Interview with the President

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Video recorder
  • Index cards

What You Do:

  1. Let your child know that she gets to be a news reporter today and that she has been given the top assignment of interviewing the President of the United States of America.
  2. Help her come up with questions to ask the President. You can research some current issues or questions with her on the internet or in the newspaper if you like. What does your child already know about the President? Are there any issues that interest her?  Talk with your child about the kinds of things that the president has control of and the kinds of things controlled by other parts of government, like your local government or Congress.
  3. Have her write each of her questions on an index card.
  4. Invite another adult or older child to help videotape the interview.
  5. Here's where you get to have some fun! Pretend to be the President of the United States and have your child interview you. During the interview, your child should ask the questions and you, as the "President,"should respond as closely as possible to the answers you think the President would actually give. Try not to let any personal biases affect the performance!
  6. After the interview, have your child watch the video. Talk about the President’s answers and your child's own opinions and discuss any interesting points that came up during the interview.
  7. Now switch places!  It's your child's turn to be be the President and you get to be the reporter. You should come up with some new questions and go over them with your child ahead of time. Tell her the President often gets the questions ahead of time so that he can be prepared when he answers. Help her research any issues and think about her answers.
  8. Start the videotape and conduct the interview with the “President” all over again!

Next time the President does an interview on TV, watch it with your child. After the interview, talk about how the President answered the questions and what types of questions were asked. She'll make connections to her own experience interviewing the "President," while engaging with larger issues in the world around her and exploring an important part of American social and political processes. Plus, who doesn't love playing "make believe!"

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