Application/Extension Strategy
Directions: Pretend you are a pioneer traveling on the Oregon Trail. You need to write a letter to your
cousin, Clara, back in Boston. Convince Clara why her family should pack up and move to this new land
near you. Be sure your letter contains the five letter parts (heading, greeting, body, closing, and
signature). When writing the letter use the information you read about to convince Clara.
Friendly Letter:
April 28, 1872
Dear Clara, I think you should move to Oregon. If you lived in Oregon, you could live in a
cabin. We all miss you, especially me. Out West there is a lot of room. You can run around and
have fun. There are a lot of flowers. You know how your mom loves f lowers. There is a lot of
grass. You know how you always wanted a dog. Now you can have one. That’s why I think you
should move to Oregon.
Your cousin,
Carrie Lynn
R – a relative
A – my cousin, Clara
F – a friendly letter
T – she should move to Oregon
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RAFT (Letters, Reports)
What is RAFT and why is it important?
RAFT (Santa, 1988) is a prewriting strategy that can help students extend their knowledge
by presenting their viewpoint to others through discussion and writing. This strategy can
be used as a basis or outline for letters, reports, and other forms of writing.
How can I use RAFT with my students?
First, discuss RAFT and explain each component: Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. The R
section of the outline should include the role of the writer. (Are you a character in a story, a
scientist, or simply yourself?) The A section should tell about the audience to whom the
letter or response is addressed. (Are you writing to a friend, a newspaper, or a government
official?) The F section describes the format of the letter. (Are you writing a friendly letter, a
business letter, an editorial, a brochure, or a report?) The T section includes the topic (often
expressed as a strong verb). (Do you want to persuade a legislator to vote on an issue, tell a
group of friends about a party, or invite a character in a book to dinner?)
You can assign the RAFT components, or you can have students consider how they could
write about a book they have recently read. They then fill out a RAFT form to use as an
outline. Once students have determined what role they will adopt, whom they will write to,
how they will convey their ideas, and what their topic is, they are well on their way to writing
a focused piece. Following is an example of how RAFT can be used to write a friendly letter.
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