Writing Starter

RAFT Writing Template

5 - 12
Printout Type
Writing Starter

About this printout

Students can utilize this printout to organize their writing as they learn to use the RAFT strategy.  This printout enables students to clearly define their role, audience, format, and topic for writing.

Teaching with this printout

By using this printout to organize their writing, students learn to respond to writing prompts that require them to write creatively, to consider a topic from a different perspective, and to gain practice writing for different audiences.

The four categories of focus for a RAFT include:

  • Role of the Writer: Who are you as the writer? A movie star? The President? A plant?
  • Audience: To whom are you writing? A senator?  Yourself? A company?
  • Format: In what format are you writing? A diary entry? A newspaper?  A love letter?
  • Topic: What are you writing about?

Before having students write their own RAFT, use this printout to model how students should use this technique.  Discuss with your students the basic premise of the content for which you’d like to write, but allow students to help you pick the role, audience, format, and topic to write about.  Allow student input and creativity as you craft your piece of writing. 

Have an in-depth discussion specifically about why you chose the different categories that you decided on (Role, Audience, Format, Topic).  Model a think-aloud about why having a certain role and audience might make your stance or ideas about a certain topic different and may alter your writing style and, therefore, your format.

See the Strategy Guide titled Using the RAFT Writing Strategy for more information and ideas pertaining to this technique.

More ideas to try

  • Give students a writing prompt (for which you have already chosen the role, audience, format, and topic) and have students react to the prompt either individually or in small groups, using this printout. It works best if at first, all students react to the same prompt so the students can learn from the varied responses of their classmates.  Hold a class discussion about how students created their personal version of the assignment.
  • As students become comfortable in reacting to RAFT prompts, you can create more than one prompt for students to respond to after a reading, lesson, or unit.  Or, you may choose to give students a list of choices for each area and let them pick and choose their role, audience, format, and topic.
  • Eventually, students may choose a role, audience, format, and topic entirely on their own.  Varied prompts allow students to compare and contrast multiple perspectives, deepening their understanding of the content.


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