Saturday, January 19, 2013

Van Gogh Rubric & Essay (More Common Core!)

I have been working on creating rubric for my 5th grade Van Gogh unit and I wanted to share them, particularly to get your take on the essay portion.  As I said in my previous post, I haven't really been doing much Common Core in art, but I'm trying to change that.  By no means am I an English teacher, but I did write upwards of 20+ art history papers and a thesis in college, so I hope I have asked good enough thought-provoking questions!

This rubric is the rubric for the final, monochromatic project.  I'd like students write a short essay about their artwork and Van Gogh. We will mat/frame their essay and display it together with their paintings.  I plan on sharing this with their teachers to see if there is any way I should tweak these questions, write my directions, or review how to write an essay with them.  I'm not even sure if they have really done short essays (though I'm sure they have).  Please let me know if you have any input on this...I would greatly appreciate it!

As I'm posting this, I am adding another paragraph...Which elements of art did you use in your artwork? How and where?


  1. I think this is a wonderful way to assess your student's knowledge of Van Gogh. Well written, easy to understand and the rubric is clear and concise. You should feel confident about this assessment tool.

  2. The rubric is great. I'm in awe of how much work creating a rubric must take. Having never used a rubric, I can see how fairly you can assess an art project. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! My first two years I never used a rubric to grade anything, I simply assigned a letter grade of E, S, N, or U. But this year we are switching to Marzano with the APPR and after numerous discussions about "tracking student progress" with my administrators, they felt that the way I use rubrics to grade everything now is a way for students to track their on progress...especially since I use similar rubrics within a unit and grade almost the same things from project to project.

      At first it took FOREVER to grade everything, but I'm starting to get used to the process of using them. A lot of art teachers I know complain about having to grade with them because they are so black and white and they don't take the student's physical/mental abilities into consideration...but I think they are wrong. I think you can still use the same rubric across the just so happens that a 3 for one student might look different than a 3 for another student, and since you probably see the same students for a few years in a row (especially if you are elementary), you can see their improvement as they go!