Spring into Poetry Rubric


When Looking At.... Ask Yourself...
Poetic Form/Free Verse Conventions Does the poem take on a poetic form (limerick, sonnet, haiku, etc.) or is
it free verse? If the poem has a form, how well does the submission
adhere to that form? If the poem is free verse, does the writing flow
smoothly or rhythmically, or seem choppy? Where are the stanza
breaks, and do they interrupt or emphasize ideas?
Ideas/Originality Does this poem copy a tired style (with no unique twist) or does it try
something new? Is the subject matter of the poem unique or
interesting? Does the poem have a clear meaning, theme, or story?
Word Choice/Usage Does the vocabulary used match the intended theme/story of the
poem? Do the words used help create an appropriate emotional
response in the reader (does the poem create mood)? Does the poem
sound natural/human, or flat/robotic? Do you feel there is a discernible
style to the poet’s writing?
Significance/Coherence What is the goal/aim of this poem (ie Does it tell a story? Is it trying to
recreate an emotion for the reader? Is it explaining/expressing
someone’s thoughts?)? Does the poem meet it’s goal? Does the poem
help the reader understand something deeper, feel something for
themselves, or tell a complete story? Do the stanzas and ideas come
together as a complete, coherent work?
Spelling/Punctuation How well was the piece proofread? Do the punctuation and spelling
errors, if present, affect the readability of the poem?


Points Poetic Form / Free Verse Conventions Ideas / Originality Poetic Devices Word Choice / Usage Significance / Coherence Spelling / Punctuation 
1 - Novice - Has no poetic form,
does not flow as free
verse (is prose)
- Stanza breaks highly
random or missing
- Line breaks disrupt
- Unoriginal, seems like
retelling or cliché (roses are
- No discernible
meaning/theme/story to
- Does not utilize poetic devices - Word choice
inappropriate/does not
support theme/mood/story of
- Poet voice/tone
inappropriate or absent
- Work is unrelatable
- Unsuccessful in aim/goal of
the poem
- Punctuation and/or
spelling errors are
frequent enough to
affect coherency of
2 - Student - Attempted poetic
form, rough free verse
- Stanza breaks seem
- Developing
rhythm/flow, but still
a bit awkward
- Mostly basic detail or
seems contrived
- Vague/unclear
meaning/theme/story to
- Minimal/unnatural/does not
understand use of poetic devices
-Utilizes one or two poetic devices
- Some words support
theme/mood/story of poem,
but overall no real
- Poet voice/tone somewhat
appropriate but
underdeveloped or doesn’t
quite agree with theme
- Work contains attempts at
relatability/empathy, but not
cohesive as a whole
- Somewhat successful in
aim/goal of the poem, and
aim/goal lacks
- Arbitrary
punctuation and
major spelling errors
3 – Apprentice - Recognizable poetic
form with some
liberties of form,
rough free verse with
some intentional line
breaks that support
- Stanza breaks mostly
rhythm of poem
- Some basic detail,
- Attempted
meaning/theme/story to
poem, unclear execution
- Mix of natural and unnatural use
of poetic devices
- Uses a few different poetic devices
- Appropriate word choice to
support theme/mood/story of
poem, beginnings of
- Poet voice/tone
appropriate/supports theme
- Work is
empathetic, work comes
together as a whole
- Successful in aim/goal of
poem, yet aim/goal lacks
- Some punctuation
and some spelling
4 - Protégé - Recognizable poetic
form with few
liberties of form,
flowing/natural free
- Mostly intentional
stanza breaks,
sometimes apply
- Fairly creative/original
- Discernible
meaning/theme/story of
poem, still developing 
- Mostly natural and clear
understanding use of poetic devices
- Uses a small variety of poetic
- Appropriate word choice to
support theme/mood/story of
poem, clear
mood/atmosphere to poem
- Poet voice/tone is
appropriate to theme and
individual style is developing
- Work is
relatable/empathetic, and
comes together as a
complete work
- Successful in aim/goal of
poem, attempts to add to or
inspire deeper
understanding of its subject
- Minor punctuation
and spelling errors
5 - Poet - Exemplary of poetic
form, flowing/natural
free verse
- Stanza breaks
intentional and create
- Highly creative/original
- Clear
meaning/theme/story to
- Natural and masterful use of
poetic devices
- Uses variety of poetic devices
- Exemplary word choice in
support of theme/mood/story
of poem, clear
- Poet voice/tone
complements theme and
individual style is established
- Work is
relatable/empathetic, and
comes together as a
complete work
- Successful in aim/goal of
poem, adds to or inspires
deeper understanding of subject and/or is emotionally significant
- No punctuation or
spelling errors

Submission Scorecard

Facet Points
Poetic Form/Free Verse Conventions /5
Ideas/Content/Originality /5
Poetic Techniques /5
Word Choice/Usage /5
Scope/Significance/Coherence /5
Spelling/Punctuation /5
Total /30