Getting to Know You

Patrick Akerley
Lakeshore High School
St. Clair Shores, Michigan

Students will get acquainted with each other, test their interview skills and write a personality feature.

To overcome the awkwardness of a new staff merging with last year’s veterans, students will learn that everyone in class is the possible subject of a feature story. By interviewing and writing about one of their classmates, students will get a taste of the journalistic trip they are about to embark on, and as a bonus, they will get to know their classmates.

Activities and Procedures

Activity 1

  • Adviser will randomly pick a student to interview in front of the class. Students will observe the interview and take notes about the questions asked during the interview. Adviser will write a personality feature on this student to be read the next day.
  • Students draw names to determine their interview subject.
  • Students are given a “false fact” that they will tell about themselves during the interview
  • Students will conduct their interviews
  • Allow 5-10 minutes for each interview
  • Students will try to determine the “false fact” by verifying the facts of the interview. (They can do this by checking with friends or the adviser)
  • Hand out examples of personality features
  • Discuss “what is a feature?”
  • Students will begin writing their feature

Activity 2

  • Adviser will read his/her student feature story
  • Students present their features
  • Determine if students found “false facts”
  • Discuss the good points about the features read

Continuing Assignment

Students will interview a staff member (teacher, administrator, counselor, etc.) and write a brief personality feature.