Lead in: Inter-class Pen Pal Program

Pass back letters from first graders on how to eat healthy.

  • Note – – Students wrote the letters two weeks ago as part of a program I started to get different classes communicating with each other. These students in particular, who are juniors and seniors in high school, wrote letters to little kids because I thought it might soften them. The first graders read the letters last week and very sweetly and innocently wrote back.

Warmer: Show and Tell.

Teacher brings items from home that have special importance and shares their meaning with the class.

I brought in an old picture of me as a child on a class trip, pictured above, a bracelet given to me by a student in Peace Corps, and my RJG hat.

Writing: RAFT Method

  • Pre-Writing. 
    • Students brainstorm things that are important in their lives by playing Five Things That. Divide students into pairs, one writer one runner. Teacher writes prompt on a notecard, i.e. Five Things That Are Blue, then puts it on a chair in the front of the room. When teacher says “Go!”, runners race to the notecard, read it, and race back to tell their partner what it says. First pair to write down five things yells “Stop!” and reads list aloud. Repeat 3-5 times. 
    • Teacher presents RAFT method: Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. Students must pick one important object in their lives and write from its perspective. Teacher provides students with an example:


  • During Writing.   
    • Teacher passes out RAFT Writing Template. Students write according to their chosen Format: letter, interview, speech, etc. Teacher provides guidelines. My students chose to write interviews and biographies, so I said I wanted 5 questions and 5 answers for the interviews, and at least two paragraphs for the biographies. Circulate and provide feedback.
  • Post Writing. 
    • Teacher and students sit in a circle. Students share their writing.

Student’s completed RAFT Writing Template

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