URI Kids: Interviewing a Religious Person

Encountering Others: Interviewing a Religious Person


To have students practice interviewing skills. To learn about a religion in more depth. To attach personal significance to the different religions students have been studying and to get a sense of how religion may impact someone's life.


None - but the kids need someone to interview. Try to think of some people at your school or organization who practice a religion so you can make suggestions.

The Lesson:

This lesson is mostly homework. Students choose someone to interview who considers religion an important part of their life. They conduct an interview and write a short paper about their findings.  It is helpful to do a bit of interview practice in class.  This assignment is also wonderful to do with someone who was raised as a particular religion, but has abandoned it, someone who converted to a religion, or someone who practices combinations of religions. 


Choose a person to interview. Choose someone who feels their religion has been a significant part of their life. The person can be a parent, an adult relative, or an adult friend or acquaintance. Either plan to take notes as you talk or use a tape recorder and transcribe the answers later. An alternative approach is to email the questions to the person and have them answer by email. This is less personal but allows the person all the time they want to think about their responses.

  1. What is your religion? (Allow the person to self-label. For example: some people might say, "I'm Christian". Some others might say, "I'm Protestant", or "I'm Greek Orthodox". Some might say "I'm Jewish." Others might say, "I'm an Orthodox Jew".)
  2. How did you come to this religion? (Family, conversion, marriage, etc.).
  3. When you were a child, what was most important to you about your religion?
  4. What is most important to you about your religion now?
  5. Do you have a daily practice in your religion? A weekly practice?
  6. Does your practice of your religion impact your daily life? How?