Buying or Leasing: RAFT Writing

Educator utilizes RAFT writing to incorporate the pros and cons of buying and leasing into instruction.
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About this Micro-credential

Apply for a micro-credential before December 22nd, 2017 for a $75 Amazon gift card!*

*Offer valid until 12/22/2017. To receive a gift card, participant must complete all portions of the micro-credential application including the optional survey. Gift cards will be awarded in the form of Amazon eGift Cards emailed to the account specified by the participant. Each participant can receive maximum one gift card. GFLEC reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time.

Key Method

The educator understands the value of writing to learn and uses a RAFT writing exercise during instruction to solidify student understanding of buying and leasing.

Method Components

What is a RAFT writing activity?

  • The RAFT strategy is a writing activity that encourages students to write creatively about a topic from any content area. RAFT writing prompts provide structure for the writing assignment by specifying the role, audience, format, and topic.
  • The Role is the point of view from which the students will write, such as a concerned citizen, member of Congress, or banker.
  • The Audience is to whom the writing is directed, such as the president of the United States, family members, teachers, or an employer.
  • The Format identifies the way the written work should be done, which is crucial since there are many types of writing, such as a letter, speech, advertisement, or journal entry.
  • Lastly, the Topic clearly states what the writing should explain, discuss, or argue, such as whether to buy or lease.

Components of a RAFT writing activity

  • A RAFT writing activity should stem from a text or series of texts that students read for content understanding.
  • Students are then assigned a writing prompt (or multiple prompts to choose from) that requires understanding of the texts to complete accurately and appropriately. The prompt should include a specific role, audience, format, and topic.
  • Students then submit their writing to the teacher, collaborate with other students to improve their work, or discuss their responses with members of the class.

Suggested Implementation

  1. Decide on a text or group of texts to use for students to read about buying and leasing. Some examples are provided in the resources section. (The Opsitnik article in the Resources section is highly recommended.)
  2. Engage the students in a pre-reading activity that helps them activate their background knowledge (See the Jacobs article in the Research section below).
  3. Students should begin guided reading by focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of buying and leasing a car. This could be done using highlighters, a note-sheet, a T-Chart, or some other method that helps them focus.
  4. The educator should create at least four different RAFT writing prompts for students to choose or be assigned in order to have a variety of circumstances for them to identify if it would be better to buy or lease a car. One option could be a 26-year-old single mother/father on a fixed income (role) writing a journal entry (audience, format) about their plans to replace their vehicle (topic). Another potential option could be a financial advisor (role) writing to a client who has three children (audience) in a letter (format) about why they should buy a vehicle instead of lease (topic).
  5. After students complete their writing they should share with the other students who wrote from the same role first. This may lead to revisions of their writing.
  6. Lastly, students should share with other members of the class who wrote from different roles in order to identify and review how differing circumstances will lead to different conclusions on whether it is better to buy or lease a vehicle.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Jacobs, Vicki A. “Reading, Writing, and Understanding.” Educational Leadership: Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum 60.3 (2002): 58-61. ASCD. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.


Buying v. Leasing

RAFT Writing

  • Simon, Cathy Allen. “Using the RAFT Writing Strategy.” ReadWriteThink. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

The items in this following section detail what must be submitted for evaluation. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1,3, and 4, and a “Yes” for both artifacts submitted for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(300-word limit):

  • Which resource did you decide to use as the reading text to set up this lesson? Why was that resource the best choice to help your students learn the advantages and disadvantages of both buying and leasing?

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

Submit two examples of student work (each from a different prompt) that show how the students understand when it is best to buy or lease a vehicle. Instructions for the prompts (created by the educator) should also be included with the submissions.

Part 3. Student Reflection

Provide two written reflections from students who participated in the activity used for submission of Part 2. Use the following question as guidance (200-word limit):

  • How did the RAFT writing activity you completed in class help you better understand when it is best to buy or lease?

Part 4. Teacher Reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as guidance (300-word limit):

  • How did the RAFT technique help you communicate this personal finance content to your students?

Part 5. Survey (Optional)

Please answer a brief survey about your experience teaching personal finance. Your responses will:

  • help us understand barriers personal finance teachers face;
  • and help us improve the resources being offered to personal finance educators

We appreciate your help.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


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