RACES Writing Strategy Activities for the Elementary Classroom


The world of writing—from building basic sentences to drafting an essay—often feels like a labyrinth to our young learners, and this challenge seems to spike when it comes to supporting claims with evidence from a text. However, here’s some good news—the RACES writing strategy is here, like a guiding North Star, ready to navigate students through this tricky terrain. 

Why you should use RACES Writing Strategy Activities

The RACES Acronym in writing stands for Restate the question, Answer the question, Cite Evidence, Explain, and Summarize.

Implementing the RACES writing strategy means that students are methodically ensuring they’ve included all necessary components in their written responses. Over time, this process is internalized, evolving into a natural part of their writing practice.


The RACES writing method has brought about remarkable improvements in my students’ writing over the years, and I’m eager for your students to enjoy similar progress! I’ve crafted 20 practice pages (10 informational and 10 literary) to facilitate students’ journey through the RACES writing strategy.

These done-for-you RACES writing strategy activities can be an exceptional addition to your elementary classroom!

#1 High Interest Texts

Using high-interest texts makes teaching the RACES writing strategy a whole lot easier and fun! Why? Because when kids are interested in what they’re reading, they’re more eager to dive in, understand, and respond to it. Just imagine them enthusiastically restating a question about the immortal jellyfish or citing evidence about the invention of the airplane! 

Using engaging texts makes the RACES strategy less of a task and more of an adventure. Plus, when they’re engaged, they’re more likely to explain their ideas clearly and even enjoy summarizing what they’ve learned. Most importantly, using texts that they love gives them the confidence to write better, making learning a fun and rewarding journey.


#2 RACES graphic organizer, sentence stems and checklist for support and scaffolding

Imagine giving your students a roadmap for writing – a clear path to express their thoughts more effectively. That’s precisely what these RACES graphic organizers, sentence stems, and checklists can do! 

This strategy can simplify the daunting task of writing by breaking it into manageable steps. 

  • The graphic organizer can visually guide students on structuring their responses – from restating the question, answering it, citing evidence, explaining their point of view, and finally summarizing their thoughts. 
  • The sentence stems can provide a starting point, reducing the pressure of finding the ‘perfect’ words and kick-starting their writing process. 

This combination of tools is like giving students a recipe for writing success. By using these, they’ll gain a deeper understanding of writing structures, learn to articulate their thoughts more clearly, and ultimately, become more confident writers. Now, isn’t that an exciting journey to embark upon in your classroom?

#3 Modeling using the provided teacher example

Using the prepared teacher model/answer key is a great way to demonstrate the RACES writing strategy. This approach allows you to dissect a completed piece of writing and highlight how each element of the RACES strategy has been used. Begin by sharing your model, and then meticulously walk through each step.

Demonstrating this process with a teacher model helps students visualize how the RACES strategy transforms into a cohesive, well-structured written response. They can refer back to this model as they apply the RACES strategy in their own writing, serving as a valuable guide on their journey to mastering written responses.


Now that we know the WHY, let’s dive into WHAT is included in this resource…

  • TWENTY practice pages with high interest texts to help your students master the RACES writing strategy 
  • Each passage is accompanied by a graphic organizer with sentence stems and a checklist for writing support and scaffolding
  • Every high interest passage includes a writing page for students to convert their graphic organizer into a cohesive paragraph
  • Teacher examples for each passage to model and provide exemplars for students

What Teachers are Saying:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “My students really liked this.  The graphic organizer worked well for them, and it was a nice way of having them practice RACE.  There were a good number of passages, which gave the students some choice.” -Beth A.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “My students struggle with writing.  I love how this resource breaks down the steps for students to go through.  It helped to ease them through the writing process.” -Marla F

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “This has been a wonderful addition to my test prep. My students are really getting these constructed responses. I started out doing the first 4 together, then they did the next 3 in partners, then they did the last 3 on their own. It’s been very beneficial for my class. Thank you!” -Rachel S.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “I teach RACES every year. This provided such an easy way to model the process for students! The texts are high interest and engaging!” -Erica T.

Harness the power of the RACES writing strategy to transform your students into more proficient writers. With engaging high-interest texts, clear graphic organizers, and illustrative teacher models, you have the tools to guide them towards success. Together, we can turn the daunting maze of writing into an enjoyable journey! Want to read more about how to implement RACES writing? Check out this blog post!

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