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Hamburger Heaven IS a Writing Savior: A Classroom Transformation

Is Hamburger Heaven is a Writing Savior making you a little curious? It should! Imagine going back in time to a fun soda shoppe where hamburgers tasted like heaven and everyone was so happy! Then add in the topic of writing - and particularly- planning! Now connect them to make them come together to create a Writing Savior - and you have Hamburger Heaven IS a Writing Savior!

Oh, did I mention it is a classroom transformation? Yep, imagine having Hamburger Heaven as a Writing Savior AND a classroom transformation! What elementary students isn't going to love getting to wear a soda shoppe hat, deliver pieces of the "burger" plan, and create all at once! What teacher isn't going to be in Hamburger Heaven to find out all the pieces came from the Dollar Tree! Yep, that's write (ha, ha)! This is fun, inexpensive, and your students will learn! Now that IS heavenly!!

What is Hamburger Heaven?

First, let's talk about the objective. Hamburger Heaven becomes a Writing Savior when you begin to see what an impact planning has on writing. Years ago, when SERIOUS writing was introduced to us as teachers, we had to dive in and figure out what worked and what didn't. Many of you might have been the very students in the original writing model that emerged. What was quickly identified is that students couldn't just write on demand to a prompt. They had to think it thorough, and they needed a guide! So, enter "The Planner"! Those planners were HORRIBLE until...The Hamburger Planner! It was HEAVEN sent! More importantly, it was a savior in the fact that it was kid friendly. It didn't take a teacher long to see how it closed the gaps in student thinking too. Planners take writing from abstract to knowledge level when you look at higher order thinking. I've seen it, know it, and have written about it here and here too! It's kinda my passion when it comes to writing!

Well Done Results

Next, let's look at the results that planning brings to make it a savior in your classroom - especially the Hamburger Planner. I am convinced the design makes it understandable. It's appealing to most kids in the fact that it is a real world object that creates a tie together in the idea that layers and details work together to make a very juicy writing piece. There is no trying to connect it to "something". Every kid has seen a hamburger - commercials, pictures, menu exploration-they are all things that our students have seen and experienced since they were toddlers. What they may never have thought about is that all of these pieces are connected to make one thing-just like when we write!

Getting the results to save your writing comes from this connection of the layers of the burger becoming the layers of writing. But we must do MORE than that. We can start with showing students how writer's work. We have been trying and trying ways to do this. Why not do a Hamburger Planner in reverse! How about we start with Burger Boy!

This funny story is a great way to do a Hamburger Planner in reverse. Each part of the Hamburger Planner is present in this story. Students can easily sequence the story that is wrapped in the Hamburger Planner before even using it to plan their own story. But, the savior in this is that this FINALLY shows that writers DO plan the same way students do and this brings power and connection to students as they move into...

Burger Joint Anyone!

FINALLY, let's talk transformation! This happens the second day of Hamburger Heaven. The goal of this day is to introduce the planner in a fun, safe way. I have done it two ways. First, I completed the transformation as a whole class, interactive, hands on crazy fun! This was pre-Covid of course. Student desks were in groups, all of the materials were on tables, and the tables had restaurant checkered table cloths. The students had a blast passing out each of the planning pieces and we created our Hamburger Planners to appear as a meal served in the soda shoppe! It comes out awesomely and the kids just love it!

The second way was more subdue but just as much fun! Students were in rows and I had the supplies on the main teaching table. "Servers" from each row came up and collected the baskets with their spatula server. They would then drop the piece for each student to use when creating their design. Easy peasy and social distancing safe!

Once everything was served, students created a display placemat that housed their planner and what each piece represented. This way, students had time to use hands-on, personally written notes about what each piece means. They glued these on plates and added some silver wear! And, just like that, the hamburger planner is officially "born" to these students!

What's Next on the Menu?

Now that students have created their planner, they will understand how to use the pieces to plan their writing, making it a savior for their thinking. To practice this planner, Hamburger Heaven provides more than just a practice opportunity and a craft for planning. It also breaks down the Daily Specials so students get a chance to hear and use the planner for all the types of writing they will encounter. After all, that's the joy of this burger - it covers all the writing types with the same toppings and buns! Now that's what I call the Best Burger in Writing!

Daily Specials!

Their are 3 Daily Specials that will be a savior to your writing lesson plans! These Specials are rolled out, one on each day! In other words, students are now going to get specific lessons on each of the types of writing and using the hamburger planner as their guide. This truly breaks down the practice to the specific needs of each type of writing - making this planner versatile and easy to use for both the teacher and the student in any writing situation!

Planning for Writing Beyond Hamburger Heaven

The joy of the Hamburger Planner being your Hamburger Heaven is that you can continue to plan using this planner throughout the school year, and beyond. This planner is so easy for students to use, that they use it well beyond your classroom - even though they may not draw the actual hamburger! A great example is when I was on a trail ride in Wyoming (I'm from Florida!) My wrangler was in his early twenties and we were talking about what it is like to be a teacher and what I taught. When I included writing, he asked, "Do you use that hamburger planner I learned in school?" Yes, he did! He remembered and was excited to hear I taught it. He then went on to tell me he used it all the way through COLLEGE! So, if you think this Hamburger Heaven will be your savior, know that it will be for students too!

So, here is the whole idea, wrapped together in one simple package in your local "Freezer" section of your favorite teacher store - Teachers Pay Teachers! Everything you need to make your Hamburger Heaven your Writing Savior!

May all your writing dreams come true!


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