Writing an Essay Is Like Making a Hamburger





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Published on Feb 16, 2017

What does a hamburger have to do with persuasive writing? Plenty if you’re a student in the rural Jackson County, W.V., school system. The district last year launched a comprehensive literacy strategy to help its 4,700 students put their thoughts down on paper in an organized manner. The strategy--a popular approach across the country that employs the hamburger image as a graphic organizer-- is used in grades K-12 and throughout the curriculum.

The top bun is the thesis, the bottom bun the conclusion, and the meat of the essay is sandwiched in between. Rhonda Jelich, the district’s director of elementary education and staff development, told Education Week that the literacy lessons are age-appropriate, but the concept is to give all students a writing structure - a visual way to construct an essay.

Fourth grader Briana Sotomayor put this strategy to good use by penning a winning essay for the district’s drug-and-alcohol-prevention competition. We asked her to explain how she writes using the hamburger model.

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