The Interview

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will make preparations for conducting interviews. Each learner will devise specific questions directly related to the interviewee and their contribution to the common good during a specific period of time.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Fifty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • describe characteristics of a good interview.
  • conduct interviews about community service during a specific time period.
  • make connections between historical events, an individual’s personal experiences and contributions to the common good during a specific time period.
  • Note cards
  • Learner copies of Rubrics for Interview (Handout)
  • Personal recording device for interview (video, audio, camera, pencil and paper)
  • Teacher list of senior citizens or other adult contacts for those learners who do not have an adult senior to interview. See questions submitted in Lesson One: Back to the Future for assistance on the periods of interest to the learners.
Home Connection 

In many cases, the interviewee will be a member of the family or community.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the learners to imagine that sometime in the future they are being interviewed by a reporter who wishes to write a column about their life experiences. Let them brainstorm a short of list of things they would not like to occur in the interview. Create a "T" chart of scenarios and questions that they believe would be appropriate and not appropriate during the interview.

  2. Discuss the list that was generated. Explain that good interviews don’t just happen. They are planned. They don’t waste time. They ask specific questions. They show that the interviewer is interested and knows what information is needed for a good article. Explain that each learner will interview someone who reflects the time period in which they are interested.

  3. Give the learners each a note card. Ask them to write one good general question to be used in an interview. Explain the task, which is to agree on five general questions to be used in an interview.

  4. After a minute or two ask for volunteers to share their questions. Put these on the chalkboard, overhead or butcher paper. After all questions are listed and discussed, reach a consensus on five general questions to be used in the interviews. At least one of the questions must be about community service performed during that era.

  5. After the common list of questions is decided, have each learner develop a minimum of five specific questions relating to their chosen era which will be used in their interview.

  6. Distribute Rubrics for Interview (handout below). Discuss.

  7. Model and role-play interviews with the students. Taped TV interviews can be viewed and assessed for effectiveness.

  8. Assist the learners in contacting persons and setting up the interview.


Each learner will turn in a completed list of questions prior to the interview. The evaluation form completed by the interviewee may also be used as a form of assessment.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
    2. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify how subgroups and families in society demonstrate giving, volunteering, and civic involvement.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Describe civil society advocacy organizations and their relationship to human rights.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.