Unit Five: Interviewing
Summary for teachers of lesson’s objectives:
- Teacher objective: TO HELP STUDENTS WITH INTERVIEWING SKILLS AND AT THE SAME TIME TO HELP BUILD COMMUNITY
- Student objective: TO LEARN HOW TO INTERVIEW
Interviewing and building a community within the class is the teacher objective for this lesson; interestingly both activities are based on trust. Even before asking for an interview in anything but a breaking news situation, the reporter has to build some rapport with the subject. The same is true in a classroom,
“…forming a sense of community where people feel they will be treated sympathetically by their fellows, seems to be a necessary first step for collaborative learning. Without a feeling of community people are on their own, likely to be anxious, defensive and unwilling to take the risks involved in learning.” (Kreijns, Kirschner, & Jochems, 2003)
Also true is that for learning to take place, three variables need to exist in the classroom,
- a functional pedagogy for instruction
- relevant content to be learned
- and, a working community of learning
“Otherwise the learning experience will be low or non-existent.” (Kreijns, Kirschner, & Jochems, 2003)
Regarding relevant content, interviewing is the basis of all reporting. Without an interview, there is no first-hand information. This unit will try to engage students in interviewing, and at the same get to know each other better, and learn to trust each other. That’s when collaborative learning can begin.
COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION:
DISCUSS THE BLOGS THAT STUDENTS POSTED ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
- WERE THERE TOPICS THAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR THE ONLINE PAPER?
- DID THE INFORMATION SEEM TRUE?
- DO YOU SEE A WAY TO VERIFY THE INFORMATION (CHECK SOURCES)?
- WHICH BLOGS DID YOU ENJOY READING?
Trust: that is what makes people say yes to an interview. They believe you can be trusted. How do you get that trust? This advice in “Telling The Story” sums it up: “The key to a successful interview, Thompson has learned, is simple: act like a human being.” (Brooks, Kennedy, Moen, & Ranly, 2010)
Tips from “Telling The Story” on interviewing (page 49) and surprise videos:
- Think of questions ahead of time. You can miss what a person is saying because you are trying to think of your next question.
- Ask subjective questions: Why? Tell me more. Can you explain?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3ZvIzL1JbI
- Focus on one issue at a time. Avoid vague, complicated questions http://abcnews.go.com/International/beatification-john-paul-ii- pope-give-candid-interviews/story?id=13493166#.UWuo8FeNAg8
- Ask open-ended questions: Ex. How do you decide what to eat in the morning? Close ended question: Ex. What do you eat in the morning?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNX9tCRwnc (Go to 2 minutes in)
- Keep questions short. Make the interviewee do the talking.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UgLpRvX7Qk (At 5:45 min in & 7:45 in)
- Be honest. Don’t tell a subject the interview is going to be a feature, and then grill him in the questioning about something else. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UzyZYBYg8g (at 1:49)
Teacher: Have students go to Adobe meeting rooms to interview each other (4 per room). Tell them that each student should ask 3 questions of everyone one in the room. You can’t ask the same question that someone has asked already. Your questions have to build on each other. The questions cannot be hard facts (how old are you, where are you from). Keep notes. Then return to the classroom to tell us the most interesting findings about each other.
Walter Williams’ Journalist’s Creed
I BELIEVE THAT A JOURNALIST SHOULD WRITE ONLY WHAT HE HOLDS IN HIS HEART TO BE TRUE.
Teacher: Discuss “holds in his heart to be true.”
Read: “Telling The Story” pages 44-69
Teacher explanation: The purpose of this homework is to start thinking like a reporter. Students will have to plan questions and ask them. Make two teams, half girls, half boys.
To Do: (Collaboration and Cooperation)
Both teams will think of someone (he or she can be a historical figure or someone living today, but no one in the class) whom they would like to interview, and then they will develop a list of ten questions (no hard fact questions) for the person. Bring the questions to class next week.
Assessment: Homework will help the students think through how to phrase the questions so they get the answers that tell the story.