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Hamburger Organizer: A Tasty Way to Teach Writing

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

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

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 hamburger chartsample 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!