Conducting an Interview

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Most students know how to ask questions to learn new information, but this lesson gives students the strategies necessary to conduct a successful interview.  The interview may be related to a school assignment, news gathering for an article, creating an oral history, or other purposes.  The lesson includes the steps students will need to follow to prepare and conduct the interview, as well as the other skills necessary during the interview process.  Teachers may use the lesson with students in conjunction with a school newspaper or website.

Conducting an Interview Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Conducting an Interview
  • Hands-on homework activities conducting interviews
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson goes over the difference between asking questions just to gather information, and actually interviewing a person.  The techniques learned can be applied to a number of situations, such as an interview for a school assignment, news gathering for an article, creating an oral history, or other purposes.  The lesson includes the steps students will need to follow to prepare and conduct the interview, as well as the other skills necessary during the interview process.  Students will be given an opportunity to practice their interview skills by interviewing each other in a controlled classroom setting.  Teachers may use the lesson with students in conjunction with a school newspaper or website.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instructions: 

  1. Ask several questions of students such as: How long have you lived in…?  What are your favorite…?  What are some of your hobbies or interests?  What plans do you have for the future?
  2. Allow students to share individual responses. Ask students what kind of questions they would ask someone who they have never met before.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students if they know what it is called when one person asks questions and another person answers them.
  4. Allow for responses. Introduce Conducting an Interview lesson.
  5. Distribute Conducting an Interview content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  While reviewing the steps of the interview process, use examples for each of the steps.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  After students have the written mini-biographies, pair students.  Allow students time to prepare for the interviews, create the questions, and then conduct the interviews with their partner.
  7. Once the interviews are complete, each student will review and summarize their notes and write a final copy of a story about their partner.
  8. Next, allow students to share the stories with the class.
  9. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  10. Distribute the Homework page. Review the instructions.  The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Allow students to summarize their interview with a parent.  (Students will not need to record the interview.)

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.2

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.4

Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources: 

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Language Arts