How to Paragraph: Use the Hamburger (Tip Top) Method to Help Your Child to Use Paragraphs

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Are you looking for a simple and effective way to teach your child how to paragraph – and how to structure their paragraphs? Here’s how you can use the Hamburger Method to teach them.

Teaching children what paragraphs are and how to structure them can be tricky to explain but is nonetheless quite important in developing their literacy skills. Once your child is confident in their use of sentences, the next step is to teach them how-to paragraph.

What is a Paragraph?

Question mark on red background

A paragraph is used to help structure and break up a large amount of text. And when writing non-fiction texts, each paragraph will usually have a group of sentences written, which share a particular theme or topic.

Texts that are used in primary school often use the following structure:

  • Paragraph 1 – the introduction).
  • Paragraphs 2,3 and 4 will focus on three particular (or different) points.
  • The last paragraph – the conclusion.

In helping your child to get a grasp of how to write their paragraphs, you can introduce them to the Hamburger or TipTop method.


Top bun – Topic sentence

The hamburger method is used as a metaphor for the structure of the paragraph. With the top bun relating to the topic sentence of the paragraph. This refers to the sentence which will declare what the paragraph will be about.

This sentence is important because it will need to be interesting enough to keep the reader engaged enough to keep reading on.

The start of the sentence could be a question, quote, or fact. Finding the right words to introduce their paragraph may prove a little difficult for your child, but remember to be patient with them and to give them the room and time to think when they need it.

The Layers – Details

Colorful layers ✏️...

Next up are the layers of the paragraph. The function of these layers is to add some depth and flavour to the things mentioned in the topic sentence.

It is advisable to have at least three main explanations or descriptions in this part of the paragraph, as its function is to support the point that has already been made.

Bottom Bun – The Concluding Sentence

The bottom bun. Unlike the top bun, this part of the hamburger will be the ending of the paragraph. The paragraph’s conclusion can be a sentence or two, but it is important to make sure that it either summarises what has been mentioned in the paragraph or rewording the details in the top bun.

And just like that, we’ve covered the basics of teaching your child how to structure their paragraphs!

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