Helpful resources for teaching Cognitive Verbs

by Patricia Hipwell February 26, 2018 1 Comment

Helpful resources for teaching Cognitive Verbs

There is plenty of interest in the new senior syllabus and its cognitive verbs. While cognitive verbs is the new term, the concepts are old friends to teachers and students using Pat’s Posters or the How To Write What You Want To Say… book series.

Also known as key task words, task words and verbs, the cognitive verbs are common curriculum elements in disguise and teachers should be very familiar with these skills.

Our set of 18 posters are the most comprehensive resource yet developed for teaching these skills. The Posters link the skill, the questions to ask to guide the students as they develop the skill, graphic organisers and the language students should use to demonstrate the skill. They are designed to enable teachers to explicitly teach the Common Curriculum Elements (CCEs) in all year levels. 

Pat’s Posters / Blue Book

QCAA Cognitive Verbs


Analyse, examine, explore, reflect on


Argue, comment, discuss (for & against) distinguish


Categorise, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish


Compare, contrast

Concluding/Decision Making

Decide, deduce, determine, make decisions, solve


Communicate, define, describe, express, recall


Develop, document


Appraise, appreciate, assess, comment, consider, critique, evaluate, solve


Clarify, communicate, explain, judge



Inferring and Interpreting

Comprehend, deduce, derive, extrapolate, infer, interpret, predict, understand


Justify, prove


identify, recall, sequence

Making Recommendations

Propose, solve



Solving Problems

Prove, solve


Organise, summarise


Resolve, synthesise

However, these posters are a teacher resource for teachers to use as they plan their lessons to incorporate explicit teaching of the cognitive verbs as demonstrated through writing. While it is tempting to think that plastering classroom walls with them is a good idea, it may not be. It’s not especially helpful to give these posters to students. They feature a lot of information and require considerable unpacking with students.

A better option for students is the How to Write What You Want to Say… books. These books are designed to be a useful student resource and compliment the posters. The blue book, How To Write What You Want to Say… is a multi-subject book suitable for students in the middle years of schooling. There are also books focused on writing for science and mathematics as well.

Of course, to get the most out of the posters and books, you should know how to use them. We can demonstrate the best way to use these resources to teach the cognitive verbs for staff in a professional development session. To organise a session contact us.

Patricia Hipwell
Patricia Hipwell


1 Response


January 18, 2019

quite helpful. I am just an individual and quite often run into the reality that it is actually needed to write a work to
compose in the college or university. The Robertoservice assists me frequently.
There I can shell out a person and my work will likely be published.
I strongly suggest to anybody who will pay for his operate and never invest some
time upon it.
My advice for you would be to attempt the services.
There you can purchase your paper and obtain a good status.
I did so it. Should you be studying in university or really are a
student – this specific service is not going to swap.

Leave a comment

Also in News

Developing different reading skills
Developing different reading skills

by Patricia Hipwell March 01, 2019

Many students believe that all texts must be read in the same way – closely and continuously. This is because when we first teach children to read we use books. Competent readers do not read every text in the same way and have the right skills for each piece of text.

View full article →

‘Highly Recommended’ – SAETA Review of Hooking Students into Learning…
‘Highly Recommended’ – SAETA Review of Hooking Students into Learning…

by logonliteracy team February 28, 2019

This is an invaluable, comprehensive, wonderful literacy resource which represents excellent value for money for a site or a faculty area within a site. English teachers will be addressing elements of the Language and Literacy strands of the Australian Curriculum and the Literacy General Capability when they use any of these strategies purposefully.

View full article →

Peeling away at paragraphs
Peeling away at paragraphs

by Patricia Hipwell February 28, 2019

While teaching students to write paragraphs using a formula can be a good place to start and will assist writers, especially those who struggle, take care as formulaic writing can severely inhibit the development of personal style and voice.

View full article →