SWBAT Verb Examples

SWBAT stands for “Students Will Be Able To…” and it should begin all of the lesson objectives that you write as a teacher. Using SWBAT properly places the focus of a lesson plan on what the students learn and do rather that what the teacher teaches and does. As I have previously written, too many teachers make the lesson planning mistake of listing activities without purpose and focus on teaching rather than learning.SWBAT-verbs

When I first started teaching, I wasted a lot of unnecessary time on lesson planning. A part of that time would be spent trying to craft or decide on the best lesson objectives for my students. Unfortunately, I would often go with the default “SWBAT explain…”, which lacks clarity and can get to repetitive.

In The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning I developed a list of categorized SWBAT verb lesson objective examples to help teachers and catechists use as a cheat sheet for creating lesson objectives. You can find that list below.

I based these verbs off of two great taxonomies of learning objectives: Bloom’s Taxonomy and Marzano’s New Taxonomy. The three categories are meant to show an increasing level of thinking from memorization and repetition to creating new ideas based on what is known. I broke them down into three categories, because I always struggled to organize the various verbs in my head.

Retrieval objective verbs challenge students to memorize and repeat definitions and lists, describe main ideas, or recognize concepts from a list.

Comprehension objectives measure understanding of concepts.

Critical Thinking objectives ask students to take what they have learned and think about new concepts for themselves.

Examples of SWBAT Verbs

Retrieval

SWBAT…

  • Recognize/Identify from a list…
  • State/Recall the definition of…/Define…
  • Name/List the three…of…
  • Label…
  • Describe who, what, where, when…

Comprehension

SWBAT…

  • Summarize…
  • Paraphrase…
  • Describe the key parts of…
  • Describe the ways in which…
  • Explain why/the meaning of…
  • Explain how…
  • Depict/illustrate/draw…

Critical Thinking

SWBAT…

  • Compare and contrast…
  • Differentiate…
  • Make connections between…
  • Categorize/Classify/Organize/Sort…
  • Create an analogy/metaphor for…
  • Critique/Revise/Analyze…errors/problems/misunderstandings/
  • Create a generalization…
  • Make a prediction
  • Create a rule/principle/criteria for…
  • Defend/Develop/provide evidence for/support an argument for…
  • Form a conclusion…

SWBAT…

  • Select the best way to…
  • Rate the…according to a criteria…
  • Develop a strategy to…
  • Test the idea that…

If you would like actual examples of full lesson objectives or information about why I divided the verbs in the way I did, sign-up to receive your free copy of The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning. It includes this resource and many others to help teachers create better lesson plans.

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Comments

  1. Lynn Beck says:

    I am a DRE. Can I get copies for all my teachers? Your site is so straight forward and informative!
    So easy to pass lessons onto our teachers!

  2. mary sebastian says:

    Thank you and may the good Lord bless you now and always. Your have helped me as I am in class
    where the students are babies in their religious knowledge even though they are already 16 years old.
    Next May is Confirmation and I feel that I don’t have time to complete the text book given as I need to go down to basics all the time. Can you help me further please.

    Thank you and God Bless
    mary

  3. Jean Moran says:

    I find the resources on this website fantastic. Thank You.

  4. Donna Gunning says:

    Thank you for your generosity.

  5. Belgica says:

    Great help!

  6. Finding your SWBAT list has made my life as a first year religion teacher SO much easier. God Bless!

    • adelle says:

      Hello Jared,
      The 3 categories are very clear, but I find it very technical and too academic which to my mind will remain on the cognitive level.

      I was thinking of a pedagogy / process that leads to faith experience/to encounter Christ.. My problem in this pedagogy which is very good and clear objectively is how to bring it to the affective and to the psychomotor/application so that the teachings related to Confirmation/Gospel that we are imparting even if it becomes repetitive can be integrally part of Christian life and eventually it becomes a spirituality.

      I was not able to send some feedback about the many good lesson plans you’ve posted in the past days cause I’ve been so caught up with the event in my family in the Philippines. My brother died 3 days ago and have a 9 days wake period which I am trying to catch up and go home to attend the funeral scheduled on the 17th of this month.. Please include him (Erenio Cantona) and family in your prayer.

      I will go back to those lessons plans when I will be back from the Philippines and there are many good thoughts/ideas and insights which I would like to post.

      I feel, that I belonged not only to an academic community of The Religion Teachers but a Faith community because I able to share with you and to the group some personal family event which needs spiritual support. Thank you and

      Blessings to you and All,
      adelle

  7. Yes! Finally someone writes about Lesson Plan Template Marzano Strategies.

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