Grade Eight Poetry Out Loud Scoring Rubric     


Weak  3

Average 5

Good  7

Excellent  8

Outstanding 10

Physical Presence



Timid; unsure; poor posture


At times unsure, at times confident


Poised, good eye contact and posture


Confident and relaxed; posture and eye contact show commanding stage presence


Authoritative; posture and eye contact show compelling stage presence

Voice and Articulation


Audible, but

quiet; too loud; monotone; paced unevenly; affected tone

Clear, sufficient tone, natural pacing

Very clear, appropriate inflection, good pacing

Very clear, crisp, well-paced, appropriate volume

Very clear,

mastery of rhythm and pace, appropriate volume

Appropriate-ness of Dramatization


Some distracting gestures; distracting vocal inflections & accents

Minimal distracting gestures or distracting voice inflection

Only gestures that enhance interpretation; embodies poem

Embodies the poem well; gestures illuminate poem’s meaning

Best embodies poem; gestures deftly reveal poem’s meaning

Level of Difficulty


Straight-forward language and content; moderate length

Some challenging content,

language, or length

Contains multiple elements of challenging content, language and/or length

Contains multiple elements of very challenging content, language and/or length

Contains multiple elements of extremely challenging content, language and/or length

Evidence of Understanding


Doesn’t sufficiently communicate meaning of poem

Satisfactorily communicates meaning of poem

Conveys meaning of poem well

Interprets poem very well for audience; nuances

Masterfully interprets poem for audience

Overall Performance


Weak performance; does disservice to poem

Sufficient performance, nothing notable

Successful, enjoyable performance

Very strong, compelling performance

Captivating performance—whole equals “more than the sum of the parts”







Only part of the poem is memorized

Errors, omissions, or mispronunciations damage the performance

Slight errors, omissions, or mispronunciations that only slightly impact the work.

Flawless accuracy


Total Score ____________________



Name ____________________________________ Class _____


Poem Title_________________________________ Poet ________________________