April 10, 2014
Have your students interview an adult age 60 or above. They learn how to write open questions, how to interview and take notes, and how to ask for clarification if needed. It’s also a fun, skill-intensive project to finish the year that will help students stay engaged and focused when spring fever starts to kick in.
The prep work — including practice interviewing of classmates and reporting what they learned — is all done during class time. The interviews are conducted outside of class (their only homework assignment!). The presentation visuals, usually computer slideshows, are prepared during class time, and the presentations are given during class; both listeners and presenter earn points.
This interview project was well-received by my students because older friends and siblings spoke well of having done it themselves. Parents are informed of the homework component and timeline (a signed form had to be returned for points and phone calls were made if it wasn’t). Many of the necessary skills, particularly public speaking, have been worked on throughout the first three quarters; it was worth so many points that they would fail the quarter if they didn’t do it or did it very poorly. Many of the points were earned during class time so I could get slackers on track in time to be successful.