Tauhara College


Concept; Solos Taxonomy and differentiated learning

Big Idea; Solos taxonomy can enable student lead, differentiated learning and promotes student agency.


Solos Taxonomy

Pre structural

I know nothing about this, which is cool because I have so much I can learn.

What is Solo’s Taxonomy? I have never heard of this.

I have heard of it but don’t know what it is.

Oh not this again, I have been hearing about this for the last two years and still don’t know what it is!

Uni Structural

I can pick up on 1 idea; my understanding is limited, disconnected.

I can identify the stages of the taxonomy and I might be able to describe what stages involve.



Multi structural

I understand several ideas; but I miss their relationship to one another and the whole.

I can identify the 5 stages of Solo’s Taxonomy. I can remember the name of each stage, put them in order of higher ordering thinking and loosely describe what each one involves.



I can link and integrate my ideas to create a coherent understanding of the whole.

I am able to analyze solo’s taxonomy by describing each stage and explaining how they contribute to students learning progression. I can explain how the Use of Solo’s can promote student understanding of the learning process and awareness and reflection of their own learning.



Extended abstract

I can rethink my relational understanding and look at it in a new way. I can extend my understanding and use it to predict, evaluate, generalise, reflect or create new understanding.

I can design a set of learning tasks based on developing student’s progression of learning through Solo’s Taxonomy.

I can discuss and evaluate with students, where they are up to in their learning progression and plan for the next steps.

I have attempted this in my classroom and really want to share and hear from others.
























Learning Activities

Use the Solo’s rubric to evaluate where you are at with Solo. Then use the tasks below to plan your learning progression. You don’t have to do all of them; you can start where you need to. Seek out other people who are at a similar stage and have a discussion about where to start.




  1. Find out what Solo actually stands for.


  2. Write down the 5 stages of solo’s in the progressive order.


  3. Write a brief description of the development of Solo’s, who developed it, when, where, why, how?

Multi structural



  1. What is Solo’s? What does Solo’s do? How will it benefit my students? Use the green handout to help you to answer these questions.


  2. Search the Internet for evidence of how teachers and learners are using Solo’s. Keep a list of all the different ways you can see Solo’s being used in teaching and learning.


  3. Take something you know and understand really well, it could be a sport, a hobby or a task around the house. E.g. sharpening a chainsaw, changing a bike tire etc.Create a Solo’s table where you can break the task down and understanding the learning progression by applying solos to that task.





  1. For each stage of Solo’s, explain in your own words what is expected of learners at each stage.


  2. Take a concept that you are confident of teaching in your class. Design a rubric of achievement criteria for this concept. What will learners be able to do at each stage of Solo’s?
  3. Investigate the academic discourse and research that has gone into the development of Solo’s. Make a judgment about Solo’s academic reliability and validity. Make sure to back your judgment up with reasonable explanations and accurate evidence.


  4. Create a PMI chart. You will evaluate the Plus’ the Minus’ and the interesting thoughts about the use of Solo’s as a tool for learning in your own teaching practice.

Extended abstract



  1. Develop a Solo’s rubric for a concept/idea/topic that you are confident of teaching. Once you are sure of the achievement criteria for each stage of Solo’s then develop a series of activities which enables explicit learning progression through the learning of that concept/idea/topic. Make the rubric available to students and have some reflective discussions that enable students to self-evaluate and make planning for the next stage of their learning progression through this concept. Remember some students may not progress to extended abstract, or it may take them a bit longer. They need to be involved in the conversation and decision about whether to persevere or move on.


  2. Discuss with others how this works in your classroom and share evidence to justify discussion.