Line of inquiry (essential question): How do we find common ground? How do we break down barriers to communication and understanding? How do we get to know each other? How does knowledge of each other engage the Golden Rule?
Grade range: 6-10
Group size: A classroom
Materials: Paper and pencil
Time: A class period
Language Arts Core: Language Arts: [W] 7 [SL] 1 – Students will understand how to write questions that will stimulate informative answers. Students will participate in interviews to create evidentiary information
Skills: Critical thinking skills, communication, cooperation, questioning skills
Space: A classroom
Directions: The facilitator will prompt students to write questions that someone else could ask them. The questions themselves should reveal something about the student, not how old are you? But what is your zodiac sign? Nothing illegal; nothing obscene.
Deliver the challenge: The students will pair up and interview each other. At the end of the questions, each student will ask a follow-up question based on what they have learned about that person, much the way reporters do at press conferences. Then the interviewers will introduce their person by name to the entire class and share the most interesting thing they learned about that person.
Extensions: This is a great introductory activity, it allows students to get to know each other and then share that information with the class.
Reflection: How did it feel to be interviewed? Was there information you wanted to share but didn’t because it wasn’t included in the questions? Did you feel comfortable interviewing someone else? Was there more you wanted to know?
Notes: For some groups, it might be prudent to approve the questions before the interview.