I personally love using RAFT writing tasks (Role, Audience, Format, Task) to accomplish this. RAFT tasks allow students to write for different audiences and take on different roles, and it requires them to apply learned concepts through their writing. I also love how RAFT tasks add an element of novelty for the kiddos and allows me a chance to be creative. Students need to have fun writing tasks in order to really understand that writing is more than just research reports and stories.
So an example of a RAFT task would be:
Role- game creator
Audience- any game company such as Hasbro
Task- Create a new game children can play to practice a specific math skill (you can allow students to select one or more skills, or you can assign students specific skills). You will need to write detailed directions for the children to follow in order to play the game.
Role- keeper or aquarist
Audience- zoo or aquarium visitors
Format- comic strip
Task- You are in charge of providing information for visitors to read about a specific animal. You will choose one animal to research and create a comic strip that visitors can read to learn more about your chosen animal.
While we study each habitat, I let my students choose one animal from that habitat to research. I don’t have them write a report on that animal, though, because then they would be writing a LOT of reports. Instead I encourage them to choose one animal from that habitat they want to learn more about, and they fill out the graphic organizer using the information they find. They then keep this organizer in their folder. When we have finished studying all the habitats, and the students have found information on multiple animals, I have them choose the one animal to complete the writing task. They create a comic strip using the information pertaining to this chosen animal. The categories I had my students research for each animal tied directly to our science standards.
Want to try out a RAFT task? You can click <here> for my RAFT products in my TpT store.
What do you think about using RAFT tasks in your classroom? How might you incorporate RAFT tasks into your day? I would love to hear your thoughts!