Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Revising Writing with a Hamburger Twist

Last week I had my last formal observation of the year! Woo Hoo! Done and done! Since we are knee deep in revising our opinion writing pieces, I decided to channel my inner Hope King, from Elementary Shenanigans, and throw in a little hamburger writing twist!

Here's how it went down...

First, I told my students that I was going to show them the best burger in the world. I showed my students a hamburger with only the top and bottom bun. To say they were disappointed would be an understatement. Ha! I then asked them to tell me what was missing. Of course they shouted out the meat and toppings! I assembled the hamburger with the missing pieces and we talked about how that hamburger looked better than the first one. 

As I walked around to show them the new and improved burger, I "accidentally" tripped and my burger fell all over the floor. Oh no! My students helped me pick up the pieces and put them back into my basket. Now the burger was all mixed up! So, I took the opportunity to talk to my students about how we can't eat a burger with the ingredients all mixed up. This led right into my teaching point... Just like you can't have a burger without the meat and juicy toppings, you can't have a good piece of writing without your details. Also, just like it would be hard to eat a mixed up burger, it's difficult to read a piece of writing that isn't organized. "OOOO! AHHH!", they said. Ha!

We looked at a writing example and broke down the components that make a good opinion writing piece. We talked about how the topic sentence and the conclusion sentence is like the top and bottom bun. The topic sentence states the opinion and the conclusion sentence restates the opinion in a different way. This is just like the top and bottom bun; they are made out of the same thing, bread, but they look a little different than one another. We also looked at the reasons and examples that the writing piece provided to support the opinion. We talked about without those details, the writing would be boring. Just like without the meat and toppings in a hamburger, the burger wouldn't be good. Then, we looked at how each of these components are organized in an opinion writing piece. We also color coded each of the sentences to help us visualize how each sentence helps to form our opinion writing "burger".

After the mini lesson, it was time for my kiddos to get to work revising their own opinion writing piece. They color coded their writing using the colors we talked about in the mini lesson (brown=bun/topic and conclusion sentence, red, yellow, green=toppings/reasons and examples). As they were finding each of their components in their writing, they built their burger. I gave them vanilla wafers for the bun, a York Peppermint for the meat, icing with food coloring for the ketchup and mustard, and coconut dyed green for the lettuce. This was the perfect opportunity for them to visually see what they were missing in their writing. Some only had the toppings, while some were only missing the bottom bun. As they finished building their hamburger, I had them share with the rest of the class what they learned about their writing. The next day, they worked to add in their missing pieces. 

I have to say this lesson was too much fun! My kiddos learned so much about themselves as writers! (Disclaimer... The writing pictured above isn't color coded correctly. I made a note of it and I will use what I noticed about her writing as a teaching point during our next writing conference.)


  1. This is super cute! Do you have a printable for your burger? I would love to give this a try! Thanks!

    1. Hey there! Thank you so much! I don't have a printable for the burger. I used Krista Wallden's build a burger clip art set to make my burger. Hope this helps!