These are a few of my favourite things!
I was introduced to the Kaplan Depth and Complexity tools through a Higher Order Thinking Certificate that I did, and while I was often sceptical of the use of some of the things on the course, these tools/questions rang true.
I have used them in several contexts now, in particular in project-based learning activities, and I find they provide an excellent way of bringing vertical differentiation into the units. Questions can be designed in levels, as the Kaplan Tools are inherently differentiated/levelled, and this provides an opportunity for students to either choose what level they want to work at, ramp themselves up in a series of progressively more challenging questions, or for the teacher to select which students should be working on which questions (not really my preference, but can be good for extension material).
I designed a project around the concept of similarities and differences between Antarctica and New Zealand (as part of a year 8 unit on Antarctica), using the Kaplan Tools alongside some mapping tools, and the results were really good in terms of both student engagement and the final products.
I have included the questions used below, and also some images of student work presented.
The questions were put into three levels, with level 3 being the most challenging. You could easily colour code them instead, to take away the element of obvious difficulty level.