"hamburger" Paragraph Writing
For second language learners, students of varying reading skill, students with learning disabilities, and younger learners Show them numerous examples of well-written paragraphs and have them identify the parts. Or let them study it on their own by providing a number of paragraphs with the parts labeled. Provide students with some of the parts already filled in. For example, you provide all the "filling" sentences, and ask students to write a good introductory or wrap up sentence. Provide students with one example filled in entirely. Ask them to cut out each portion and then rearrange the pieces. Ask students to find a paragraph within their textbook. See if they can identify the different pieces of that paragraph. If necessary, have them revise the textbook paragraph! Have them speak the paragraph before writing the paragraph. Use scaffolding. For example, "What is one thing you would like to tell me about Fido (name of child's dog)." "How is Fido a lot fun to play with?" (elicit details). "So what did you tell me about Fido?" (conclusion). See the research that supports this strategy Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg Separated from the colony, readers join two adventurous ants and see the world from a very different perspective. I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb , illustrated by Julia Gorton Children are encouraged to observe as experiment as they learn about wind and air as well as practice science writing by describing their findings. Frogs by Nic Bishop (Scholastic 2008) Stunning close-ups of colorful frogs in their natural habitats taken by an acclaimed photographer and biologist combine with clearly presented information on large, bright pages, sure to intrigue as well as inform readers of all ages. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin , illustrated by Harry Bliss (HarperCollins) What icky creature looks the same from both ends? The worm, of course! For the first time ever, get the insider’s view of life from this creepy crawler’s perspective. He lives underground with his family, eats his homework and does his best to annoy his sister — documenting it all in a diary. Simple illustrations are the ideal complement to the understated humor (though nonetheless laugh-out-loud tone) of the text. Are We There Yet? A Journey Around Australia by Alison Lester (Kane/Miller, 2005) The year Grace turned eight, her Mum and Dad took her and her siblings on a trip around Australia. The kids "missed school for the whole winter term" and Grace documented much of what she learned, where she went, and the adventures they had as they experienced the diversity of the continent. Grace’s informal voice is informative yet engaging, completed by line drawings and simple maps. The Bunnicula Collection: Books 1 to 3 by Deborah and James Howe , illustrated by Deborah and James Howe (Listening Library) Harold the family dog narrates three stories of life with supernatural suspicions which begins with Bunnicula, the bunny with fangs. In the Howliday Inn while boarding at the Chateau Bow-Wow, Harold and Chester (the Monroe cat) encounter a werewolf, perhaps. Chester and Harold must stop zombie vegetables when the Celery Stalks at Midnight. Over-the-top humor is very appealing to a broad range of listeners (including adults!). Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure by Jeff Brown , illustrated by Macky Pamintuan (HarperCollins) Life as a paper-thin boy is not all bad as Stanley finds out. He was flattened by a bulletin board bit adjusts quite well with the help of his parents to his new dimensions — all of which makes for very funny reading (and travels in later books about Stanley and his family).