School Improvement in Maryland

Social Studies Rubric

The rubric included is intended for use (by teachers) with every writing assignment.

Writing is a performance activity that allows students to reflect and elaborate on how they think and what they know. It is important to extend student understanding of the expectations of the rubric with repeated opportunities to write 5-7 minute Brief Constructed Responses and 25-30 minute Extended Constructed Responses. Many lessons in this packet can be extended to include BCRs and ECRs. Although students have been engaged in writing across the curriculum and having their work scored with MSPAP scoring tools, they will need additional instruction and practice with the Social Studies Rubric. Give students the rubric along with their writing assignment. Remind them that their answers need to include specific details and historical or contemporary applications in order to be “powerful and insightful” responses. Provide feedback and model exemplary responses to BCR and ECR items. Take advantage of the sample Government Prototype Assessment anchor papers and score point descriptors.

Score 4

This response shows understanding of the content, question, and/or problem. The response is insightful, integrates knowledge, and demonstrates powerful application.

  • The application shows powerful evidence of higher order thinking skills.
  • Concepts are accurate and well supported.
  • There are no misconceptions.
  • The response is comprehensive.
Score 3

This response shows some understanding of the content, question, and/or problem. The response includes appropriate application that demonstrates evidence of higher order thinking skills.

  • The application shows some evidence of higher order thinking skills.
  • Concepts are accurate and supported.
  • There are no interfering misconceptions.
  • The response may not develop all parts equally.
Score 2

This response shows knowledge of the content, question, and/or problem. The response is acceptable with some key ideas. The response shows little or no evidence of application.

  • The response includes some basic ideas.
  • The response provides little or no support.
  • There are minimal misconceptions.
Score 1

This response shows minimal knowledge of the content, question, and/or problem. The response is related to the question, but it is inadequate.

  • The response includes incomplete or fragmented ideas or knowledge.
  • There may be significant misconceptions.
Score 0

The response is completely incorrect or irrelevant. There may be no response.

Knowledge and Understanding indicate the degree to which the response reflects a grasp of the content, question, and/or problem presented in the stimulus. The response indicates mastery that progresses from knowledge to understanding.

Last Revised June 2001