This project is designed to let children practice interview and writing skills, plus allow new teachers, new families, substitutes, and others an interesting way to get to know the staff at our elementary school.
Writing, Writing Process, Oral Language, Listening, Speaking, Social Studies
Grades 3- 5
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Students recognize and use language appropriately for varied contexts and purposes. Students integrate listening, speaking, viewing, reading, and writing for multiple purposes. Students develop and use a variety of strategies to plan, draft, revise, and edit different forms of text for specific purposes.
This project is designed to let children practice interview and writing skills, plus allow new teachers, new families, substitutes, and others an interesting way to get to know the staff at our elementary school. The students will be writing their own interview questions, developing a paragraph about their staff member, and then use the digital camera to take their picture. They will enter all of this information onto a HyperStudio card and the teacher will then take all of the cards and make a stack to be shared with everyone. It can also be turned into a slideshow for viewing on the school’s entryway TV during conferences or any other special occasion.
When new families, new teachers, and substitutes come into school buildings for the first time, they don’t know anyone. This lesson would be an interactive project that allows the students to inform others about who works at our school and what they do. It helps them produce quality work because they are showing their work to someone other than themselves or their teacher, and they are responsible for organizing all of their material in order to have their HyperStudio card make sense. It will also make them follow and stick to a time line. They will need to be organized enough to stay on top of their job.
This project also focuses on technology, in that the children will display their knowledge through such a powerful medium. They are always so excited about using the computers and without knowing it, will be learning the software while they enter all the information that they have gathered. In order to get to this point, they will need to use some higher order thinking skills by setting up the interview, writing their own questions, sending out a reminder, conducting the interview, and from there, manipulating all the information that they have gathered from their interview to produce a quality writing piece about their staff member. Discuss with students how this paragraph will need to be interesting and informative.
Work on how to make that happen during the whole writing process. A project like this will also allow the children to spend time in engaging conversations with others. After they interview their staff member, they will be evaluated by the staff member on their interview skills. They will also be talking with their peers about their work and filling out a rubric to make sure they are on track. This will allow the children to evaluate themselves and others. It also gives them some insight on how effective communication can be when it is done correctly.
If you do this project at the beginning of the year, the children will need some extra time with directions, etc. To introduce the project and discuss what good interviewing looks like and sounds like, watch videos of interviews and have class discussions about appropriate interview questions. Notify the staff about this project so that they will know what to expect.
Have students begin writing their questions and sharing them with their “peer editors.” Help students set up a time to interview their staff member and then conduct the interview. This should take approximately a week from start to finish. Give students the opportunity to finish their rough drafts and be ready to have them edited by their partner. Editing should take one day and then they should be ready for the computers. Prepare the interviewing and writing rubrics. When the students have all saved their cards, you will need to put the final project together. Connect the buttons to make the HyperStudio stack flow.
Step-by-Step Teacher and Student Instructions
The students will be given a staff member to interview and a “peer editor” partner. These will be set up by the teacher.
The students will be given the rubrics and will need to set up their interview time with their staff member. This will all be discussed as a class before they make the arrangements. After they set up their appointment, they will need to design an invitation reminder for their staff member.
While they are waiting for their interview date to come, they will be working on their interview questions and discussing with their “peer editor” which are good questions and which need to be thrown out.
During the interview, the children will need to get all of their questions answered and take a digital picture of their staff person. They will also have their staff person fill out their rubric and have it returned to their teacher.
After the interview the children will need to send a thank you to their staff member and then take all of their information and turn it into an informative, interesting paragraph. This rough draft will need to follow the rubric and will be edited by their partner. The teacher will look at it before the child goes to the computer.
When the paragraph has been edited by their peer editor and their teacher, the child will be required to enter all of their information on to a HyperStudio“ card. They will have to add a text box, add a button, and insert a picture on their card.
All of the children will save their cards in one folder, so that it is easy for the teacher to connect the buttons and finish the project. It can also be run as a slideshow if the teacher would like.
The children will be able to view the project and share it with the staff member they interviewed. They will also be in charge of sharing it with new families, new teachers, and substitutes when they are in the building.
The students will be required to have the staff member they interview fill out the rubric about the interview and they will also evaluate themselves. They will also have a rubric that will focus on their writing. This will be filled out by the student, their peer editor, and the teacher. This evaluation will be done after all of the students finish their project.
This project could be done as a movie and edited that way or it could be done with a digital video camera and made into an iMovie. You could also interview people out in the community or any others that the children would find interesting.
- HyperStudio, Kid Pix, or another creativity program
- multiple computers
- video clips of interviews
- interview rubric (click the link for activity sheets)
- writing rubric (click the link for activity sheets)
- digital camera and disks