First, we discuss the fundamentals of conducting a meaningful, powerful interview. Many agree that you need to be prepared to talk to your interviewee. One student wrote that you should work hard to make the interviewee feel comfortable, to get the best results.
These student samples have some nice student generated ideas:
After we come up with a list, we discuss these as a class.
During this part of the lesson, I interview my mom about her father's untimely death. My mom's dad was hit and killed by a drunk driver. I interview her about the day she heard the news and the weeks that followed. This is a special day in my classroom and a special assignment. It allows my students a little glimpse inside my life. Every year during the interview, you could hear a pin drop! I call my mom on speaker, because she is usually working during the day. However, Skype or Google + would also be viable options. I actually like using the phone interview because it shows kids that you really don't need to be face to face to conduct an excellent interview.
Before I begin, I introduce my Interview Questions.
Then, I type the answers to the questions on the Promethean Board, so students see me typing. There are lots of errors, because I am typing quickly. I explain that going quickly the first time is part of the process. I will revisit my responses and edit my mom's responses at a later date.
Here is the clean, edited copy of the interview:
In social studies, students have focused a great deal on the difference between open-ended questions and yes or no questions. One common misconception is that yes or no questions, or questions with one right answer are bad. I like to confront this stereotype. These types of questions are not necessarily bad, they do, however, require a follow-up question that is part of the initial.
As a class, we generate a list of possible questions that students can apply to their interviews. Then I type up those questions, and hand out a Question Bank & Assignment Information.
This year I created my own questions first and then as a class, we used my own questions as a spring board to create more questions. However, in years past, we discussed questions before I conducted my interview. That mean I used the questions the class generated when interviewing my mom. I think both methods are effective in their own right.
Today, during independent reading, we'll switch our focus to reading magazines versus novel reading. Since we're going to be writing an article based on the interview, we'll begin to switch our attention, with the intention of noticing techniques used by article authors.
Around this time, I start to collect magazines from all around. The public library is a great resource. Kids also have magazines laying around their house. Our school library has a supply of magazines available for check-out. Kids, usually, like reading magazines. Our school librarian mentioned that students often forget about magazines as a reading option. It is nice to remind them about this alternative to books.