ROLE, AUDIENCE, FORMAT, TOPIC (RAFT)

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1 ROLE, AUDIENCE, FORMAT, TOPIC (RAFT) GRADE LEVEL(S) 1-8 LESSON OBJECTIVE Students will create a written project using the reading and writing strategy RAFT (Santa, 1988). Through the project students will demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic in the RAFT assignment. BACKGROUND/PRIOR KNOWLEDGE NEEDED Teachers should have knowledge of or familiarize themselves with the concept of the RAFT strategy (see attached RAFT explanation sheet) EDUCATION STANDARD(S) Grades 1-8: Writing 1.0, 2.0; Written and Oral English Language Conventions 1.0 Reading Comprehension 2.0 MATERIALS NEEDED Pencil/pen, paper, blank RAFT graphic organizer MOTIVATION The RAFT reading and writing strategy is a very creative way for students to demonstrate understanding. Sharing and modeling an example of a RAFT lesson can serve the purpose of motivating the class and introducing the lesson the students will have to complete. DIRECT INSTRUCTION Model and share an example of a RAFT lesson (see additional resources for examples or create your own). Decide what role the students point of view should be written from. An example of this might be for the students to assume the role of the historian of the Santa Monica Pier. Decide what audience the students are writing for. An example of the audience might be the visiting public who go to the Santa Monica Pier. Decide what format the students will use when doing the project.

2 An example of a format that students might do that fits the role and audience could be a brochure. Decide what topic the brochure would be explaining. An example of this might be the history of the Santa Monica Pier. Once the Teacher has assigned a role, audience, format and topic from the range of choices (see attached) have students use various research methods to find the information needed. If the history of the Pier is the topic of the brochure, students might take a field trip to the Pier, use websites, speak to people that work for the Pier, and/or find books that will help the students gain information that will be needed to create the brochure. With the format of RAFT, discuss with students what criteria the format should have. With the example of the brochure the students might consider the following: How many sides or panels does the brochure need? What would it look like? What might be included? With the topic of the RAFT have a discussion with students about the specifics of the topic. Here students should consider what the major events have happened at the Santa Monica Pier? Who created the Pier? Why was it created? Students should research and use the writing process to complete their RAFTs. Have students write their papers/projects according to the criteria set by the teacher (or students). Use a RAFT rubric (see attached) for student guidance and for assessing the final papers/projects. GROUP/INDEPENDENT WORK Students can work independently, in pairs or in groups depending on level of ability, class size and/or teacher s preference. Students will use a RAFT to take an unusual point of view, write for a specific audience, create a specific writing product and focus on a particular topic. ACCOMMODATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS RAFTs are easily differentiated due to their flexible format. The teacher will need to build background to help students better understand the role, audience, format and topic. For example, if the role chosen is Judge What is a judge? What is his or her job like? The teacher will need to do this lesson after students have an extensive understanding of the topic; this lesson takes for granted that students have a core understanding of the basics of what they are writing about.

3 A teacher can develop many RAFTs based on the same topic that can be adjusted for skill level and rigor and fit the needs of the students within the classroom. Have the students choose which Role, Audience, and Format their written project will include. The examples listed are only samples of possibilities for building RAFTs. There are endless roles, audiences, formats, and topics that can be created. ASSESSMENT/WRAP UP Review and assess the children s final writing project. Older students might benefit from being given a specific rubric that will show the exact expectations and scoring method of the project (see attached). Final projects should be shared. Have an author s celebration for students to share their work with peers and/or parents, post online, display in the classroom or library, or share work with another class. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Instruction on Strategies On-Line (RAFT) RAFT Gallery of Examples RAFT: Strategy of the Month RAFT

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