The RAFT strategy is a great strategy for being able to differentiate instruction in terms of content, process, and product. It is that time of the year again in terms of viewing the infamous lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York City. But, have your students ever investigated the process of how that huge tree actually gets to its final destination? Have your students traced the history of how this celebration and tradition originated in the first place? Have your students investigated the history of the ornaments on the tree? What about the history of the lights on the tree? Have they determined how November 30th is celebrated in terms of “lighting” the tree? This is an awesome opportunity to explore all of the answers to these questions through using such strategies as jigsaw, discussion, inquiry, and discovery. Then, after this portion of the teaching and learning sequence has taken place, students can take part in the RAFT activity where they get to make a choice in each column of the activity. For example, students might choose to write from the perspective of the Christmas tree itself and write to the farm from which the tree has been growing all of these years prior to it being cut. The writing might be in the form of a narrative piece of writing where the tree tells the story of growing up on the farm all of those years and how he/she might have longed to become the famous tree in Rockefeller Center one day. The tree might narrate his/her journey all the way to the final destination and the lighting on November 30th. This is only one example. Of course, there are many, many other options, and many other opportunities for mini-lessons along the way!