Benefits of Using Rubrics:

1. Focus on What's Most Important

  • Decide: What skills, concepts or facts do you want student to understand at the end of the assignment?
  • Weight the parts of the rubric so that what is most important for the students to learn is the largest part of the grade
    • For example, if the content (facts and information) of a project is the focus (what you want the students to spend most of their time on), then most of the rubric points should be on content skills, with fewer points, if any, used for other skills such as neatness and spelling

2. Provide Clear Expectations

  • Let the students know exactly what they are expected to learn and/or do
  • Give them a target to aim toward

3.  Grade Objectively

  • Clear expectations make it easier to grade consistently and with less subjection
  • Once the rubric is established, grading often becomes faster and easier

4.  Effective Student Self-Evaluation

  • Students can use the rubric to assess their own work, resulting in a better understanding of what they have accomplished and what they can work on for next time

5. Track Progress

  • Be able to identify specific improvements within a concept or skill



Rubric Examples: 

Group Work:

1pt - Student let others do most of the work, was rude or disrespectful, and wasted most of the work time

2pts - Student did less than a fair share of the work, was sometimes disrespectful to group members, and/or wasted a lot of work time

3pts - Student did a fair share of the work, was respectful to group members most of the time, and/or used most of the class time wisely

4 pts - Student did an equal share of the work; shared with, listened to, and showed respect for group members; stayed on task


Project Appearance:

1pt - Sloppy, no labels. It looks like the group rushed to get it done.

2pts - Some color, very little detail. The labels are incomplete and/or missing on several major parts.

3pts - Nice, colorful, but not much detail. Almost all of the major parts are labeled and explained.

4 pts - Neat, colorful, attractive, detailed. This project is fun to look at. All of the major parts are labeled and explained.


Spelling/Grammar (on Project):

1pt - Mistakes make it very difficult for the reader to understand the project

2pts - Many mistakes; causes the reader to re-read in order to understand

3pts - Few mistakes; the reader may be distracted from what is being said

4 pts - Few mistakes, if any; errors do not distract from the project


Resources (on Project):

1pt - Used only one or two resources

2pts - Used few resources and/or used resources that were all the same type

3pts - Used several different resources, but not many resource types

4 pts - Used a variety of resource types, including the internet, history books, an atlas, and an encyclopedia



1pt - No list of resources

2pts - List of resources missing information and/or only includes 2-4 sources

3pts - List of at least 5 resources; missing information about the resources

4 pts - List of at least 5 resources; includes title, author, and page number of books and title and address of websites


Accuracy of Information (on Project):

1 pt - Much of the information is incorrect

2 pts - Some of the information is questionable or incorrect; no facts are given

3 pts - Information is generally accurate; no specific facts are given

4 pts - Information shows evidence of research; specific facts are used to explain and defend choices


Rubric from 5th Grade Social Studies Project (U.S. Colonies):

1 pt

2 pts

3 pts

4 pts

Location: Description

Description incomplete; little or no explanation given

Few reasons are given; it is unclear why this location was chosen

Includes general reasons for choice

Includes specific, detailed, fact-based reasons for choosing the location for their colony (may include climate, resources, etc.)

Location: Map

Few, if any, parts of map are labeled and/or labels are incorrect; location of village is unclear

Several labels are missing and/or are incorrect

Most of the original colonies are labeled; village location is clear; at least two landforms are labeled

Map of thirteen colonies includes name of thirteen original colonies, location of students’ village, and names of at least three major landforms

Aerial View of Village

Difficult to understand; labels and explanations are missing or incomplete

Lay-out must be studied to be understood; labels are incomplete; no explanation given

Lay-out is easy to understand and major parts are labeled; reason for lay-out is unclear

Lay-out of town is easy to understand; major buildings and parts are labeled; reason for lay-out is explained clearly

Colonists- Skills

List of occupations is incomplete or inaccurate for the time period

Fewer than 10 occupations listed and/or explanations of three are incomplete or missing

List of 10 colonists’ occupations includes specific skills; explanations of three occupations are general

List of at least 10 colonists’ occupations includes specific skills needed that are accurate for the time period; explanations of three occupations are complete and fact-based


Novel Reading Assignment:

Handout with directions given to students: "Adventure Novel Study"


1 Point

2 Points

3 Points

4 Points


(Counts double)

2 or fewer specific examples from the book are used.

3-4 specific examples from the book are used.

Five or more specific examples from the book are used.

Five or more specific examples from the book are used. Page numbers are included.


Assignment is incomplete.

Assignment is missing one part.

Assignment is complete. Most directions were followed.

Assignment is complete. All directions were followed.


One of those

Two of those

Three of those

Neat, colorful and/or in pen, correct spelling and grammar throughout

 Rubric Resources:


  • Create your own rubrics from available templates and categories; can be personalized


  • 43 different rubrics for specific student projects and writings, such as a multi-media presentation or a personal letter

Rubrics for Educators

  • Wide variety of ready-to-use rubrics and resources