As a first-grade teacher, I know that it’s important to make writing a concrete process for my students. I’ve found that the best way to do that is through a graphic organizer shaped like…a hamburger!
To start a writing lesson, I use my hamburger poster (see picture and attached) to review what every good story should have. As we start our story, we talk about what we like in a juicy burger.
Now, we’re ready to write some juicy sentences on our hamburger graphic organizer chart. I have a large hamburger chart on the wall of my classroom, and each component of the burger represents an element of a good paragraph. The top bun is the opening sentence; the lettuce, tomato and meat are the three juicy middle sentences; and the bottom bun is the closing sentence.
First, I get ideas from the students on an opening sentence. Then, once we have some ideas, we talk about how juicy each sentence is. As a class, we decide which idea was the juiciest, and we write it as a class on a sentence strip, which we attach to the top bun on our hamburger chart. We continue this process with the 3 juicy middle sentences, and 1 good juicy closing sentence. Then, once my chart is full, we read the story out loud together and talk about how juicy or not juicy it is.
Then, we go back and look at our poster and make sure that our story has all of the key ingredients for a juicy story. Once we have our sample story, I give each student a piece of paper to get started. They also get a small check list which has a miniature hamburger on it. Once they have checked off that they have a title, capital letters, punctuation, beginning/middle/end to their story, and that it is juicy, they bring it to me. Once I check it, I tell them they may go back and color in their hamburger. This small paper is attached to their writing and is always displayed to remind them of the elements of a complete…and JUICY…story!
Kelly Quabeck holds a Masters degree in Education from University of Phoenix. She currently teachers first grade at Russom Elementary School, where she enjoys meeting the needs of her students and watching them reach their full potential.