Saturday, January 5, 2013

Visual Rubrics: Do You Use Them?

Fancy that...something I made in college during student teaching actually comes in handy!  ;)  On Thursday and Friday, I started the final project in my Ancient Egypt unit with my 6th graders (see below).  For the final project, we took some notes on Ancient Egyptian artifacts and then I gave students the criteria for their final project for the unit:

     1. Create an Egyptian artifact out of clay using at least one of the three hand-building techniques.
     2. Artifact must include hieroglyphics.
     3. Artifact must somehow reflect yourself in it.
     4. You must turn in a sketch that tells me what your artifact will be, how you will build it, if you plan on glazing or painting it (or both), and you must tell me how you will be reflected in the project.

All of my students have done the three hand-building techniques in class before, either with me or the previous teacher.  We did coil pots last year, pinch pots the year before, and a majority of the students have done slab work with me in the after school program when we have done clay projects then.

However, to remind them what the hand-building techniques are, I brought out some visual rubrics I created when I did my student teaching.  And then I questioned myself as to why I don't make these for more projects!  My craftsmanship rubric does count as a visual rubric (a visual rubric shows students what a project would look like for all grade steps, not just an excellent example), but I feel like I should be using more of these...especially with the Common Core requirements and Marazano way of teaching.

Either way, here are my visual rubrics that I for a coil pot, pinch pot, and slab box.  Unfortunately, my other two slab boxes broke, because ironically, they were put together horribly!  In addition to these ceramic pieces, I had also photographed them and created a poster version, just in case any of them broke in future years (smart thinking on my part! ;) ).

 So my question is, how many of you actually use visual rubrics like these in your class?  Do you find them helpful?  What mediums do you have them for?  Do you make them for specific projects, or do you make general ones that can apply to multiple projects, like a craftsmanship rubric?

 On the opposite side of these rubrics, I have the basic instructions written out as to how to create each one of these projects, just in case students need further reminding.  I did also create separate posters for each hand-building skill as well.


  1. I think your visual rubrics look great! I need to make some of those for my room.

    1. Thanks! I'd like to make more, but I think I would have to do more general would take too much time to make a visual rubric for EVERY project!

    2. I think these are a wonderful idea! I am having to do a lot of work to promote visual arts with new administration. I think this will help.

  2. These are fabulous! A lot of work, but really useful! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi, I think is a brilliant idea and I might use it with my summer students. Is there any way I can gett access to the main text so I can fill in the blanks in the worksheet. Many thanks

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