Common Core Standards Elementary Writing Rubric
Check out this Common Core Standards elementary writing rubric. The rubric featured is for the 2nd grade, but if you go to the link I provide below, you’ll find rubrics for all grades.

By Cameron Pipkin


I’ve received a pretty overwhelming response to the writing rubric that I posted a few months ago. Day after day, and month after month, more readers visit that post than any other page I’ve put up.

But it’s occurred to me that there might be a few of you out there in need of more than what I’ve provided so far. My last post was geared specifically to secondary students, but as we know, teenagers aren’t the only ones out there learning to write. Their younger counterparts need guidance too—maybe even more.

After searching far and wide, I’ve found what I think is the best library of Common Core Standards elementary writing rubrics on the web, courtesy of the Delaware DOE. Here’s what they have for second grade students, just to pull an example:


As you can see, this Common Core Standards elementary writing rubric focuses on four key skills, all aligned to the Core:

  1. Language and Conventions
  2. Organization
  3. Development
  4. Reading and Research

Common Core Lesson Plans

As a former writing teacher myself, it fills me with glee to see such a systematic, sophisticated focus on writing as early as the second grade. I’ve heard some argue that skills like this are too difficult for young children, but I’m convinced that presented in the right way, kids will understand and thrive under the challenge. Let’s spend a moment looking at each of these skills in the Common Core Standards elementary writing rubric.

  1. Language and Conventions: This probably represents the biggest change to education of the four skills. If you’ll notice, the rubric asks teachers to multiply this score by a factor of one, giving it the lowest value of any of the skills presented. Just a few decades ago, when I was in school, the focus of an ELA education was proper use of conventions. Now it’s given way to more important skills. I see this as a step forward.
  2. Organization: Organization, I think, is more important than we sometimes realize for our students—especially for our young writers. This Common Core Standards elementary writing rubric demands an intro, conclusion, and a substantive body.
  3. Development: This section is simple, but really the crux of the entire exercise, and therefore given a value of x3 on the Common Core Standards elementary writing rubric. At this level in the Common Core learning progressions, students must do more than just state an opinion—they must give a reason for holding that opinion. In later grades they will be asked to do things like support opinions with evidence. For now, it’s enough to get them used to simply providing logical reasons.
  4. Reading and Research: This aspect of the Common Core may be new to many elementary instructors. Students must begin to show aptitude reading and using sources in their writing. This will call on teachers to help students approach reading in a novel way—to extract facts for building arguments. Sophisticated stuff, to be sure.

Click here to get the rest of the Delaware DOE’s rubrics.

Let me know how this works for you in your classrooms!

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