Vocabulary and Story Writing- Karen Cook
The RAFT strategy (Santa, 1988) employs writing-to-learn activities to enhance understanding of informational text. Instead of writing a traditional essay explaining a concept learner, students demonstrate their understanding in a nontraditional format. This technique encourages creative thinking and motivates students to reflect in unusual ways about concepts they have read. RAFT is an acronym that stands for:
- Role of the writer: What is the writer’s role: reporter, observer, eyewitness, object, number, etc?
- Audience: Who will be reading the writing: the teacher, other students, a parent, editor, people in the community, etc?
- Format: What is the best way to present this writing: in a letter, an article, a report, a poem, an advertisement, e-mail, etc?
- Topic: Who or what is the subject of this writing: a famous scientist, a prehistoric cave dweller, a character from literature, a chemical element or physical object, etc?
The RAFT strategy forces students to process information, rather than merely write out answers to questions. Students are more motivated to undertake the writing assignment because it addresses various learning styles.