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Planning With T he ELA Shifts In Mind. What Are We Learning About Today?. Objective:. Describe instructional strategies that incorporate the ELA Shifts . Success Criteria:.

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what are we learning about today
What Are We Learning About Today?


  • Describe instructional strategies that incorporate the ELA Shifts

Success Criteria:

  • Using one of the strategies shown today, teachers will collaborate to create instruction focusing on ELA Shift 3, 4, or 5

Sample Writing Task Using A RAFT

After learning about the creation of the Constitution through multiple nonfiction resources…

Students are given the following RAFT writing task…


What Is the RAFT Task Really All About?

  • Imagine you are a reporter for the Colonial Times. You have not only observed the Constitutional Convention, but interviewed a Founding Father as well! As you are writing your article describing this event, be sure to include information from your “interview” with a Founding Father. You should include information from all texts in your article.

I’m confused! Before I can begin writing, I need to be able to understand the RAFT task! What is it asking me to do?

Let’s do a close read of the RAFT task to find out!

The audience for this RAFT task are the readers of the Colonial Times newspaper. In this case, the audience is not specifically stated and must be inferred.

Your role is a reporter. Since the RAFT is not asking the student take on the role of a specific reporter, they are having to create this character for their writing.

The topic for this RAFT is to describe the events of the Constitutional Convention. This includes your “interview” with a Founding Father. Evidence from all texts should be used.

The format for this RAFT task will be a newspaper article. Are my students experienced at writing in this particular format?


What are some obstacles students might encounter in responding to this RAFT task if they do not close read the task?

The “Defining The RAFT” strategymight be able to help because it causes students to close read a task!

Table Talk

the defining the raft strategy
The “Defining the RAFT” Strategy




Who am I? How can I describe myself?

What are my feelings, ideas, and concerns?

What do I know that I need to share in my writing?

Table Talk:

Since the students are creating a fictional reporter, this is a narrative piece of writing. How could the “Defining the RAFT” strategy assist students with RAFT tasks for all genres of writing- opinion, narrative and informational?

The Personality and Attitude help to develop the “Voice” in the student's writing!

  • I am a curious reporter
  • Truthful
  • Observant
  • I feel excited to be present at a historical event
  • I am concerned my readers might not understand the importance of this event
  • Philadelphia State House
  • Delegates met all summer in 1787
  • George Washington was present
  • They debated about how to set up Congress
  • Great Compromise

This is text based evidence!!


Question to Ponder

How do you think the “Defining the RAFT” strategycould help your students with Shift 5, Writing From Sources?


Do your students have difficulty understanding complex text?

The “4-2-1 Write” strategy might be able to help students navigate complex text!

the 4 2 1 write strategy
The “4-2-1 Write” Strategy
  • Read a passage of text.
  • Each student writes the 4 most important ideas from the text.
  • Students meet in pairs to share their ideas and agree on the 2 most important ideas from their lists.
  • Pair up the pairs into groups of four. Each group must agree on a single most important idea.
  • All students will write about their big idea for 3-5 minutes.
  • Students will return to their groups and share their responses. The class then has a discussion about each group’s big idea.

Question to Ponder:

How do you think the “4-2-1 Write” strategyis going to help your students with Shift 3, Staircase of Complexity?


Teamwork takes everyone working together…

Now that you have seen some strategies, let’s get ready to COLLABORATE!


ELA Planning Template

Duration could be over multiple class periods

Write the ELA Shift that will be the focus of your instruction. Then identify the other ELA Shifts that will be present in instruction.

Write the technology or technology resources you might use- websites, videos, etc.

Write the Tier II and III Vocabulary you will need to incorporate into instruction

Write the steps for facilitating instruction

Describe the assessment you will use. How will you know the students understood the objective?



Santa, C., Havens, L., Valdes, B. (2004). Project criss. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Silver, H., Dewing, R., & Perini, M. (2012). The core six essential strategies for achieving excellence with the common core. Alexandria: ASCD.