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Louisiana Voices Educator's Guide  
Getting Started With This Guide  
Study Guide Summary  
Outline of the Study Guide  
Study Unit I Defining Terms  
Study Unit II Fieldwork Basics  
Study Unit III Discovering the Obvious: Our Lives as "The Folk"  
Study Unit IV The State of Our Lives: Being a Louisiana Neighbor  
Study Unit V Oral Traditions--Swapping Stories  
Study Unit VI Louisiana's Musical Landscape  
Study Unit VII Material Culture-The Stuff of Life  
Study Unit VIII The Worlds of Work and Play  
Study Unit IX The Seasonal Round and Life Cycles  
Educator's Links  
Louisiana Voices Milestones  
Educator's Guide Glossary  
Educator's Guide Credits
Educator's Opportunities For Professional Development  
Join The Community
Louisiana Folklife website

Louisiana Folklife Program

Louisiana's Living

            Traditions: Articles, Photos and Virtual Exhibits about Louisiana Folklife  

Unit II Outline:

Fieldwork Basics Overview

Classroom Applications of Fieldwork Basics

Lesson 1: Getting Positioned for Fieldwork

Lesson 2: The Practice Interview

Lesson 3: Interviewing a Community Guest(this page)

Lesson 4: Terms in the Field

Lesson 5: Making Use of Fieldwork

Unit II Resources


Unit II
Classwork Applications of Fieldwork Basics

Lesson 3 Interviewing a Community Guest

I'm not going to be around that much longer, and I want someone to carry on the trade so that it doesn't die out with me. I have two boys but they [are not] interested in being mechanics. I want someone to learn how to blacksmith so that it will be passed on.

--Jack Taylor, Webster Parish

Grade Levels


Curriculum Areas

English Language Arts, Social Studies.


Purpose of Lesson

Students conduct an interview in the classroom from an outsider position as they continue to hone their fieldwork skills.


Lesson Objectives/Louisiana Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Foundation Skills

  1. Students work in teams to gain practice in conducting interviews.
    H-1A-M6  Conducting research in efforts to answer historical questions. (1, 2, 3, 4)

    ELA-4-M5  Listening and responding to a wide variety of media (e.g., music, TV, film, speech). (1, 3, 4, 5)

    ELA-4-M4  Speaking and listening for a variety of audiences (e.g., classroom, real-life, workplace) and purposes (e.g., awareness, concentration, enjoyment, information, problem solving). (1, 2, 4, 5)

    ELA-2-M5  Recognizing and applying literary devices (e.g., figurative language, symbolism, dialogue). (1, 4)

    ELA-5-M6  Locating, gathering, and selecting information using graphic organizers, outline, note taking, summarizing, interviewing, and surveying to produce documented texts and graphics. (1, 3, 4)
  2. Students self-evaluate their interviewing skills, using a checklist.
    ELA-5-M2  Locating and evaluating information sources e.g., print materials, databases, CD-ROM references, Internet information, electronic reference works, community and government data, television and radio resources, audio and visual materials). (1, 3, 4, 5)

  3. Students process fieldwork results by labeling, logging, and transcribing.
    ELA-5-M4  Using available technology to produce, revise, and publish a variety of works. (1, 3, 4)
  4. Students respond to fieldwork experience by writing about it.
    ELA-1-M3  Reading, comprehending, and responding to written, spoken, and visual texts in extended passages. (1, 3, 4)

    ELA-2-M5  Recognizing and applying literary devices (e.g., figurative language, symbolism, dialogue). (1, 4)

    ELA-2-M6  Writing as a response to texts and life experiences (e.g., letters, journals, lists).(1, 2, 4)

    ELA-6-H4  Analyzing various genres as records of life experiences. (1, 2, 4, 5)

    H-1A-M3  Analyzing the impact that specific individuals, ideas, events, and decisions had on the course of history; (1, 2, 3, 4)

    H-1D-M6  Examining folklore and describing how cultural elements have shaped our state and local heritage. (1, 3, 4)

Time Required

3-5 class periods



For fieldwork, you will need new Interview Folder -- For the Teacher for each team, as well as for each student, and Field Kit -- For Teachers for each team. Print and duplicate the Worksheets and Assessment Tools listed below.


Technology Connections

Internet Resources

Identifying Folk Traditions and Locating Folk Artists

Suggestions for Folklife Fieldwork and Presentations: Folklife Genres

Folklife in Louisiana

Louisiana Folk Artist Biographies

Louisiana Folklife Program

Fait a la Main: A Source of Louisiana Crafts -- About Crafts

Regional Development Agencies

Passing It On - Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts In Education

Sample Fieldnotes: Teen Memories of Grade School Traditions

Inviting a Guest Checklist (for teachers)

Adaptation Strategies


Student Worksheets

Field Kit -- For Teachers (for teachers)

Field Kit List of Contents (for students)

Interview Folder -- For the Teacher (for teachers)

Interview Folder --List of Contents (for students)

Interview Checklist

Conducting an Interview Evaluation

Folklife Interview Form

Oral Release Form

Written Release Form

Audio Log

Photo Log

Transcribing an Interview Worksheet

Notetaking Worksheet

Individual Roles in the Field Worksheets

Writing About an Interview Worksheet

Insider / Outsider Worksheet

Letter to Parents and Caretakers


Assessment Tools

Interview Checklist

Conducting an Interview Evaluation

Individual Roles in the Field Worksheets

Fieldwork Rubric

Peer Evaluation for Interviews


Evaluation Tools/Opportunities


  1. Notes and/or recordings of interviews
  2. Photographs taken during interviews
  3. Folklife Interview Forms
  4. Transcribing an Interview Worksheet
  5. Writing About an Interview Worksheet
  6. Peer Evaluation for Interviews. - used as self evaluation and guidance
  7. Fieldwork Rubric



  1. Interview Checklist
  2. Checklist for each role on the Individual Roles in the Field Worksheets
  3. Individual Roles in the Field Worksheets - graded by teacher
  4. Conducting an Interview Evaluation
  5. Peer Evaluation for Interviews



  1. Tape Logs
  2. Photo Logs
  3. Transcriptions of interviews
  4. Posters about guest
  5. Promotional brochures about guest
  6. Essays about careers
  7. Completed fieldwork forms


Background Information for the Teacher

After introducing fieldwork, addressing issues of position and practicing interviews in Unit II Lesson 1, and Unit II Lesson 2, it is time to invite a guest so that students experience interviewing someone who is an outsider to the classroom setting. This lesson serves as a bridge between the practice interview and an interview in the field, outside the classroom, which is covered in Unit II Lesson 4. Review Identifying Traditions and Locating Folk Artists. Use the Inviting a Guest Checklist to help you go through the entire process of Interviewing a Community Guest.


To Prepare

Check that the Field Kit -- For Teachers have all necessary equipment and materials. Talk to your library media specialist to see what equipment the school can provide. If it is impossible to arrange for an audio or video recorder and/or camera for each student team, then provide Journals, Notetaking Worksheets, or steno pads for handwritten notes. Identify a guest from the community or someone from your school, and use the Inviting a Guest Checklist before inviting him/her. Locate relevant research on the community guest and use the resources in Unit II Lesson 2 to identify questions to ask.

Decide how you will handle teams: assign them or allow students to choose. Become familiar with the team roles by reviewing the Individual Roles in the Field Worksheet. Place students' Interview Folder -- For the Teacher in an easily accessible spot.


4th and 8th Grade Activities

  1. Before the visit, you can serve as a model community guest. Students can interview you about your own profession: teaching. Place students in small teams of four and explain that each student will have an individual role. Brainstorm with students about the questions that they could ask you.

  2. Distribute an Interview Folder -- For the Teacher to each team. Assign each student a role, or ask them to volunteer, then review the roles on the Individual Roles in the Field Worksheets with the students: 1) Lead Interviewer/Note Taker, 2) Audio Operator/Logger, 3) Photographer, 4) Illustrator, and 5) Videographer, if your lesson will include this role.

  3. Follow these steps for the interview:

    • Ask each team to complete an Insider / Outsider Worksheet about your profession (one worksheet per team). Again, it is important for students to understand that the questions they pose are driven by their Insider / Outsider position. Once they have completed the worksheet, the team should brainstorm together about possible questions. These questions should be given to the team's Lead Interviewer.
    • Set up the front of the class for the interview by having the Lead Interviewers place their chairs around your desk. Have a table set up near you for the audio recorders, one from each team. The Audio Operators should sit nearby so they can monitor the recorders. The Photographers can move around to get pictures. And the Illustrators can be at their desks, mapping the space.
    • Pick one team to interview you. Have the Lead Interviewer read the Oral Release Form into the audio recorder and begin the interview with the Folklife Interview Form, gathering biographical and contextual information. Have the rest of the team perform their roles: audio operating and logging, photographing, illustrating, and videotaping.
    • Have the Lead Interviewers from other teams take turns asking the questions generated in their brainstorming sessions, then open the floor up to the whole class. At the end of the interview, make sure the Interviewer asks you to sign the Written Release Form, and thanks you.
    • Have the Audio Recorder Operators/Loggers label the audio recordings and back up, with the name, date, and location of the interview, and complete the Audio Log. Here is an example label:

      Community Guest's Name. Nov. 23, 2012. Greenfields Middle School, Greenfields, Louisiana

    • Have Photographers complete Photo Logs and/or contact sheets for digital photos.
    • After the model interview with you, ask the students to return to their teams to complete the checklist for each individual role on the Individual Roles in the Field Worksheet. Encourage them to be honest about the successes of the interview, as well as the things that could have been done better

    • If desired, award grades for completed Individual Roles in the Field Worksheets using the Grade box on the bottom right of the sheets.

Part 2: The Guest Interview

  1. Once you've conducted the model interview and identified and scheduled the guest, talk to your students about their roles and behavior with the community guest. It is a good idea to have students assume the same roles as they did in the model interview with you. You may want students to switch roles later in the unit, or in other units, so that they can learn all roles. Follow the same procedure as above for the Teacher Interview.

  1. Reflect on the interview with the class using the Interview Checklist and discussing new information and skills the students gained.

  2. Use the Transcribing an Interview Worksheet to introduce students to the transcription process. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Ideally, each student should have an audio recorder and a copy of the recorded interview to proceed at his/her own pace. If this is not possible, consider amplifying the recording for the entire class, playing a short segment, pausing, and continuing, and ask students to write down whatever they can. The aim of this exercise is to demonstrate to them the difficulty of recording faithfully a person's speech.

  3. After transcribing, logging, and further reflection, provide each student with a copy of the Writing About an Interview Worksheet. After all students have written their thoughts, discuss the three questions: What surprised you? What intrigued you? What stirred or disturbed you?

  4. Have students complete the Conducting an Interview Evaluation to document what they have learned in this lesson. If desired, grade the students' work and record at bottom of the form.

    After the practice interviews and the classroom visit with a community guest, students should be ready to proceed to the next lesson, which puts them in the field.

  5. Assign teams a product that summarizes their community guest interview. Each may develop the same product, such as a poster or brochure, or each may chooose how to diplay their findings.

  6. If you feel that students have not yet developed enough skill in interviewing, help them develop more awareness by using the Peer Evaluation for Interviews form. Since it was developed for another unit, some items will not be relevant. Decide which should not be used in this lesson and inform students to ignore those. Assign partners who will have to evaluate each other's interviews using the forms. Remind students to use them as self-evaluation devices to guide the interview process.


4th & 8th Grade Explorations and Extensions

Imagine that the invited guest has come to you for publicity help. Work in teams to prepare a promotional brochure that advertises the skills and traditions of the community guest.


Unit II Resources

Unit II Outline


National Endowment for

            the Arts.

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