Saturday, November 28, 2009

Writing with 6+1 Traits at Mt. Blue High School


During an early release day at Mt. Blue High School, December 2, staff will be looking at how to formulate effective, meaningful R.A.F.T.S. for students across the content areas.  R.A.F.T.S. stands for:
Role
Audience
Format
Topic
Strong Verb
6 + 1 Traits has added the Strong Verb piece because so many writing assignments using this format lack specificity and have become a fancy way of asking a student to regurgitate the facts.  The strong verb component demands the students use their word choice and voice to create a more specific outcome.  If used well by the teacher, it demands students develop a strategic way of writing to address the various social registers they will confront in real life.  Below is a condensed list of strong verbs I think middle and high school teachers would find useful.  I have tried to make them realistic and higher level.  This is just a starting point.












The trick, is pairing the best verb with the best format.  Following is a shortened list of formats for middle and upper grades.  It is not comprehensive but I have found the items on this list effective.  In my opinion, it keeps the format "real" and easier for most kids to access.




So what does this look like when combined?

Here is an example, 
Adapted from: Writing Prompts in the Trait-Based Classrooms: Content Areas by Scholastic Teaching Resources.
You are a research scientist (Role) who is working on an important project to discover cures for communicable diseases.  Your work requires special equipment that is very expensive.  Write a fundraising letter (Format) to send to prospective donors (Audience), persuading (Strong Verb) them to contribute money for equipment (Topic).

I hope this has been helpful.  I will try to post some of the RAFTS created next week during the high school work shop.


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