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Developing questions for a profile


This is a lesson in which students develop interview questions and begin the interview process for their personality profile. Students will begin by reviewing the previous lesson’s fishbowl and critique. Students will then develop and discuss interview questions and, finally, begin interviewing their subject for their profile piece.


  • Students will develop questions appropriate for a personality profile.
  • Students will share and critique questions with classmates.
  • Students will interview a classmate.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of interviewing techniques and preparedness for a follow-up interview with their subjects.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1a Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1b Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1c Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2a Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2b Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.


50 minutes


Class set: Focus sheet

Lesson step-by-step

1. Connection — 5 minutes

Review fishbowl interview critique from previous lesson, Team interviewing fishbowl. After watching that interview and thinking about how it went, what would have made it better or helped gather deeper/better information?

2. Direct instruction — 5 minutes

Remind young reporters of the following to help them with their initial interviews:

  • Research your subject first and know as much as possible (ask other people).
  • Develop your questions (as you will today in class), but don’t ever read them. The interview should be a conversation, not a firing off of questions (and never give your subject a set of questions or leave them lying around).
  • Remember to record and take notes (but ask permission first to record).
  • Let your subject decide where to meet and let that setting help break the ice. Why did you choose to meet here? Comment on the place and the surroundings.
  • Be quiet and listen. Let your subject talk. Make him/her feel like the most important person in the universe.

2. Investigation — 35 minutes

Students are to develop questions for their interview of their profile subject (classmate) using the following approach:

5 minutes – Students work individually to come up with a series of questions they can use to get the interview going.

5 minutes – Students gather back in their teams from the previous lesson and share the questions with one another, writing down those they may need from others’ sharing to gather a more complete set.

5 minutes – Teacher asks for “the best” questions from each team. Teams should provide two of the best, giving credit to the team member that created them. Other students need to add them to their lists if they didn’t have them.

5 minutes – Teacher asks if anyone has any other good discussion starters (not necessarily questions) to get the ball rolling. If nobody has come up with “Tell me things that only a few people know about you” and “tell me about that…” the teacher has students add those and circle or highlight those questions as great ways to start the ball rolling.

10 minutes – Students match up with their chosen personalities and begin the interviewing process. Set a timer so each partner has 5 minutes to interview the other today.

3. Extension and evaluation — 10 minutes

Flash & dash exit ticket – Students complete their focus sheets that demonstrate they are prepared to perform the rest of their interviews tonight and tomorrow. They show the teacher but keep them to use.