RAFT Writing Strategy

RAFT Writing StrategyRAFT is a writing strategy to help students focus on four areas of communication. RAFT is an acronym for the following:

Role of the Writer – The role is the perspective. Is the writer the President of the United States, a fifth-grade small-town student, a famous athlete, or any number of people? The role might include animals or inanimate objects such as toys. 

Audience – The audience includes any person that will read the writing. This could be a large group such as a school body or an individual such as a school principal. 

Format – Writing comes in all formats. Think letter, petition, instructions, television commercial, travel guide, newspaper article, journal entry, speech, and so on.

Topic – The topic is what you will be writing about. This can include endless possibilities.

An Example RAFT

A RAFT assignment might look like this:

Role of the Writer Audience Format Topic
artist

character from a book

scientist

teacher

judge

reporter

President of the United States

school principal

group of parents

peers

television audience

billboard

cartoon

song

brochure

editorial

commercial

saving the environment

changing a rule or law

promoting a product

informing the public

asking the public to help support a cause

Students are required to select one item from each column. One student may be a teacher writing a song for a group of parents asking them to change a rule in the school. Another person may be an artist addressing peers on a billboard that will inform them of an event. Dozens of options may be selected from just this one RAFT assignment.

This writing strategy not only helps students understand the varied formats of writing, but to know the audience they will address, their role as writers, and writing topics.

Get RAFT Activities here.

Teaching Standards

A RAFT lesson covers many teaching standards. In addition to the four areas of communication, assignments may also practice specific skills. For example, in the printables below the RAFT activity requires students to use onomatopoeia and/or alliteration.

The RAFT strategy works well with literature. Have students write from the perspective of one character addressing another character about a conflict in the novel.

RAFT may be used with science and social studies topics as well. The writer could be an apple talking to the other apples on the tree describing traveling through the digestive system. A chemist might write an email to workers in a factory explaining the dangers of mixing specific chemicals. A black bear could create a sign to post in the forest telling why he can’t eat the trout due to the harmful effects of acid rain. The role may be a pioneer creating a journal entry about the hardships of traveling by wagon.

You are only limited by your imagination. 

Differentiating Instruction

The best part of the RAFT experience is the ease to differentiate instruction. For example, I placed students into three groups. Each group was given two choices of activities. The activities varied in difficulty from the easiest level which was mostly drawing to the most difficult which was to create a slogan for advertising or a comic strip.

When I used this activity in the classroom, students had to think creatively to complete these activities. The projects were challenging yet fun for the students. All in all, it was a great experience. I will defiantly use this project in future years.

Free Printable

Below are the 3 RAFT activities I have referred to in the example above. I’ve merged all the activities into one Google Slide presentation. The presentation is completely editable.

Get it here.

Note: To make this file editable, you must save it to your Google Drive.

RAFT Activity #1

In these examples, students must select one full row. It doesn’t work to pick and choose from a mix of each row. RAFT Activity #3

Learn what the RAFT writing strategy is. Get free printable template organizers for creating you own assignments. See many examples.
Learn what the RAFT writing strategy is. Get free printable template organizers for creating you own assignments. See many examples.

 

Get free printables for RAFT. This great writing strategy will help your students better understand the role of the writer and audience.

You might also like the post Choice Boards (Think-Tac-Toe, BINGO, Menus, RAFT, & 1-3-5). This post goes over several types of choice boards and offers a free PowerPoint template.

 

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