Our school's Literacy Support leader introduced "Hamburger Writing" to us last year, and initially I brushed it off because, well, how was I supposed to use this graphic organizer with 4 year-olds???? After some reflection however, I figured that the visual image of the hamburger was a great way to illustrate parts that complete a whole. Since we also work on the 6 Traits of Writing, I figured I could potentially give it a go with my kids for the trait of 'organization', but in a much, much, MUCH more simplified version. Basically this burger was a plain as it could get, you had three parts:
1. The top bun: An initial introduction to characters, where they are and what they are doing.
2. The filling: Here we introduce a problem that occurs in the story
3. The bottom bun: FIX THE PROBLEM!
In three simple visual parts, the children were able to organize their stories from beginning to end without forgetting about characters along the way or using "and then..." repetitively, ultimately creating an almost never-ending story.
Because my objective was to get the children to organize the events in their stories and not to decode or write words, I had them draw into each part of the hamburger and dictate to me what was happening in each as I scribed. Here are three examples:
Since we have published several books already using the standard pen to paper method, I though this time we'd use this particular piece of writing to explore an app called Little Bird Tales
to create digital books. This app allows children to create books using a variety of drawing tools, photograph objects, voice record, and type in words. Teachers, if you create an online account, you can then upload these creations to your account and get codes to embed in blogs, print out PDF versions and share the link to the story by email to parents. In order to download a digital MP4 copy, they ask for a small fee of USD 0.99. Once emailed to the parents, they can opt to download their own copy to keep, or just view it online for as long as you still have the story in your account. Here are the stories from the three hamburger plans you see above.
The children now understood how to use the draw tools quite independently, so I wanted them to explore the photo tool more, as an option in book creation. For this, I reviewed the hamburger structure with the whole class and asked them to create a "Lego story". they created a Lego structure either individually or with a partner (I let them choose), and then first told their story orally to a few friends making sure to emphasize the three parts of the hamburger. After that they came to me and we started talking about how to photograph each page of the book so that it matched the story line. I asked questions like:
"What angle should we take the photo from?"
"Where should the characters be to show what is happening?"
"What position should they be in?"
"Do you need extra props?"
Once each page was set up using the Lego, the children snapped a photograph of the scene and then recorded the audio. here are some examples of their Lego stories! I typed in the text afterwards based on what the children were saying on each page to help readers decode the audio in case it wasn't clear.
On a side note, I find it quite amusing how simply problems can be solved in a child's mind! Ah, the joys of innocence!