Star Interviews

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Star Interviews is a zero-prep activity that gets students up and moving about.

I wanted a variation of class surveys and pair work interviews that I could use in class. I also wanted something that required no preparation and something that I could keep in my bag of tricks for cover lessons or when I have to think on my feet.

I tried Star Interviews.

I first came across the idea in Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in English Language Teaching. Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings suggest using the Star Diagram in the section on sharing and comparing. They use it as part of an activity to brainstorm words and experiences associated with the senses.

The Star shape doesn’t have to be limited to the senses. See how Luke Meddings uses it in his board work during this live lesson.

Five Points, Five Questions

So, let’s take the shape as a graphical organizer and use it to interview people.

Elicit five questions from your students and write them on the board. Alternatively, tell the students to write their questions on a piece of paper.

Ask the students to draw a five pointed star, where each point represents one question. Ask them to find a partner and writer their partner’s name in the middle of the star.

The students ask their questions and write down their partner’s answers next to the star. Encourage students to ask follow up questions and write down additional information next to the answers.

You may want to set a time limit.

When they have finished, they can draw a new star and find a new partner.

After they have interviewed a certain number of people or time has run out, ask the students to return back to their groups and report what they have learned about their classmates to the rest of the group.

This video illustrates the activity quite well.

The video run time is 1 minute 11 seconds

How do you use stars in your class? If you have a different activity that you would like to share, please leave a comment.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

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8 thoughts on “Star Interviews

  1. Hi P! Thank you so much for this organizer, never used it before. I love to play one game called the Curious Cat. I described it some time ago It is played with the whole group and I was trying to find a way to involve each and every student. I think your star technique could be a perfect fit. Each player could be assigned a letter and ask 5 questions – Who, What, Where, When and Why – and jot down the answers and write an espresso story based on the answers. Could be fun:) Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful resource I am still in training to become an English and history teacher and see so many applications for this method. Really appreciate you posting it. Going to try it in the next few weeks will keep you posted on how it goes.

    Liked by 2 people

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