Heart to Heart Interviews

According to research, on any given day, as many as 250,000 veterans are living on the streets or in shelters, and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness during the course of a year. Students interview some of these veterans at a Homeless Veterans Shelter. Publishing their stories in a class newsletter gives students a chance to apply their editorial, journalism, and public relations skills.

For more about Special #2 from Serving and Learning from Those Who Have Served e-mail
Sarah Johnson, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Learning Standards
  • Understand, analyze, evaluate, respond to oral presentations.
  • Conduct effective discussions.
  • Make effective presentation.
  • Employ a variety of writing formats and use technology to complete and enhance work.
  • Classroom Activities
    1. Coordinate and plan voluntary interviews
        with shelter's public relations department.
    2. Respond to Key Questions in journals:
  • What is an Interview?
  • What jobs and special training are available
          to soldiers during and after service?
    3. Share responses with class.
    4. Interview students to demonstrate
    5. Prepare questions for interview.
    6. Stage a class mock interview.
    7. Divide into pairs and practice peer
        interviewing and note taking.

  •  8. Role play for the entire class. Listen to
     9. Word process and polish interview
    10. Conduct interview at shelter.
    11. Return to class and use notes to send
          veterans thank you letters and to
          write up interviews.
    12. Publish a class newsletter featuring
          A Soldier's Story.
    13. Share newsletter with school
          community, family, and veterans shelter.
    Community Activities
    After shelter interviews, student pairs complete Interview Check List and share resulting story with community.
    Students research military occupations and understand the importance of training for career goals before, during, and after service.
    New Teachers Handbook, 1998: IMPACT II, The Teachers Network (for interview tips); journals, Interview Check List thank you letters and newsletter
    Students use Microsoft Word to word process questions, Check List, and stories; publish newsletter with PageMaker; research the homeless and the military on the Internet.
    Teacher reviews journal entries; observes and gives feedback during mock interviews; critiques Interview Check Lists; evaluates newsletter contributions.

    Web Sites
    Research on the military is available at: http://www.va.gov