Hamburger Writing

This writing organizer helps the students when writing non-fiction.  A hamburger graphic organizer is a great way to structure non-fiction writing.  Just like a real hamburger, the more condiments and toppings {details}, the better the hamburger {writing}.  In writing, the more details the better the writing.

I introduce it by showing them a hamburger that looks like this {we then talk about what comes to mind when we see it}

 Then I show my students the nice, delicious-looking hamburger like this {We talk about what we think about it when we look at it}:

We make a list of items we need to make a delicious hamburger. 

Now for the writing part!  I tell them that our writing is like a hamburger. The more details we put, the more fun it is to read!  Today, we are just talking about a few parts of the hamburger to help us write non-fiction.  I show them this graphic organizer and we talk about the parts:

We make our own hamburger to remember all of the parts of our delicious writing. {Each student makes one. I pre-cut all of the pieces of construction paper and give each student a paper plate- they writing the key words on each part of the hamburger}

Then, I give the students their own graphic organizers to brainstorm items. On the graphic organizer they don't have to write sentences. They just write one word or phrase for each part of the hamburgers. We brainstorm some topics and then I set them free!

The next day, we turn those graphic organizer words into sentences.  I introduce it by doing a shared writing. We wrote about rainbows together. Then, I let them use their organizers from the day before and they wrote their own non-fiction story and illustrated it! 

When you are all finished, you can eat hamburgers! 
Buy the mini ones in the frozen section of the grocery store.

I linked up with Teaching Blog Addict!


Tanya said...

Love this! Thank you for sharing.


Kathleen said...

Rachelle - this is too funny! This topic is on my list of blog posts to do! I started talking to my kids about hamburger writing a couple of weeks ago, and have been looking for a great organizer! (and planning t make one when I have TIME!) My mom even made me an awesome hamburger with all the fixings from felt! We are on the same wavelength :)

Oceans of First Grade Fun said...

I love it!
Ms. A
Oceans of First Grade Fun

Kerri and Lindsay said...

Love love love this! I actually found a hamburger writing poster at Lakeshore, which we refer to all the time when writing our "big Juicy" stories! Thank you so much for the great graphic organizer to go with it! Can't wait to use it this week!
Kerri B

Laurie said...

I did this when I taught 3rd grade. I used to put together a writing packet for each student that had a variety of topics within.

After seeing your examples, I'll have to definitely try it with my first grade class!

Miss Kindergarten said...

I still remember doing this in elementary school!

Little Priorities said...

I've done something like this awhile ago but I forgot about it! Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

I'm Lovin' It! I've seen the hamburger template, but never used it. Your lesson plan is very helpful. I will be using it soon.

Lisa said...

Ireally enjoy your blog and so...
I'm awarding you the Stylish Blogger Award!
Just link back to my blog from yours and follow the directions posted there!

K is for kindergarten

Janaye said...

Looks delicious!

Julie said...

I love the hamburger writing! I have seen this somewhere and had forgotten all about it. Thanks for all your fun cute ideas!!

Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

Rachel said...

I can't wait to try this! Also, now you have my craving In-n-Out, which stinks since the closest one to me in 4 hours away :o( We will be stopping by the one in St. George in a few weeks though after going to a wedding in LA.

Malarie said...

Thanks! I'm going to use this tomorrow for a writing workshop. I'll be sure to make mine into a veggie burger ;)

Colleen Nicholes said...

I have to thank you SO much for the idea. My kids loved the entire "project." We are using our writing for an end-of-year DVD since we do not have a yearbook. My principal was amazed at our "hamburger party." Thank you for making me look like a rockstar! :)

Ms. Myers-Pfeifer and 2MP said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate it when someone not only makes such cool lessons but also takes the time to share it with the profession You Rock!

Gem said...

I am a first year ESL language arts middle school teacher and was trying to find a simple, but fun way to teach my ELLs the five paragraph essay structure. Thank you so much for sharing your lesson with the world!

Ruthanne said...

Thanks you! This is fabulous!

Unknown said...

I don't believe this! (If you'll sit for what turned into a little story lol.)

I was helping a girl that I nanny with writing her paper, and after explaining open/closings, the thesis statement, and the body paragraphs, she still didn't feel entirely confident.

After thinking for a moment (and never seeing this visual), I said, "It's like a hamburger. We start with the top bun- the first thing your reader will sink his/her teeth into- the introduction of the whole hamburger. Then you have your thesis statement, or the condiments- what do you like?"

"Ketchup," she said as she started drawing a giant hamburger.

"Okay, so the ketchup is the first real flavor we taste, plus it holds the burger together like glue! That's sort of what your thesis statement is going to do. It's going to make a statement to your readers about what you're trying to express. Okay, what would be the next layer of your burger?"

"A tomato!"

...and we went on talking about each "layer" as a body paragraph, with the third being a "meaty" one.

"I like potato chips in my burger."

"Um. Well this is just a loose metaphor..."

"You're no fun."

"Wait- no you're right! Potato chips come later, I promise."

Then we got to the bottom.

"Alright, now of course what do you need on the bottom to hold all this together and finish it off?"

"A bottom bun."

"Right! So just like we had that top bun, we need one to close this off and summarize what was just eaten- or read. But wait! We need to put some more ketchup on this bun too! So RIGHT before the bottom bun, we restate our thesis- in DIFFERENT words. Then we have the closing."

"What about the potato chips?"

"Your potato chips are going to be put in after you've assembled your burger. That's when you go back and put in some extra crunch, a little salt, and really snaz up your work with things such as alliteration, imagery, some strong synonyms, metaphors...or other fun techniques!"


"What's for lunch?"

writing prompts said...

Anyway, coherence is a major problem in college writing, as college students, like your elementary school kids, will toss in irrelevant and disconnected details. At other points in the course, one level below freshman comp, I work on the language of coherence (signal words) and also the use of repetition to achieve coherence.

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Thanks for sharing such a cool professional trick on how to make students write better.

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