Rubric Template Samples for Teachers

Sample Templates and Example Rubric Features and Phrases

teacher grading papers
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Rubrics simplify the process of assessing and grading student work. They make an educator's life easier by allowing them to quickly determine whether a student has grasped a concept and which areas of their work exceed, meet, or fall short of expectations. Rubrics are an irreplaceable tool to have but take time to make. Learn the features of a basic rubric and use the following samples for a great grading instrument in no time.

Features of a Rubric

A basic rubric template must have the following features.

  • A description of the task or performance being evaluated
  • Criteria that divide student work into categories
  • A rating scale with three or more qualifiers that tell the degree to which expectations are met

Performance descriptors are used to evaluate a student's work within these classifications. Read to find out more about the critical features of a rubric.


The action verbs and phrases used to describe a task or performance are important. The description must detail the features of a successful performance—what each student should be able to do, show, or otherwise apply following a lesson or unit (do not use negative language that tells what a student is not doing). The rest of the rubric determines whether this expectation has been met.

The description should be as specific and detailed as possible to leave no room for uncertainty when analyzing student work. A teacher should be able to hold a student's work against this description and immediately determine how effective their performance was.

Great action verbs to try include:

  • Demonstrates
  • Identifies
  • Makes connections
  • Interprets
  • Expresses
  • Applies
  • Predicts
  • Communicates

Example: The student interprets the purpose of an informational text by making connections between its various text features (captions, diagrams, subheadings, etc.).


The criteria of a rubric qualify every aspect of student work. Criteria may be found in the form of individual skills or abilities associated with overall performance, features of the work, dimensions of student thinking that went into the task, or specific objectives that a student must meet within a larger goal.

You might find that a student's work satisfies or even goes beyond some criteria while only approaching others. This is normal! All students learn differently and some concepts make sense to them sooner than others.

Example: Within the goal of interpreting an informational text using its text features, a student must be able to name text features, explain reasons for using text features, locate the main ideas of the text, and answer questions about the text. A successful student fully meets each of these criteria.

Example: The criteria for evaluating a student's oral presentation are eye contact, pacing, volume, content, and preparedness.


Qualifiers quantify success by telling the extent to which a student meets each expectation. Four-point scales like the one described below are common because they clearly show the levels of accomplishment but the number of gradations is up to your discretion.

The following list gives examples of precise language that might be used to describe scores.

  • 0 points: Poor quality, beginning, little evidence, needs improvement, does not meet expectations, unsatisfactory.
  • 1 point: Below average quality, developing, basic, some evidence, fair, approaches or partially meets expectations, somewhat satisfactory.
  • 2 points: Good quality, proficient, accomplished, sufficient evidence, good, acceptable, meets expectations, satisfactory.
  • 3 points: High quality, exemplary, highly proficient, strong, advanced, displays evidence beyond, best quality, excellent, exceeds expectations, more than satisfactory.

You may choose to begin your scale with one instead of zero and/or assign a point range rather than single point to each level. Whatever you choose, be as specific as possible about the characteristics of performance at every degree. The qualifiers assigned to a student's work are significant because they ultimately determine the overall score.

Rubric Template 1

Description of the task the rubric is designed to evaluate

Basic Rubric Template 1

Lowest Quality

Average Quality

Good Quality

Exceptional Quality

Criteria 1 Performance
descriptors here
Criteria 2        
Criteria 3        
Criteria 4        
Four criteria and four score levels

Rubric Template 2

Description of the task the rubric is designed to evaluate

Basic Rubric Template 2

Meets or Exceeds Expectations


Approaching Expectations


Does not meet expectations

1 - 2


Objective 1


Objective 2


Objective 3

Three objectives and three score level ranges with score

Rubric Template 3

Description of the task the rubric is designed to evaluate

Basic Rubric Template 3
  Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5
Level 0          
Level 1          
Level 2          
Level 3          

Five features and four score levels with score
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Your Citation
Cox, Janelle. "Rubric Template Samples for Teachers." ThoughtCo, Feb. 9, 2021, Cox, Janelle. (2021, February 9). Rubric Template Samples for Teachers. Retrieved from Cox, Janelle. "Rubric Template Samples for Teachers." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 31, 2023).