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Interviewing

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle/High School History, Language Arts

Objectives
Students will:
• Conduct interviews using the backwards reporting method for news article and Medal of Honor vignettes.
• Peer revise interview questions.
• Make inferences about questions asked to obtain information.
• Gather facts by watching recipient’s vignette.


Day 1 - Practicing the Backwards Reporting Method
Introductory Activity:

The teacher will distribute newspapers to each student. A student volunteer will read a current news
article about an issue that is meaningful to the class. It is helpful to first peruse the paper for issues
that are important to students.

Whole Group Activity:
Discuss the article as a class to assess for comprehension and questions. Ask a student volunteer
to write down facts about the article on the board.

After many facts are reported, number them. Use the backwards reporting method to figure out what
the reporter had to ask in order to attain each of those facts. Write down the “questions” on the board
in the space next to each fact. (Hint: The questions should be in some form of a who, where, what…etc.
as a precursor for the lesson, How to Write a News Article.)

Small Group/Individual Activity:

After all “answers were questioned,” direct students to read another news article. A headline story works
best for this activity.

Students will then use the “Interviewing Skills” sheet to compose a list of interview questions that they
would need to ask in order to get all the information available in their chosen article.

Whole Group Activity:
Collect papers and randomly distribute them to different students. Tell the students they must read the
questions to make sure their answers make sense. If the answer doesn’t match the question, students
write back to their partner and tell them the problem.

Conclusion:
Students may revise their questions, taking into consideration their peer revisions.

Assessment:
Questions, revision of interview questions

Resources:

“Interviewing Skills” guidelines sheet
Newspapers

Extended Activity / Enrichment:
Direct students to repeat the activity of finding the question to the answer with another article before
moving onto the vignette, if some students need additional practice. Teachers/students can use the
supplemental “Interviewing Skills” guide sheet while reading the news article.

Quote: "My Medal of Honor should be shared with all my shipmates." - Richard M. McCool, Navy-World War II

Download lesson to see Sample Worksheet / Interviewing Skills Example.

Additional Resources