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Essay Hamburger Worksheet

Hamburger Writing

I use this method of writing to introduce expository and persuasive essays.  This organizer helps students see how each paragraph in the Five-Paragraph Essay ties in with the other paragraphs.  I found this organizer extremely useful in helping students prepare for the ISAT.



  • The teacher will pass out a copy of the Hamburger Writing to each student. (See hand-out)

  • The teacher will give the students an expository writing prompt.  For example, what is the best candy in the world?

  • The students will vote on one type of candy to use as an example such as, Peanut M&M’s.  The topic will go on the top bun.

  • The class will brainstorm reasons why Peanut M&M’s are the best type of candy.

  • As a class, the students will come up with three top reasons for choosing Peanut M&M’s as the best candy. (They are colorful, bite size and easy to eat and the flavor of the chocolate and peanuts is delicious.)  These three reasons will also be written on the top bun.

  • The students will write one of their three reasons for choosing Peanut M&M’s on each of the middle sections of the hamburger.   The students will also write three minor details for each reason.

  • Finally, the students will write their conclusion on the bottom bun.  The students will restate their main idea, mention major details, and draw some conclusions.

As a class, we use this organizer the first couple of times we write expository or persuasive essays.  The students get so accustomed to this type of organizer that they use it to organize other written assignments.  It has been an extremely useful tool to use in writing instruction.



  • 3.B.2a- Generate and organize ideas using a variety of planning strategies (e.g., mapping, outlining, drafting.)

  • 3.B.2c Expand ideas by using modifiers, subordination and standard paragraph organization.


Hamburger Worksheet


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This year we’ve been working on essay writing in one of our co-op classes. A lot. The kids are at different points with their writing skills: a few of them are all about writing out a detailed outline, complete with color coded paragraphs, while a few others need a more visual approach to grasping the concept of outlining.

Just for fun, I asked Laurianna to help me create a visual outline that would give everyone a little start on writing  and completing a five paragraph essay. Their essays and the outline needed to include:

  • three key points/paragraphs

One of the things that I continually stress to our kids is the importance of being able to write a strong thesis and/or introduction, make valid points that support and prove their thesis, and then end with a strong concluding paragraph to tie it all together. Sometimes a simple visual can help them map their thoughts, make sure things flow together properly, and ensure they aren’t getting off topic.

The kids can start with the hamburger essay outline to map out their initial thoughts, and eventually they build a more detailed essay outline like below:

  • Thesis and ‘hook’ sentence
  • Main paragraph idea #1: sub-points 1, 2, and 3
  • Main paragraph idea #2: sub-points 1, 2, and 3
  • Main paragraph idea #3: sub-points 1, 2, and 3

The hamburger essay outline is just a simple pencil/pen sketch that we had fun coloring in, but it has been a help to several of our kids and the kids in co-op – and we wanted to share it with you all as well!

p.s. on a completely unrelated note to anything, it just makes me giggle saying ‘hamburger’ because then I picture Steve Martin as the Pink Panther trying to say the word hamburger… and I get completely sidetracked.

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