Re-purposing Tools – Going From Fast Food Burgers to Something Substantial

Ham 2




So was it bad – good – great?


Looking at informational writing paragraphing was really hard trying to find a way to incorporate the key elements of writing workshop rubrics.  Moved away from hamburger writing because it was too formulaic.  The appeal for the hamburger writing was  the visual representation for kids to organize their writing.  We want to create paired associations for organization (to a concrete image – hamburger) to the writing process (an abstract way of thinking – rubric).  Through this reflection – we came with an idea: link the two to make a better tool for kids.

Biography UoS:

  • We set-up a structure that made room for different topics within a biography
  • The key elements that we want children to apply to their original writing:
  • We created tools to reflect each element.  This provides opportunities for authentic engagement for these elements of writing.  It also creates greater autonomy and saliency

Zoom in – Teaching organization for writing

Notice – Students were more thoughtful about what goes into their writing and they were more motivated to write.  Their writing seems more creative.  They have a structure to follow so they could be self directed when using the tool.  There was a clearer understanding about their accountability as writers.  Ham I

Adjust – I don’t know if there is anything to change.

Evaluate – Great

Analysis – We used a tool that was very static and repurposed it to be a flexible tool that promotes authentic writing. It’s power was driving the organization for writing that had been weak spot in the prior work.  These are abstract ideas done in isolation but this tool scaffolded the synthesis for the writing process and enabled kids to see where they we going through an image of something familiar – a hamburger.

Adjust – Now that we’ve done a single paragraph we can move into multiple paragraphs.  Now that kids have idea of the larger structure we can delve deeper into specifics like transitioning.

Shift- Linking paragraphs is the next step.  This healthier better hamburger provided the organizational structure for writing a paragraph  – it’s like a chain of hamburger restaurants.


4 thoughts on “Re-purposing Tools – Going From Fast Food Burgers to Something Substantial

  1. Oh, the hamburger! You know how many hamburger paragraphs I’ve taught in my day? I haven’t done that in awhile. That said, it is a solid strategy that works for many kids.

    The link you posted didn’t work since you had some kind of preview references in the HTML code. I resposted your permalink on TWT as Just wanted to let you know that here so that you’ll remove any kind of references to previews from the HTML code before you link tomorrow.

    Glad you’re joining us this month!

  2. The hamburger! I’ve tried to update my units each year. This year, I’m working on memoir in a new way. Thank you so much for your post — yes, we want transferable skills and substantial writing!

  3. So instead of applying the formula of the traditional hamburger paragraph, the parts of the burger became the critical attributes that would otherwise go into a rubric. Am I understanding right? I like the idea of moving from fast-food formulas to a more cloth-napkin-in-your-lap representation.

  4. Yes you totally see where we are going they remember the hamburger let’s give them something worth remembering.

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