May 28th was National Hamburger Day and I thought it would be fun to focus on hamburger paragraphs during our most recent lesson with our homeschooling group. I opened it with a study of this book, Giants Come in Different Sizes by Jolly Roger Bradfield. It is a fun story with bright, colorful illustrations. The people in the book LOVE hamburgers (they even grow on bushes there) and when their hamburger crop is threatened, they have to call in giants to help.
We love these cute illustrations!
For a snack, I decided to make the hamburger cupcakes I had seen floating around Pinterest. I saw different versions, but I chose to make brownie patties instead of icing ones. (This turned out great.) I added sesame seeds to the tops of the cupcakes.
For cheese, I used icing, spread thinly over the brownie to look like a cheese slice, and shredded coconut with a splash of green food coloring for lettuce.
A little bit of red icing for ketchup and a toothpick to hold it all together, and they were complete! They looked even better on these checkered napkins!
The kids loved them! They were quite tasty!
After we read the story, the kids rolled our story cube and answered the questions they landed on. (I bought this from Oriental Trading ages ago and I love it.)
Then it was time to talk about hamburger paragraphs! I made this poster ahead of time to help explain it all. (You can click on the picture itself to see it more closely.)
In order to make words more "juicy" for our paragraphs, we learned about using a thesaurus. To practice, I called out specific words which they then looked up to find other words to replace them.
We talked about how the giants in the book were good. We then looked up words to replace "good" that could also describe the giants.
I also generated a worksheet to practice our thesaurus skills. (Click on the picture to see it larger.)
They got right to work!
Once our thesaurus work was done, we talked again about paragraph structure. I used these hamburger parts (I can't remember the source I found the printables from) to make a game to challenge them to put together a complete paragraph. One side looked like this.
The other side (pictured below) had sentences that I had written on them. Put together correctly, the sentences go together to form a complete paragraph.
I had several complete hamburgers when I was done. I mixed all of the parts up to all of the hamburgers and spread them around in a pile on the floor. I then challenged the children to pick one top bun (with a topic sentence) and complete their hamburger paragraphs by finding all of the components to their paragraphs. The first one to complete his/her hamburger and put it in order to make a sensible paragraph would win.
They were all eager to finish their hamburgers!
The winner took home a Wendy's gift card for a hamburger lunch!
Later, it was time to write our own paragraphs. I put some topic ideas onto small slips of paper, printed with a hamburger, and placed those in a bag. Each child blindly picked two from the bag, then chose from the two options which they wanted to write about. Maggie chose to write about her favorite snack.
I then gave each child two worksheets to use to help form a paragraph on the topic chosen. (I forget which resources I used to print these.)
(I liked this one best because it was easier for the children to read from later.)
Once everyone had written their paragraphs, each child shared his/hers with the rest of the class. I rewarded them with these gummy burgers. (I found these at Hobby Lobby.)
It was another good lesson for our group!