Writing Across the Curriculum: R.A.F.T. Prompts
using RAFT assignments to teach perspective and to make writing tasks more authentic
Meet Terra Graves, a Northern Nevada Writing Project Consultant since 2004. Terra wrote the following introduction to the fifth and final module in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Writing Across the Curriculum Guide:
"Before I moved to middle school, I taught sixth grade for nine years. What did I least look forward to...the state writing assessment! Why? Because the prompts that the students had to respond to were so…so…blah! Usually, just about everyone could write to the prompt, but it wasn’t always very meaningful to them.
"When I discovered the R.A.F.T. prompts, my prompt aversion promptly subsided. These are wonderful! The students like them because the prompts can be customized to what they are learning. R.A.F.T. prompts encourage writing that is meaningful. The writing they produce actually expands their understanding of a concept. Because of the different aspects of the prompt, students must assume a different point of view (ROLE) to shape the information (TOPIC) they learned into a particular format.
"When my students got to create their own prompts, I couldn’t believe what they came up with. Once they’re given the structure of the R.A.F.T. prompt, and the 'menus' to help them, they treated it like it was a game. I encourage content area teachers everywhere to use this strategy to elicit meaningful writing for learning in their classes.
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