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How to Construct & Conduct Successful Interviews

Day 7:

How to Construct & Conduct Successful Interviews (Language Arts)
The Cricket & The Plant (Science)
Interpreting Data (Math)
Writing & Analyzing Survey (Social Studies)
Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

Links on this page: Data Collection Instruments - Teacher Sheet | Data Collection Process - Teacher Sheet | Practice Five Question Survey - Student Sheet | Practice Five Question Survey - Teacher Sample |
Practice Survey - Tally Sheet | Practice Survey - Role Cards 

National Education Standards Met:


Language Arts

Goal: By constructing and conducting an interview, students will gain information about different factors related to global climate change.

Objectives: Students will

  • Review their hypothesis
  • Brainstorm questions
  • Use public speaking skills to address a group of interviewees
  • Gather information to support or rule out their hypothesis


  • 1 Data Collection Instruments - Teacher Sheet
  • 1 Data Collection Process - Teacher Sheet
  • 30 blank Practice 5 Question Survey - Student Sheets
  • 1 overhead transparency of Interview Tally sheet
  • 1 set of Information/Role Cards for the interviewees

Time: 45 minutes

Standards Met: LA3, LA4, LA5, LA6, LA7, LA12


  • Look over the Information/Role Cards for Interviewees and be prepared to answer interview questions using the information on these cards.  The teacher can play all roles or ask parents, past students, administrators, etc. to play the various roles.
  • Review the various types of data collection instruments on the Data Collection Instruments: Teacher Sheet
  • Use the Process Teacher Sheet to review the process students will use to collect data to prove or disprove their hypotheses.
  • Divide students into groups of 4 and assign each group a number.
  • Hand out blank survey sheets to each group.
  • Students should write the group number and member names on the blank survey sheet.
  • Discuss Data Collection Instruments and sampling techniques.
  • Instruct the students that they will be developing a set of questions related to global climate change.
  • Set the following guidelines:


  1. The teacher will place a slip of numbered paper in a container.  The numbers represent each group.
  2. The order of questioning will be determined by the number drawn out of the container.  All groups must be ready to ask their question.  When all of the numbers have been drawn, the slips of paper will be placed back in the container for a second round.
  3. If the group is not ready to ask a question when their number is drawn, they lose their turn for that round.
  4. A tally sheet will display the number of questions asked to each patient.
  5. The interview session will conclude when all interviewees have been asked 2 questions or when class time runs out.


  • Inform students that it is in their best interest to have several questions ready for each patient. If someone asks their question prior to their turn, they will have to be ready to ask a different question.
  • The students should construct their questions and fill in the blank survey form.
  • Have students review concept maps, player grids and introductions before constructing their questions to avoid asking questions for which they already have the answers.
  • It is important for students to consider the audience for whom the question is intended. Factors such as age and occupation can affect the outcome.
  • The students will be evaluated on the quality of the questions and the information they record throughout the entire interview question.
  • Before the session begins, place the transparency Interview Tally Sheet on the overhead and ask for a volunteer to record which interviewee has been asked a question. This is a good job for a student in your class who needs to be constantly occupied.
  • At the end of the class, have the students brainstorm or summarize what they have learned from the interview.  Collect their papers with questions and notes for evaluation.
  • Students will write surveys for people in their hometown in Social Studies.

Data Collection Instruments - Teacher Sheet


  • Physical: A collection of information that usually involves the counting, examining, and recording of some physical part of the issue under investigation.
    Example: A comprehensive compilation of the types of vehicles in your community and the gas mileage each vehicle maintains.
  • Questionnaire*: A carefully written set of questions about the issue under investigation, which are asked of a selected sample of human beings.  A questionnaire is specifically designed to collect only facts, not opinions.
    Example: What gas mileage does your car get on the highway?
    What is the human threshold level for carbon dioxide?
  • Opinionnaire*: Similar to questionnaires, except that opinionnaire are designed to survey the attitudes, beliefs and positions of the people surveyed.
    Example: My car gets excellent gas mileage.
    (Strongly agree- - - - - -undecided- - - - - - - --strongly disagree)
  • Combination: A combination of a questionnaire and an opinionnaire, designed to collect facts and attitudes.

    *Opinionnaires and questionnaires can be in the form of written questions mailed to a selected audience, a face to face interview, or a phone interview.


  • Random Sample:
    Example: Open the phone book and run your finger down the page with your eyes closed, stopping at any name.  Repeat fifty times.
  • Systematic Sample:
    Example: You want to survey 50 people.  Open the phone book and select every 20th name until you have questioned 50 people.
  • Convenience Sample:
    Example: Open the phone book and sample the first 50 people.
    Caution! Convenience samples can be very biased at times!

Data Collection Process - Teacher Sheet

Physical Data Collection

Step 1 - Explore techniques for completing physical data collection

Step 2 - Complete field studies

Step 3 - Analyze physical data collection results

Questionnaire & Opinnionaire

Step 1 - Construct a practice survey

Step 2 - Conduct a practice survey

Step 3 - Create a survey for hometown

Step 4 - Analyze survey results

Practice Five Question Survey - Student Sheet

Research Group:

Population Surveyed:













































Practice Five Question Survey - Teacher Sample

Research Group:

Population Surveyed: People who are familiar with our school cafeteria

Hypothesis: The food served in our schoolcafeteria increases gas, increasing methane






Don't Know

1. Have you eaten at the school cafeteria or seen the food served at the school cafeteria in the last year?


2. Do you believe that the food served in the school cafeteria increases gas?


3. After eating in the school cafeteria, have you noticed an increase in your gas production? (Do you fart more after eating in the school cafeteria?)


4. After students eat in the school cafeteria, have you noticed an increase in their gas production?


5. Does the cafeteria serve beans at least one time a week?



Practice Survey - Tally Sheet

1. Maria Cervantes - Student




2. Evan Roberts - Cafeteria Employee




3. Sue Owens - Health Teacher




4. Lee Kim - Student




5. Ian Nelson - Students




6. Jamal Jones - School Nutritionist




7. Darshana Krishni - Doctor




Practice Survey - Role Cards

Maria Cervantes

  • Age: 11 - Student
  • Lives across the street from school so she goes home for lunch whenever she can
  • Hates beans
  • Thinks the school food is disgusting and absolutely will not eat cafeteria food (except for pizza day)

Evan Roberts

  • Age: 25 - School cafeteria worker
  • Eats at the school cafeteria every day
  • Thinks the food is nutritionally sound and loves the taste
  • Beans are served twice a week, once with tacos and once with red beans and rice
  • Hasn't noticed an increase of gas in himself or students

Sue Owens

  • Age: 59 - School health teacher
  • Vegetarian, rarely eats at the school cafeteria
  • Thinks the food is not nutritionally sound
  • Doesn't think the food leads to increased gas

Lee Kim

  • Age: 13 - Student
  • Eats at the school cafeteria every day
  • Loves to fart in class and is much better at it after lunch
  • Bean day is the best because the post-lunch farting really increases

Ian Nelson

  • Age: 13 - Student
  • Eats at the school cafeteria most days, but sometimes his grandmother makes him lunch
  • Hates that he has to sit next to Lee after lunch everyday. The guy reeks!
  • Has a crush on Maria

Jamal Jones

  • Age: 33 - School Nutritionist
  • Thinks the food is not nutritionally sound
  • Does not eat at the cafeteria
  • Doubts that the cafeteria food increases student gas production

Darshana Krishni

  • Age: 43 - Doctor who volunteers at the school twice a week
  • Eats at the cafeteria twice a week to spend more time with students
  • Believes that some foods will increase gas production, most students levels of indigestion would not change if they eat food from home or if they eat food from the cafeteria

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