Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-12, students explore BrainPOP features and resources to discover how to plan for and conduct an effective and meaningful interview. Then they will use what they learn to plan, conduct, and record their own interviews to share with the class.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Create a concept map of interview Dos and Don’ts.
  2. Watch and analyze a real interview.
  3. Review and revise sample interview questions.
  4. Brainstorm questions for an interview.
  5. Conduct and record an interview.



Lesson Procedure:

  1. Ask students if they’ve ever interviewed someone. Invite them to share their experiences, including what went well, what didn’t and why. Tell them that today they will learn how to plan for and conduct a successful interview, and use what they discover to conduct their own interviews.
  2. Show the movie Conducting an Interview on an interactive whiteboard or other large display to the whole class once through without pausing.
  3. Next, if you have access to multiple computers, divide the class into pairs and have them open the Make-a-Map feature on individual computers. [Note: If limited access to computers, pairs can do this step with paper and pencil].
  4. Pairs watch the movie again within the Make-a-Map feature. As they watch, advise them to pay close attention to the dos and don’ts of conducting an interview and instruct them to create two concept maps (Interviewing Dos and Interviewing Don’ts) on the Make-a-Map canvas. Suggest that they pause the movie as they create the concept maps and remind them they can incorporate clips from the movie into their maps. When they are done, have each pair share their maps with another pair to ensure that they captured all the information. Conducting and Interview MAM
  5. Now students will watch a real interview of a famous actor and answer questions about the interview using the Primary Source feature. Conduncting an Interview - Activities
  6. Students can do the Primary Source activity with their partners at individual computers, or if limited computer access you can watch the interview as a whole class and then have partners answer the questions offline. As they watch the interview, encourage students to think about how the interviewer applies what they’ve learned about conducting an interview.
  7. Next, remind students that it is important to ask questions that are answered with more than a simple yes or no so that they can draw out information. Interviewees should be encouraged to describe, explain, etc. To practice this skill, have partners work together to revise the sample questions on the Worksheet. This can be completed on- or offline.
  8. Bring the class together again and announce that they are now ready to conduct their own interviews. You can either provide a specific assignment, such as interviewing a local politician, a community worker, or an elderly relative or friend. You might have students interview an expert on something you’re studying in class, such as a doctor if you’re study some aspect of the human body. Or, allow students to choose who they want to interview.
  9. Once students have decided who to interview, have them use the Brainstorming Interview Questions Graphic Organizer to write down good questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
  10. Finally, students are to set up, conduct and record their interviews. Before they do, encourage them to review their “Interview DOs”:
      • set up a time and place that works for both of you
      • bring a recording device AND paper and pencil
      • be courteous
      • arrive early
      • listen
      • make eye contact
      • say thank you
      • follow up with a thank you note.
  11. Set aside part of a day for everyone to share their interviews. Encourage students to include photos and background information about their subjects to go with their interviews.
Filed as:  3-5, 6-8, 9-12, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.6, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5