Character Interview

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SWBAT write about a character's opinion.

Big Idea

This lesson really allows readers to show their comprehension of the author's point of view.


5 minutes

Introduction and Common Core Connection

I show this lesson image to my class to get them thinking about the story of Jack and the Bean Stalk.  It is a nice activating strategy for students to start thinking about the story.

The Common Core Standard is W.1.1 and it says that the students need to be able to write and opinion piece where they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about ; state an opinion, supply reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.  This story is nice because it has a strong character opinion piece from the mother's perspective so it can be used in the guided practice.  Then Jack has another perspective that can be used for independent practice and partner work.


I ask the students to discuss what we have been doing in writing and what we might do related to the lesson image. I project the beanstalk in front of the class.  After about a minute of discussion I allow a volunteer to share their discussion.  I then share that we are going to write an opinion piece from the perspective of Jack and his Mother in Jack and the Beanstalk.  I explain that this time we will use the format of an interview.  So, we will have a list of questions and answers that we make up.  I explain that this is what reporter's do when they want to know about people.  So, we are going to pretend to be reporters today.

I think it is important for my class to know what the lesson goal is and I make them state it.  I say, I can create an interview based on characters I read about.  Then students echo, tell a friend, and say it with me.  I think repetition helps memory and telling a friend makes the lesson meaningful.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

First graders do usually know what an interview is and I stage a mock interview between myself and another student to show the class what we are going to do.  I show the class the first three minutes of the Jack and the Bean Stalk read aloud from Youtube to remind them the details of the story and make sure everyone has heard the story.  Students brainstorm a list of questions to ask Jack? I ask a volunteer to share their ideas.  I add one idea at a time t the board.   Then students brainstorm answers to the questions from Jack's perspective.  Students discuss with their partner answers.  I ask students to share their thoughts. 

Then I ask a student to pretend to be Jack and I pretend to be the interviewer.  Our work is in the resource section (Board Work).  I am constantly reminding the class this is an opinion piece. "Opinion means it is what somebody thinks." We need to see Jack's opinion about what he did in our answers.

Partner Work

15 minutes

Students work (Collaboration and Collaboration) with their partner to create a list of questions to ask Jack's Mother.  Then the student's discuss possible answers to each question with their partner.

I am walking around answering questions and guiding students (Student Sharing Work).  I have to reference the guided practice and constantly remind the class that our questions and answers need to reflect the Mother's opinion. I say, "What did  and she think?"

Student Reflection

5 minutes

This is the point in the lesson I like to work on speaking and listening.  I ask review the speaking and listening procedures.  We are back in the lounge. I  usually allow two or three students to read their interview.   I really value this time to model feedback and to share exemplar work. I feel that first graders need a great deal of modeling when it comes to evaluating peer work.


5 minutes

Students tell their partner one important thing they learned today.  I try to listen and hear something I like to share with the class.  I try to encourage discourse among my students.

I also feel that my students learn more when they really understand what the learning goal is.  i ask the students to echo, tell a friend, and say the goal with me.