Thursday, May 21, 2009

Right Hand Assignments - Ideas from Unusual Places

I attended an excellent workshop on 6+1 writing traits and during it the instructor (Ruth Culham) introduced writing RAFTS.

Here is a good online definition of what RAFTS are:

R.A.F.T.S. are writing prompts that challenge students to assume a Role before writing, to write for an imaginary Audience, to write using a given Format, to write about a certain Topic, and to write with a certain Strong Verb in mind as he/she writes.

As I was looking through the book the instructor had for RAFTS in the content area (see book above which can be purchased through Scholastic) I was taken by the list of formats at the end of the book. While I am sure I should have been playing closer attention to the speaker (who really was excellent) I kept thinking how these formats can be used as right hand assignments for notebooks (from a ships log to a licence plate). Even the RAFT suggestions were great for science and could easily be used as a right hand assignment (great for getting those writing standards in). There is a website called WritingFix that has a prompt builder that you can try out. One, from the book that I would use next year, is "Pretend you are a senior rain drop in a cloud and you have to explain to the new rain drops who have just joined you what just happend to them ." (I'm sure I didn't get it quite right but that was the general gist - that one is in the book above).
Anyway...I thought that was an interesting place to start finding ideas for right hand assignments and thought I would pass on.

1 comment:

Marla Teal said...

A great activity that could go with the rain drop prompt is found in the Project Learning Tree Book. The kids take a journey around the room as a rain drop rolling a dice and checking a sheet at each station to discover where they go next. I will try to remember all the station: Cloud, mountain (run off), river, glacier, ocean. I think there was one more but you get the idea. It would really give the students the background to answer that prompt.