V.T416

Interpreting and Applying a Theme

Interpreting and Applying a Theme

Students will view eight images of artwork from various cultures and eras, all related to themes of conflict, war, or power. They will write short answers to prompts that will allow them to make interpretive connections between meaning and function, and to derive one of the common themes (conflict, war, power, or similar). They will also consider ideas about the intent, effect, and/or function of the various works.

This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.


This is an analytic rubric. The column on the left shows the dimension that is being measured in the student’s performance. The levels across the top row indicate the performance level in the dimensions. Occasionally all dimensions and performance levels are exemplified by multiple students in a single recording.

Teacher Scoring Rubric

  • Dimension
  • Interpretation Function and Meaning of Example Images

    Possible unifying themes include, but are not limited to, war, conflict, power, etc.

  • Final Drawing and Written Support Statement

    Possible unifying themes include, but are not limited to, war, conflict, power, etc.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Describes accurate or well-supported interpretive answers, based on images, to at least four questions.

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  • Describes accurate or well supported interpretive answers, based on images, to at least six questions.

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  • Describes accurate or well supported interpretive answers, based on images, to at least nine questions.

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  • Describes accurate or well supported interpretive answers, based on images, to all questions for three sets of images (12 total answers).

    N/A at this time.
  • Relationship to theme of original image and to a personal event is not well represented; some attempt is made to work with an arbitrary intent and/or social event.

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  • Some affinity to theme and intent or purpose of original images; may be too closely imitative of examples and/or lack strong reference to a personal, local, national, or world event.

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  • Clearly references and explores a unifying theme, and a purpose or intent derived from image examples. Clearly references a personal, local, national, or world event. Most elements align with theme and event.

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  • Clearly references and explores a unifying theme derived from most or all examples, and a purpose or intent derived from image examples. Clearly references a personal, local, national, or world event. All elements align with theme and event.

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