Reading & Literacy

The Hamburger Method for Essay Writing

By Liana Loewus — February 22, 2017 1 min read

While researching a longer piece on opioid use, our Education Week video team came across Briana Sotomayor—a 4th grader in rural Jackson County, W.V., who wrote an award-winning essay for her district’s drug-and-alcohol prevention competition.

In this video, Briana describes an approach to essay writing used in many elementary classrooms across the country in which the image of a hamburger serves as a graphic organizer. The top bun is the thesis, the bottom bun the conclusion, and the meat, cheese, and veggies—the details—are sandwiched in between. Rhonda Jelich, the district’s director of elementary education and staff development, explained to Education Week that the hamburger model is one of many age-appropriate methods for giving all students a writing structure.

And since kids like hearing from kids, it’s the kind of short video teachers may want to show in their classrooms to get students going with the literacy strategy.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.