Strategy #2 – RAFTS writing

Hello WNY! This is local educator Jay Hall and this is “Two Minutes of Teaching.”

A parent emailed me and asked, “Mr. Hall, besides the Frayer Model, what are some other ways that I can get my students at home to use their vocabulary words?” There are many ways to practice using vocabulary words, but the best way to truly acquire vocabulary is to make it your own. And, what better way to do that then to write! So, today we will cover another easy to implement, but HIGHLY effective and AMAZING vocabulary acquisition and writing strategy known as RAFTS.

Watch me teach this strategy or follow the step by step directions below. And, If you still have questions about teaching this strategy, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Good luck!

Let’s get started.




For this strategy you will need:
– a list of five vocabulary words, any subject, any grade
– a pencil, pen or paper
-dark colored markers

Step #1:
Explain to your student that RAFTS stands for ROLE, AUDIENCE, FORMAT, TOPIC, and STRONG VERB.

If you have Microsoft Word and a printer, I suggest you make an easy to fill in, reusable template like this:

Step #2
Draw the letters RAFTS (large, in dark marker) down the side of the page.  Begin by assigning your student a role, such as a meteorologist.

Step #3:
Provide your student with an audience such as a family member or friend.

Step #4:
Assign a format, such as an email or letter.

Step #5:
Provide a topic such as severe weather.

Step #6:
Provide a strong verb such as inform, persuade, or convince and, beginning with the strong verb, write an action statement for your student.

Inform your audience about the different types of severe weather.

Step #7:
To reinforce vocabulary acquisition, ask your student to use all 5 of severe weather vocabulary words to accomplish their writing goal of informing their audience about the different types of severe weather.


So there you have it! Easy! Instead of asking, “Please tell me what your read about today?” you can now say something like, “I think you should become a meteorologist and write an email to Grandma to inform her about the different types of severe weather! She’d love to hear form you!”

This is a great strategy! It’s creative and intellectual and there are so many varieties of RAFTS writing! You can have your student write awesome RAFTS like become the numerator and send a note to the denominator discussing your differences. Or how about become Little Oak Tree and write a poem about Mother Water describing all the reasons you need and appreciate her.

Here is more advanced a RAFTS example for all of those sixth graders out there in WNY reading Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief:

This strategy works great! It’s very creative and the possibilities are endless!

Daily Launch:
Good luck, and we’ll see you next time when we introduce a really cool and easy literacy process known as close reading and a first-read strategy called “Chunking the Text.”

As always, I’m here if you need me. Respond to this post or write me an email with any questions. And, remember to check out my new you tube channel and use it to review these strategies as much as possible.

Have a great day WNY! Keep reading. Keep writing. And, most importantly, stay safe.

All my best,
Jay Hall

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