 


DOK 1- ​Describe​ three characteristics of metamorphic rocks. ​(Requires simple recall) 
DOK 2- ​Describe​ the difference between metamorphic and igneous rocks. ​(Requires cognitive processing to 
determine the differences in the two rock types) 
DOK 3- D
​ escribe​ a model that you might use to represent the relationships that exist within the rock cycle. 
(Requires deep understanding of rock cycle and a determination of how best to represent it) 

DOK is about complexity 


•The intended student learning outcome determines the DOK level. 
• Every standard in the NCSCOS has been assigned a DOK level. 
• Instruction and classroom assessments must reflect the DOK level of the objective or intended learning 
outcome. 

Suggestions for Drafting Questions at Higher Levels 

• Model Thinking Process Explicitly… for some students learning what is required will remain a mystery 
unless taught explicitly 
• Use Advance Organizers… Using note-taking and graphic organizers BEFORE the lesson can cue students 
as to what to expect. Questions and agendas can also be used to help students anticipate what to look for in 
the coming lesson 
• Use Concept Mapping … Concept Mapping provides students with a framework for visualizing thinking. 

  

Questioning Strategies That Provoke HOT 

• Require students to manipulate prior information •Why do you suppose.....?
•“What can you conclude from 
the evidence? 
• Ask students to state an idea or definition in their own words. 
• Ask questions that require a solution to a problem.
• Involve students in observing and describing an event 
or object… “What do you notice?” •“Tell me about this.” •“What do you see?” 
•Ask students to compare or contrast. 

Tips for Creating High-Level Questions 

The following simple tips can get ALL students involved in the lesson and help them gain a deeper 
understanding of the content by challenging them to think critically. 

1.  Create a “
​ HOT” ​Question for Each Lesson 
2.  Require ALL students to answer the question (“all-write” 
strategy). 
3.  Require students to defend answers. 
4.  Differentiate questions as appropriate.