Why Interviewing a Friend Makes a Great Activity for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade
If you've already decided you want to have your upper elementary students interview each other, then scroll on down to the next section.
If you still need some convincing, here are some reasons why classmate interviews makes a great activity for back to school or all long.
1. Interviewing a Classmate Makes A Great Back to School Activity
2. Create A Culture of Kindness
In the read aloud Enemy Pie, a boy discovers that he actually likes hanging out with his "enemy" after spending the day with him.
While getting to know someone better doesn't automatically mean you will like them, it does make it more likely. One of the easiest ways to prevent bullying, excluding, and other hurtful behaviors in your classroom is by helping students get to know each other better. The better students know each other, the easier it is to create a culture of kindness.
Partnering students up and facilitating a structured activity like an interview is a great way to do this.
3. Practice a Variety of ELA Skills in an Authentic Way
Interviewing is a real world skill that requires so many different ELA skills! During an interview, students will practice:
- asking questions
- organizing information
If you plan a meaningful after-interview reflection activity, then students will get an opportunity to practice other skills as well. Having students reflect on similarities and differences between themselves and their partner is an easy reflection that practices comparing and contrasting.
4. It's a No Prep Activity that Can Be Repeated
This No Prep Interview a Friend Resource has everything you need to set this activity up in your classroom. There is brainstorming, possible interview questions, an interview recording sheet, and several reflection activities.
Use it as a back to school activity those first few days of schools, and then pull it out again throughout the school year, partnering students up with a different classmate.
Meaningful, no prep activities that can be completed multiple times are the best!
How to Set Up A Classmate Interview in Upper Elementary
Use this No Prep Interview a Classmate Resource to set up this activity, or create your own printables using the tips below!
Begin this activity by partnering students up. (This method of pairing students up is my personal favorite and can be used all year long.)
Then, have upper elementary students think about what they already know about their partner. We don't want them spending time asking questions that they already know the answer to!
Next, have students brainstorm some questions they could ask their classmate. Use the questions farther below as a springboard for other questions.
After students have created a list of possible interview questions, have them ask the questions and record the answers.
Finally, let students reflect on what they have learned. There are many different ways to do this. For example:
- Have them fill out a table or Venn Diagram that allows them to compare and contrast themselves with their classmate
- Have them answer reflection questions about the interview
- Have them create a poster about their classmate and present it to the class
And of course, repeat this activity whenever you want!
Possible Interview A Friend Questions
Below are a few of the example questions in this No Prep Interview a Classmate Resource.
Display the questions as examples for your 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Point out that the questions do not have yes/no answers, but instead promote discussion. Encourage students to use these questions as inspiration to come up with their own questions.
- How would you describe your family?
- What is the nicest thing you have done for a family member?
- What is the most important thing you have learned in school so far?
- What do you like to do when you have free time?
- What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
- What job do you think you would be really good at? What job do you think you would be terrible at? Why?
- What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now?
Note: Interesting questions are a great way to encourage discussion and help students get to know each other better. If you want to have more time for talk in your classroom, you might like these 33 questions that encourage interesting discussion all year long.
Never Stress Over Sub Plans Again!
Make copies, find a fiction book, and you'll be ready for any emergency that comes your way!