The top bun and bottom bun are what “hold” the paragraph together. The top bun represents the topic sentence of a paragraph. The bottom bun represents the conclusion sentence of a paragraph. The hamburger and toppings in the middle are what makes the hamburger good – much the same as the detail sentences in a paragraph. Voila! A “hamburger paragraph”.
My third grade team always loved to use food whenever possible to engage the children and get them motivated. It just works. With permission from parents, you can have students build a fun model of a hamburger in your classroom using sweet treats. Before they are able to eat their treat, they have to bring it to you and describe how their “hamburger” is like a paragraph. Here is what you’ll need:
- Vanilla Wafers (two per student)
- Keebler Grasshopper Fudge Mint Cookies (one per student)
- One container white icing (dyed yellow to look like mustard)
- One bag sweetened coconut (dyed green to look like lettuce)
Once students know the parts of a well-written paragraph, it’s time for them to brainstorm a topic and get started. Use one (or both) of the following graphic organizers as mini-lessons to get your students familiar with the format. Do a guided writing lesson and have students participate in writing a class paragraph. Next, give them a chance to write on their own choosing the organizer they like best. (Be sure to tell them that they are NOT limited to three detail sentences, but that five sentences (in most cases) should be the most.)
Once they have written, revised and edited their paragraphs with teachers and/or peers, have them write or type a final draft to display on a bulletin board. We always displayed the entire process on a bulletin board using pictures of the students and their cookie models, as well as samples of the student writing organizers and final copies of all of their paragraphs.
Looking for something a little more advanced? Click here for our Perfect Paragraph resources from the 456 site: http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner456/2013/12/02/paragraph-writing
Do you have a great resource or ideas you’ve created for teaching paragraphs? Let us know! E-mail us or comment below so that we can all hear about it!