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Demonstration Puts More Meat Into Essays


"Most memorable for me were the faces of the children when they realized that they could actually eat the hamburgers, something that they can't do in class," recalled Wanda Adams. As the Action Team for Partnerships facilitator at Francis Mallory Elementary School in Hampton, Virginia, she helped to organize a delicious hands-on demonstration of how to write an effective essay through building a better burger!

Writing Model

The hamburger model for writing good essays and reports is used by teachers in many schools. Some of those teachers have created Web pages that are bound to supply ideas for you.

Hamburger Writing Checklist

The Hamburger Model: An Electronic Writing Guide

Literacy Training: The Hamburger Model of Writing

Paragraph Construction: The Hamburger Model

The Hamburger Model PowerPoint

"Our Title I teachers and staff members use the Hamburger Writing Model in the classrooms to assist with the students in reading and writing a paragraph," Adams told Education World. "We felt that our parents needed to be aware of this fantastic idea of using a hamburger to complete this task."

During this event, parents and students used sample topic sentences, explanations, and diagrams to construct effective essays using the Hamburger Writing Model. In the model, the topic sentence and conclusion are represented by the top and bottom parts of the bun. The meat of the essay is made of three supporting ideas, which make up the "hamburger," and explanatory sentences are played by "condiments." As they built their effective essays, the participants received the corresponding parts of real hamburgers that they could assemble. Completing the essay meant it was time to eat!

The goal of the workshop was to share with parents how their children learn to write in school so that they could support these efforts at home. The parents most enjoyed the hands-on materials that detailed how to assemble the "ingredients" of the essays -- and the burgers! Carryout materials, without the food, were provided to those who could not attend the workshop.

"Grades kindergarten through five were invited to attend the Hamburger Writing Model Workshop," said Adams, "and what surprised me most was the abundance of parents and students who attended."

In fact, the event was so successful that another is in the works, and Adams hopes to draw even more parents and kids. [content block]