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iRubric: Grade 7 Social Studies Research Project rubric

  • Grade 7 Social Studies Research Paper

rubric for research project grade 7

Rubric Best Practices, Examples, and Templates

A rubric is a scoring tool that identifies the different criteria relevant to an assignment, assessment, or learning outcome and states the possible levels of achievement in a specific, clear, and objective way. Use rubrics to assess project-based student work including essays, group projects, creative endeavors, and oral presentations.

Rubrics can help instructors communicate expectations to students and assess student work fairly, consistently and efficiently. Rubrics can provide students with informative feedback on their strengths and weaknesses so that they can reflect on their performance and work on areas that need improvement.

How to Get Started

Best practices, moodle how-to guides.

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Step 1: Analyze the assignment

The first step in the rubric creation process is to analyze the assignment or assessment for which you are creating a rubric. To do this, consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the assignment and your feedback? What do you want students to demonstrate through the completion of this assignment (i.e. what are the learning objectives measured by it)? Is it a summative assessment, or will students use the feedback to create an improved product?
  • Does the assignment break down into different or smaller tasks? Are these tasks equally important as the main assignment?
  • What would an “excellent” assignment look like? An “acceptable” assignment? One that still needs major work?
  • How detailed do you want the feedback you give students to be? Do you want/need to give them a grade?

Step 2: Decide what kind of rubric you will use

Types of rubrics: holistic, analytic/descriptive, single-point

Holistic Rubric. A holistic rubric includes all the criteria (such as clarity, organization, mechanics, etc.) to be considered together and included in a single evaluation. With a holistic rubric, the rater or grader assigns a single score based on an overall judgment of the student’s work, using descriptions of each performance level to assign the score.

Advantages of holistic rubrics:

  • Can p lace an emphasis on what learners can demonstrate rather than what they cannot
  • Save grader time by minimizing the number of evaluations to be made for each student
  • Can be used consistently across raters, provided they have all been trained

Disadvantages of holistic rubrics:

  • Provide less specific feedback than analytic/descriptive rubrics
  • Can be difficult to choose a score when a student’s work is at varying levels across the criteria
  • Any weighting of c riteria cannot be indicated in the rubric

Analytic/Descriptive Rubric . An analytic or descriptive rubric often takes the form of a table with the criteria listed in the left column and with levels of performance listed across the top row. Each cell contains a description of what the specified criterion looks like at a given level of performance. Each of the criteria is scored individually.

Advantages of analytic rubrics:

  • Provide detailed feedback on areas of strength or weakness
  • Each criterion can be weighted to reflect its relative importance

Disadvantages of analytic rubrics:

  • More time-consuming to create and use than a holistic rubric
  • May not be used consistently across raters unless the cells are well defined
  • May result in giving less personalized feedback

Single-Point Rubric . A single-point rubric is breaks down the components of an assignment into different criteria, but instead of describing different levels of performance, only the “proficient” level is described. Feedback space is provided for instructors to give individualized comments to help students improve and/or show where they excelled beyond the proficiency descriptors.

Advantages of single-point rubrics:

  • Easier to create than an analytic/descriptive rubric
  • Perhaps more likely that students will read the descriptors
  • Areas of concern and excellence are open-ended
  • May removes a focus on the grade/points
  • May increase student creativity in project-based assignments

Disadvantage of analytic rubrics: Requires more work for instructors writing feedback

Step 3 (Optional): Look for templates and examples.

You might Google, “Rubric for persuasive essay at the college level” and see if there are any publicly available examples to start from. Ask your colleagues if they have used a rubric for a similar assignment. Some examples are also available at the end of this article. These rubrics can be a great starting point for you, but consider steps 3, 4, and 5 below to ensure that the rubric matches your assignment description, learning objectives and expectations.

Step 4: Define the assignment criteria

Make a list of the knowledge and skills are you measuring with the assignment/assessment Refer to your stated learning objectives, the assignment instructions, past examples of student work, etc. for help.

  Helpful strategies for defining grading criteria:

  • Collaborate with co-instructors, teaching assistants, and other colleagues
  • Brainstorm and discuss with students
  • Can they be observed and measured?
  • Are they important and essential?
  • Are they distinct from other criteria?
  • Are they phrased in precise, unambiguous language?
  • Revise the criteria as needed
  • Consider whether some are more important than others, and how you will weight them.

Step 5: Design the rating scale

Most ratings scales include between 3 and 5 levels. Consider the following questions when designing your rating scale:

  • Given what students are able to demonstrate in this assignment/assessment, what are the possible levels of achievement?
  • How many levels would you like to include (more levels means more detailed descriptions)
  • Will you use numbers and/or descriptive labels for each level of performance? (for example 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and/or Exceeds expectations, Accomplished, Proficient, Developing, Beginning, etc.)
  • Don’t use too many columns, and recognize that some criteria can have more columns that others . The rubric needs to be comprehensible and organized. Pick the right amount of columns so that the criteria flow logically and naturally across levels.

Step 6: Write descriptions for each level of the rating scale

Artificial Intelligence tools like Chat GPT have proven to be useful tools for creating a rubric. You will want to engineer your prompt that you provide the AI assistant to ensure you get what you want. For example, you might provide the assignment description, the criteria you feel are important, and the number of levels of performance you want in your prompt. Use the results as a starting point, and adjust the descriptions as needed.

Building a rubric from scratch

For a single-point rubric , describe what would be considered “proficient,” i.e. B-level work, and provide that description. You might also include suggestions for students outside of the actual rubric about how they might surpass proficient-level work.

For analytic and holistic rubrics , c reate statements of expected performance at each level of the rubric.

  • Consider what descriptor is appropriate for each criteria, e.g., presence vs absence, complete vs incomplete, many vs none, major vs minor, consistent vs inconsistent, always vs never. If you have an indicator described in one level, it will need to be described in each level.
  • You might start with the top/exemplary level. What does it look like when a student has achieved excellence for each/every criterion? Then, look at the “bottom” level. What does it look like when a student has not achieved the learning goals in any way? Then, complete the in-between levels.
  • For an analytic rubric , do this for each particular criterion of the rubric so that every cell in the table is filled. These descriptions help students understand your expectations and their performance in regard to those expectations.

Well-written descriptions:

  • Describe observable and measurable behavior
  • Use parallel language across the scale
  • Indicate the degree to which the standards are met

Step 7: Create your rubric

Create your rubric in a table or spreadsheet in Word, Google Docs, Sheets, etc., and then transfer it by typing it into Moodle. You can also use online tools to create the rubric, but you will still have to type the criteria, indicators, levels, etc., into Moodle. Rubric creators: Rubistar , iRubric

Step 8: Pilot-test your rubric

Prior to implementing your rubric on a live course, obtain feedback from:

  • Teacher assistants

Try out your new rubric on a sample of student work. After you pilot-test your rubric, analyze the results to consider its effectiveness and revise accordingly.

  • Limit the rubric to a single page for reading and grading ease
  • Use parallel language . Use similar language and syntax/wording from column to column. Make sure that the rubric can be easily read from left to right or vice versa.
  • Use student-friendly language . Make sure the language is learning-level appropriate. If you use academic language or concepts, you will need to teach those concepts.
  • Share and discuss the rubric with your students . Students should understand that the rubric is there to help them learn, reflect, and self-assess. If students use a rubric, they will understand the expectations and their relevance to learning.
  • Consider scalability and reusability of rubrics. Create rubric templates that you can alter as needed for multiple assignments.
  • Maximize the descriptiveness of your language. Avoid words like “good” and “excellent.” For example, instead of saying, “uses excellent sources,” you might describe what makes a resource excellent so that students will know. You might also consider reducing the reliance on quantity, such as a number of allowable misspelled words. Focus instead, for example, on how distracting any spelling errors are.

Example of an analytic rubric for a final paper

Example of a holistic rubric for a final paper, single-point rubric, more examples:.

  • Single Point Rubric Template ( variation )
  • Analytic Rubric Template make a copy to edit
  • A Rubric for Rubrics
  • Bank of Online Discussion Rubrics in different formats
  • Mathematical Presentations Descriptive Rubric
  • Math Proof Assessment Rubric
  • Kansas State Sample Rubrics
  • Design Single Point Rubric

Technology Tools: Rubrics in Moodle

  • Moodle Docs: Rubrics
  • Moodle Docs: Grading Guide (use for single-point rubrics)

Tools with rubrics (other than Moodle)

  • Google Assignments
  • Turnitin Assignments: Rubric or Grading Form

Other resources

  • DePaul University (n.d.). Rubrics .
  • Gonzalez, J. (2014). Know your terms: Holistic, Analytic, and Single-Point Rubrics . Cult of Pedagogy.
  • Goodrich, H. (1996). Understanding rubrics . Teaching for Authentic Student Performance, 54 (4), 14-17. Retrieved from   
  • Miller, A. (2012). Tame the beast: tips for designing and using rubrics.
  • Ragupathi, K., Lee, A. (2020). Beyond Fairness and Consistency in Grading: The Role of Rubrics in Higher Education. In: Sanger, C., Gleason, N. (eds) Diversity and Inclusion in Global Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.
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15 Helpful Scoring Rubric Examples for All Grades and Subjects

In the end, they actually make grading easier.

Collage of scoring rubric examples including written response rubric and interactive notebook rubric

When it comes to student assessment and evaluation, there are a lot of methods to consider. In some cases, testing is the best way to assess a student’s knowledge, and the answers are either right or wrong. But often, assessing a student’s performance is much less clear-cut. In these situations, a scoring rubric is often the way to go, especially if you’re using standards-based grading . Here’s what you need to know about this useful tool, along with lots of rubric examples to get you started.

What is a scoring rubric?

In the United States, a rubric is a guide that lays out the performance expectations for an assignment. It helps students understand what’s required of them, and guides teachers through the evaluation process. (Note that in other countries, the term “rubric” may instead refer to the set of instructions at the beginning of an exam. To avoid confusion, some people use the term “scoring rubric” instead.)

A rubric generally has three parts:

  • Performance criteria: These are the various aspects on which the assignment will be evaluated. They should align with the desired learning outcomes for the assignment.
  • Rating scale: This could be a number system (often 1 to 4) or words like “exceeds expectations, meets expectations, below expectations,” etc.
  • Indicators: These describe the qualities needed to earn a specific rating for each of the performance criteria. The level of detail may vary depending on the assignment and the purpose of the rubric itself.

Rubrics take more time to develop up front, but they help ensure more consistent assessment, especially when the skills being assessed are more subjective. A well-developed rubric can actually save teachers a lot of time when it comes to grading. What’s more, sharing your scoring rubric with students in advance often helps improve performance . This way, students have a clear picture of what’s expected of them and what they need to do to achieve a specific grade or performance rating.

Learn more about why and how to use a rubric here.

Types of Rubric

There are three basic rubric categories, each with its own purpose.

Holistic Rubric

A holistic scoring rubric laying out the criteria for a rating of 1 to 4 when creating an infographic

Source: Cambrian College

This type of rubric combines all the scoring criteria in a single scale. They’re quick to create and use, but they have drawbacks. If a student’s work spans different levels, it can be difficult to decide which score to assign. They also make it harder to provide feedback on specific aspects.

Traditional letter grades are a type of holistic rubric. So are the popular “hamburger rubric” and “ cupcake rubric ” examples. Learn more about holistic rubrics here.

Analytic Rubric

Layout of an analytic scoring rubric, describing the different sections like criteria, rating, and indicators

Source: University of Nebraska

Analytic rubrics are much more complex and generally take a great deal more time up front to design. They include specific details of the expected learning outcomes, and descriptions of what criteria are required to meet various performance ratings in each. Each rating is assigned a point value, and the total number of points earned determines the overall grade for the assignment.

Though they’re more time-intensive to create, analytic rubrics actually save time while grading. Teachers can simply circle or highlight any relevant phrases in each rating, and add a comment or two if needed. They also help ensure consistency in grading, and make it much easier for students to understand what’s expected of them.

Learn more about analytic rubrics here.

Developmental Rubric

A developmental rubric for kindergarten skills, with illustrations to describe the indicators of criteria

Source: Deb’s Data Digest

A developmental rubric is a type of analytic rubric, but it’s used to assess progress along the way rather than determining a final score on an assignment. The details in these rubrics help students understand their achievements, as well as highlight the specific skills they still need to improve.

Developmental rubrics are essentially a subset of analytic rubrics. They leave off the point values, though, and focus instead on giving feedback using the criteria and indicators of performance.

Learn how to use developmental rubrics here.

Ready to create your own rubrics? Find general tips on designing rubrics here. Then, check out these examples across all grades and subjects to inspire you.

Elementary School Rubric Examples

These elementary school rubric examples come from real teachers who use them with their students. Adapt them to fit your needs and grade level.

Reading Fluency Rubric

A developmental rubric example for reading fluency

You can use this one as an analytic rubric by counting up points to earn a final score, or just to provide developmental feedback. There’s a second rubric page available specifically to assess prosody (reading with expression).

Learn more: Teacher Thrive

Reading Comprehension Rubric

Reading comprehension rubric, with criteria and indicators for different comprehension skills

The nice thing about this rubric is that you can use it at any grade level, for any text. If you like this style, you can get a reading fluency rubric here too.

Learn more: Pawprints Resource Center

Written Response Rubric

Two anchor charts, one showing

Rubrics aren’t just for huge projects. They can also help kids work on very specific skills, like this one for improving written responses on assessments.

Learn more: Dianna Radcliffe: Teaching Upper Elementary and More

Interactive Notebook Rubric

Interactive Notebook rubric example, with criteria and indicators for assessment

If you use interactive notebooks as a learning tool , this rubric can help kids stay on track and meet your expectations.

Learn more: Classroom Nook

Project Rubric

Rubric that can be used for assessing any elementary school project

Use this simple rubric as it is, or tweak it to include more specific indicators for the project you have in mind.

Learn more: Tales of a Title One Teacher

Behavior Rubric

Rubric for assessing student behavior in school and classroom

Developmental rubrics are perfect for assessing behavior and helping students identify opportunities for improvement. Send these home regularly to keep parents in the loop.

Learn more: Teachers.net Gazette

Middle School Rubric Examples

In middle school, use rubrics to offer detailed feedback on projects, presentations, and more. Be sure to share them with students in advance, and encourage them to use them as they work so they’ll know if they’re meeting expectations.

Argumentative Writing Rubric

An argumentative rubric example to use with middle school students

Argumentative writing is a part of language arts, social studies, science, and more. That makes this rubric especially useful.

Learn more: Dr. Caitlyn Tucker

Role-Play Rubric

A rubric example for assessing student role play in the classroom

Role-plays can be really useful when teaching social and critical thinking skills, but it’s hard to assess them. Try a rubric like this one to evaluate and provide useful feedback.

Learn more: A Question of Influence

Art Project Rubric

A rubric used to grade middle school art projects

Art is one of those subjects where grading can feel very subjective. Bring some objectivity to the process with a rubric like this.

Source: Art Ed Guru

Diorama Project Rubric

A rubric for grading middle school diorama projects

You can use diorama projects in almost any subject, and they’re a great chance to encourage creativity. Simplify the grading process and help kids know how to make their projects shine with this scoring rubric.

Learn more: Historyourstory.com

Oral Presentation Rubric

Rubric example for grading oral presentations given by middle school students

Rubrics are terrific for grading presentations, since you can include a variety of skills and other criteria. Consider letting students use a rubric like this to offer peer feedback too.

Learn more: Bright Hub Education

High School Rubric Examples

In high school, it’s important to include your grading rubrics when you give assignments like presentations, research projects, or essays. Kids who go on to college will definitely encounter rubrics, so helping them become familiar with them now will help in the future.

Presentation Rubric

Example of a rubric used to grade a high school project presentation

Analyze a student’s presentation both for content and communication skills with a rubric like this one. If needed, create a separate one for content knowledge with even more criteria and indicators.

Learn more: Michael A. Pena Jr.

Debate Rubric

A rubric for assessing a student's performance in a high school debate

Debate is a valuable learning tool that encourages critical thinking and oral communication skills. This rubric can help you assess those skills objectively.

Learn more: Education World

Project-Based Learning Rubric

A rubric for assessing high school project based learning assignments

Implementing project-based learning can be time-intensive, but the payoffs are worth it. Try this rubric to make student expectations clear and end-of-project assessment easier.

Learn more: Free Technology for Teachers

100-Point Essay Rubric

Rubric for scoring an essay with a final score out of 100 points

Need an easy way to convert a scoring rubric to a letter grade? This example for essay writing earns students a final score out of 100 points.

Learn more: Learn for Your Life

Drama Performance Rubric

A rubric teachers can use to evaluate a student's participation and performance in a theater production

If you’re unsure how to grade a student’s participation and performance in drama class, consider this example. It offers lots of objective criteria and indicators to evaluate.

Learn more: Chase March

How do you use rubrics in your classroom? Come share your thoughts and exchange ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, 25 of the best alternative assessment ideas ..

Scoring rubrics help establish expectations and ensure assessment consistency. Use these rubric examples to help you design your own.

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  • 7th Grade Mathematics
  • Problem-Solving

Education Standards

Maryland college and career ready math standards.

Learning Domain: Statistics and Probability

Standard: Find probabilities of compound events using organized lists, tables, tree diagrams, and simulation.

Standard: Understand that, just as with simple events, the probability of a compound event is the fraction of outcomes in the sample space for which the compound event occurs.

Standard: Represent sample spaces for compound events using methods such as organized lists, tables and tree diagrams. For an event described in everyday language (e.g., "rolling double sixes"ť), identify the outcomes in the sample space which compose the event.

Standard: Design and use a simulation to generate frequencies for compound events. For example, use random digits as a simulation tool to approximate the answer to the question: If 40% of donors have type A blood, what is the probability that it will take at least 4 donors to find one with type A blood?

Common Core State Standards Math

Cluster: Investigate chance processes and develop, use, and evaluate probability models

Standard: Represent sample spaces for compound events using methods such as organized lists, tables and tree diagrams. For an event described in everyday language (e.g., “rolling double sixes”), identify the outcomes in the sample space which compose the event.

Project Rubric: Making Connections

Project rubric: putting math to work, project rubric & criteria.

Project Rubric & Criteria

Students design and work on their projects in class. They review the project rubric and, as a class, add criteria relevant to their specific projects.

Key Concepts

Students are expected to use the mathematical skills they have acquired in previous lessons or in previous math courses. The lessons in this unit focus on developing and refining problem-solving skills.

Students will:

  • Try a variety of strategies to approaching different types of problems.
  • Devise a problem-solving plan and implement their plan systematically.
  • Become aware that problems can be solved in more than one way.
  • See the value of approaching problems in a systematic manner.
  • Communicate their approaches with precision and articulate why their strategies and solutions are reasonable.
  • Make connections between previous learning and real-world problems.
  • Create efficacy and confidence in solving challenging problems in a real-world setting.

Goals and Learning Objectives

  • Create and implement a problem-solving plan.
  • Organize and interpret data presented in a problem situation.
  • Use multiple representations—including tables, graphs, and equations—to organize and communicate data.
  • Articulate strategies, thought processes, and approaches to solving a problem and defend why the solution is reasonable.

Project Rubric

Lesson guide.

Have students view the project rubric. Give students a minute to study the rubric. Then have students take turns saying one thing about the rubric without looking at it.

When students are finished, tell them that today they will add any specifics to the rubric that they think are needed for evaluating their projects.

SWD: Students with disabilities may have a more challenging time identifying areas of improvement to target in their projects. Teach your students how to review a project using the rubric and a sample project. Model for students how to evaluate their project to ensure they are completing all components needed and identifying any areas that need to be addressed that are not in the rubric.

Work with a partner to review the project rubric.

  • Take a few minutes to study the rubric by yourself.
  • Without looking at the rubric, take 1 minute to describe the rubric as completely as possible to your partner (who can look at the rubric). Your partner should listen carefully to your description.
  • Briefly look at the rubric again. Your partner should now take 30 seconds to add to your description of the rubric—without repeating any of your description and without looking at the rubric.

Math Mission

Discuss the Math Mission. Students will work on their projects and evaluate their progress using the project rubric.

Work on your project, and evaluate your progress using the project rubric.

Organize and Analyze Project Data

Make sure students understand that the best use of this in-class project work day is to accomplish what they can't easily do later outside of class. Big, beautiful displays are a last step; now is the time for groups to decide how they will go about completing their project. Today's work is messy and preliminary; some of it may be devoted to finding resources (Internet-based and elsewhere).

Circulate among the working pairs and groups—listening to what they say and watching what they do. Ask clarifying questions:

  • What mathematical concepts can you use to investigate your question?
  • What materials are necessary?
  • How will you investigate your question?
  • How can you use units to clarify your results?
  • How will you communicate your results to your audience?

SWD: Some students with disabilities may struggle with time management, create a timeline and “to do list” for students so they know where their progress should be regarding project completion. Hang this information in a prominent location in your classroom.

Today you will:

  • Conduct research to gather information or collect data.
  • Organize your information or data.
  • Analyze your information or data in order to answer your question.

As you work on your project, consider these questions:

  • What mathematical concepts do you need to use in order to investigate your question?

Examples: Numerical reasoning, probability, statistics, geometry, ratios and proportional relationships, expressions, and equations

  • How will you communicate your conclusions to the class?

Examples: Diagrams and graphs, equations, verbal explanations, and models

As you work, use the project rubric to evaluate your progress and make sure you are on the right track.

Your Completed Project

Go over the list of what the presentations should include.

Your completed project should include:

  • The information or data you researched.
  • Graphs or diagrams that communicate your findings.
  • Expressions, equations, or formulas that you used to make your conclusions.
  • A summary of your findings.
  • Your conclusions regarding your specific question.

Make Connections

Have students return to the project rubric. Tell them that, as a class, they can agree to add to—but not subtract from—the general rubric to improve the fit with their problem-solving projects.

There are two main ways to add to the rubric:

  • Add detail to one or more of the descriptions of score 4.
  • See the column “Specific to This Project.”
  • Add a new criterion for scoring, and then describe the score 4 for that criterion. See the blank, last row.

Give students a couple of minutes to talk with their partner or group. Then let individuals propose any specific additions. You or a student may record these additions, and after the class discussion, adopt whichever criteria have the support of the class.

Note that this is a brief, focused opportunity for students to take ownership of the rubric. They may make several additions or none. The objective is their buy-in.

Performance Task

Ways of thinking: make connections.

Look at the rubric again.

  • Notice the blank column with the heading “Specific to This Project.” Is there anything that you think should be added to this column?
  • Next, look at the bottom row that is blank. Is there any scoring criterion for the project that you think should be added here?

Take a few minutes to discuss these questions with a partner.

  • Write down any ideas you have.
  • Discuss your ideas as a class. As you propose an idea make sure to explain why you think it is important. After all ideas are discussed the class will decide as a group whether to adopt any of the suggestions.

Reflect on Your Work

Give students a few minutes to respond individually to two simple prompts, focused on what they accomplished today and what their next steps are. These reflections can be quite skeletal—very short lists are fine.

Then give partners and groups a few more minutes to share their individual reflections.

Make sure students realize that their reflections now serve as their starter for the work they will do outside of class to complete their problem-solving project.

ELL: The “Reflect on Your Work” section provides opportunities for ELLs to develop literacy in English and proficiency in mathematics. Make sure students use both academic and specialized mathematical language when reflecting on their project. Give students time to discuss the summary before they write, and make sure students create a task list for completing their project based upon the rubric.

Write a reflection about the ideas discussed in class today. Use the sentence starters below if you find them to be helpful. After you have finished, share your reflections with your group.

Today my group accomplished…

Our next steps are…

Version History

Download Project Based Learning Rubrics

We've created a wide range of rubrics - for designing and teaching PBL to guiding students through key stages of the PBL process. 

All of our resources – rubrics, project ideas, student handouts, videos, and more – are available at My.PBLWorks.org . You can download over 25 different rubrics there!

Go to MyPBLWorks.org for all rubrics

Below are some of the most popular rubric downloads. 

Project Based Teaching Rubric

This rubric describes beginning, developing, and Gold Standard levels for Project Based Teaching Practices for K-12 teachers and features detailed, concrete indicators that illustrate what it means to teach in a PBL environment.

Teachers and school leaders can use this rubric to reflect on their practice and plan for professional growth.

Download here

Rubric for Rubrics

This rubric describes a well-written rubric, distinguishing between rubrics that meet, approach, or are below standards for selection of criteria, distinction between levels, and quality of writing. It also describes how a rubric is created and used with students.

Project Design Rubric

The Project Design Rubric uses the Essential Project Design Elements as criteria to evaluate projects. The rubric aligns with BIE's Gold Standard PBL model. Definitions and practical examples are used to clarify the meaning of each dimension.

You and your colleagues can use the rubric to guide the design of projects, give formative feedback, and reflect and revise.

Grades 9-12 Presentation Rubric

This rubric helps teachers guide students in grades 9-12 in making effective presentations in a project, and it can be used to assess their performance. 

Use this rubric to guide students and assess their work, or to inform your thinking as you create your own assessment tools. Schools and districts can adopt or adapt this rubric for use across all classrooms.

Grades 6-12 Creativity & Innovation Rubric

The first part of this rubric helps teachers guide students in grades 6-12 in using an effective process for innovation in various phases of a project, and it can be used to assess their performance. 

The second part of the rubric can be used to assess the degree of creativity shown in the products students create in a project.

Yes, we provide PBL training for educators! PBLWorks offers a variety of PBL workshops, courses and services for teachers, school and district leaders, and instructional coaches - whether you're just getting started or advancing your practice. Learn more

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Assignment Biography: Student Criteria and Rubric for Writing

Researching an Individual Aligned to Common Core Writing Standards

  • Tips & Strategies
  • An Introduction to Teaching
  • Policies & Discipline
  • Community Involvement
  • School Administration
  • Technology in the Classroom
  • Teaching Adult Learners
  • Issues In Education
  • Teaching Resources
  • Becoming A Teacher
  • Assessments & Tests
  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • Homeschooling
  • M.A., English, Western Connecticut State University
  • B.S., Education, Southern Connecticut State University

The genre of  biography can also be categorized in the sub-genre of  narrative nonfiction/historical nonfiction. When a teacher assigns a biography as a writing assignment, the purpose is to have a student utilize multiple research tools to gather and to synthesize information that may be used as evidence in a written report about an individual. The evidence gained from research can include a person’s words, actions, journals, reactions, related books, interviews with friends, relatives, associates, and enemies. The historical context is equally important. Since there are people who have influenced every academic discipline, assigning a biography can be a cross-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary writing assignment. 

Middle and high school teachers should allow students to have a choice in selecting the subject for a biography. Providing student choice, particularly for students in grades 7-12, increases their engagement and their motivation especially if students select individuals they care about. Students would find it difficult to write about a person they do not like. Such an attitude compromises the process of researching and writing the biography.

According to by Judith L. Irvin, Julie Meltzer and Melinda S. Dukes in their book  Taking Action on Adolescent Literacy:

"As humans, we are motivated to engage when we are interested or have real purpose for doing so. So motivation to engage [students] is the first step on the road to improving literacy habits and skills" (Chapter 1).

Students should find at least three different sources (if possible) to make sure the biography is accurate. A good biography is well-balanced and objective. That means if there is disagreement between sources, the student can use the evidence to state that there is a conflict.  Students should know that a good biography is more than a timeline of events in a person's life.

The context of a person's life is important. Students should include information about the historical time period in which a subject lived and did her/his work. 

In addition, the student should have a purpose for researching another person's life. For example, the purpose for a student to research and write a biography can be in a response to the prompt:

"How does this writing this biography help me to understand the influence of this person on history, and quite possibly, this person's impact on me?"

The following standards-based criteria and scoring rubrics can be used to grade a student-selected biography. Both criteria and rubrics should be given to students before they begin their work. 

Criteria for a Student Biography aligned to Common Core State Standards

A General Outline for Biography Details

  • Birthdate /Birthplace
  • Death (if applicable).
  • Family Members.
  • Miscellaneous (religion, titles, etc).


  • Schooling.Training.
  • Work Experiences.
  • Contemporaries/Relationships.

Accomplishments/  Significance

  • Evidence of major accomplishments.
  • Evidence of minor accomplishments (if relevant).
  • The analysis that supports why the individual was worthy of note in their field of expertise during his or her life.
  • Analysis why this individual is worthy of note in their field of expertise today.


  • Statements made.
  • Works published.

Biography Organization using the CCSS Anchor Writing Standards 

  • Transitions are effective in assisting the reader to understand shifts.
  • Ideas within each paragraph are fully developed.
  • Each point is supported by evidence.
  • All evidence is relevant.  
  • Important terms are explained to the reader.
  • Purpose of each paragraph (introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion) is clear.  
  • Clear relationship between topic sentence(s) and paragraph(s) that came before is evident.

Grading Rubric: Holistic Standards with Letter Grade Conversions

(based on extended response Smarter Balanced Assessment writing rubric)

Score: 4 or Letter Grade: A

Student response is a thorough elaboration of the support/evidence on the topic (individual) including the effective use of source material. The response clearly and effectively develops ideas, using precise language:

  • Comprehensive evidence (facts and details) from source materials are integrated.
  • Relevant, and specific clear citations or attribution to source materials.
  • Effective use of a variety of elaborative techniques.
  • Vocabulary is clearly appropriate for the audience and purpose. 
  • Effective, appropriate style enhances content.

Score: 3  Letter Grade: B

Student response is an adequate elaboration of the support/evidence in the biography that includes the use of source materials. The student response adequately develops ideas, employing a mix of precise and more general language:  

  • Adequate evidence (facts and details) from the source materials is integrated and relevant, yet the evidence and explanation may be general.
  • Adequate use of citations or attribution to the source material.  
  • Adequate use of some elaborative techniques.
  • Vocabulary is generally appropriate for the audience and purpose.
  • The style is generally appropriate for the audience and purpose.

Score: 2 Letter Grade: C

Student response is uneven with a cursory elaboration of the support/evidence in the biography that includes the uneven or limited use of source material. The student response develops ideas unevenly, using simplistic language:

  • Some evidence (facts and details) from the source materials may be weakly integrated, imprecise, repetitive, vague, and/or copied.
  • Weak use of citations or attribution to source materials.
  • Weak or uneven use of elaborative techniques.
  • Development may consist primarily of source summaries.
  • Vocabulary use is uneven or somewhat ineffective for the audience and purpose.
  • Inconsistent or weak attempt to create the appropriate style.

Score: 1 Letter Grade: D

Student response provides a minimal elaboration of the support/evidence in the biography that includes little or no use of source material. The student response is vague, lacks clarity, or is confusing:

  • Evidence (facts and details) from the source material is minimal, irrelevant, absent, incorrectly used. 
  • Insufficient use of citations or attribution to the source material.
  • Minimal, if any, use of elaborative techniques.
  • Vocabulary is limited or ineffective for the audience and purpose.
  • Little or no evidence of appropriate style.
  • Insufficient or plagiarized (copied without credit) text.
  • Off-topic. 
  • Off-purpose.
  • Pros and Cons to Flexible Grouping in Middle and High School
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  • How to Write an Interesting Biography
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