Tuesday, January 11, 2011

RAFT Reading Response

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
Digital tools are a great fit with multiple learning style responses to text! Working within the RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) framework, deep understandings of the Big Ideas can be developed and communicated using a variety of forms.

Reading (Gr.5) 1. Read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning;

For example, after reading and discussing the short story “Fox”, by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks, students were asked to critically analyze, and justify an explanation for character motivation, choosing from a selection of formats, such as comic strip generation with Bitstrips For Schools or Comic Life, podcasts or newscasts with Aviary Myna, or digital timelines and stories with Dipity or Photo Story 3. Further mashups were suggested by the students, through collaborative discussion, about importing or creating their own graphics into existing applications or combining print and digital images.

The over-arching thread was how easily the students understood that by using digital media, they could choose a response that fit their learning style, excited their passion and gave an outlet for the online pursuits that they were already engaging in outside of school. When I asked the students who had created an online password, all hands flew up, and a spirited conversation about privacy and security ensued. Another teachable moment presented itself when a student asked how he could access his account at school AND at home, and why it was that no one could tamper with his avatar. Insightful, thoughtful questions; these students are yearning for frank and knowledgeable signposts to help them navigate their digital world.

Using a familiar reading response tool, students are able to reach deep understandings of text, construct meaning, think critically about choice and purpose of response, and connect to their active online lives. Now that’s a RAFT worth building!

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