Baseball & the Art of Persuasion RAFT Research Writing Project contains a Common Core-ready writing project that (1) allows students to research one of four early 20th century baseball topics and (2) write a persuasive piece of writing based on their research.
The project is intended for the English/Language Arts classroom, the social studies classroom, or the physical education classroom.
What is a RAFT, you might ask? RAFT is an acronym for a powerful writing strategy that provides rigor, flexibility, and variety. RAFT stands for Role, Audience, Format, and Topic.
Topics include the 1919 Chicago Black Sox Scandal (the White Sox), the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the inclusion of Negro Leagues superstars, and the Boston Red Sox sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
A RAFT can be implemented in all content areas, thus making it an excellent Writing Across the Curriculum resource. Young writers might pursue one of several genres of writing (expository, narrative, descriptive, argumentative or persuasive) to create one of several products (letter, television commercial, diary entry, etc.).
I define this further in the packet.
Why are RAFTS wonderful for reading comprehension assessment and writing projects?
(1) They require higher-order thinking skills: students must role-play as the character they choose and utilize unique character traits to
write a convincing response.
(2) They are extremely difficult to plagiarize or copy from the Internet. This is NOT a book report. Students must synthesize key details and create a brand new writing.
(3) As a result, students will emerge from the writing project with a much better understanding of the assigned reading. After all, they must demonstrate mastery in the project.
The packet includes:
(1) a classroom-ready printable of the RAFT for these research-based baseball topics;
(2) a rubric that you might use to evaluate students after completion of the project;
(3) a handful of websites students might use to kickstart their research;
(4) a Ticket-out-the-Door exit slip to summarize the lesson;
(5) and step-by-step instructions if you should choose to create a classroom blog on EduBlogs for publication.***
***Consider implementing the classroom blogging tutorial to engage your students with a blogging project. Along the way, you will meet an otherwise tricky Common Core State Standards (CCSS) technology standard.
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