Prewriting Activities

Obtain and read models of interviews from Stud Terkel's Hard Times. Then have students use the writing prompts at the end of this file to create interview questions and plan their own interview. Students then conduct interviews and take notes.

Writing Situation

You have read feature articles from interviews with various people about hard times in their lives. You have planned and conducted your own interview, and you have your notes from the interview.

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Directions for Writing

Write approximately three-hundred words in an article about the hard time of the person you interviewed. Make sure you include a specific incident discussed by the person you interviewed. Be sure your direct quotes are properly paragraphed. Share your own reflections... your feelings, opinions, discoveries about hard times... in the process of creating this article.

Save this article on your disk with a good, descriptive name.

Print out two copies of this article. Keep one, and give the other to your teacher or team leader.

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Evaluation Rubric

If the writing meets all four points, the grade is an A, if three, the grade is B, etc. Also, students may be graded on each step of the process. Less skilled writers could thus raise their grades.

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Peer Responding

Using the evaluation rubric, evaluate your classmates' papers. Write down any questions the article raises in your mind. Make specific recommendations for clarifying or improving phrases and sentences. If you can think of some interesting words the author could use write those.

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Analyze your classmates' critique of your article and revise as you see fit. If you don't understand a comment, be sure to ask the reviewer.

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Read one another's interviews and then as a group select which articles to upload to Newsday. Send a copy of your own interview to the person you interviewed.

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