Spice Cabinet Stories, Part II: Hot Seating Interview

Several weeks ago, we shared a learning at-home activity, Spice Cabinet Stories, on this blog. It’s time to reach into your spice cabinet (drawer, shelf, baggie) again for another round! This at-home learning activity uses the Creative Teaching strategy Hot Seating. You’ll create and interview a character based on a spice. Watch this video for directions and a demonstration!

You can do this activity by yourself or with a partner. For this activity, you will need:

  • Something to write with
  • A piece of paper
  • A spice (and adult permission to use this spice)
  • Your imagination

Steps:

  1. Choose a spice, with adult permission.
  2. Explore the spice using your senses.
  3. Brainstorm. Write down three to five adjectives that describe the spice. Then answer the questions: What does this spice remind me of? Do I have a memory of this spice?
  4. Create your spice character based on the information you gathered in Step 3.
  5. Write down interview questions you have for this character. Create questions that don’t just have “yes” or “no” answers.
  6. Start your interview!
  7. Reflect. What choices did you make for your character? What did you learn about that influenced your character’s responses?

This activity is geared toward elementary students, but students of all ages can benefit from Hot Seating. You don’t have to use a spice to do Hot Seating. You could choose a character in a book, a historical event or person, a math or science concept, or an emotion.

Here, a second-grader plays the evil queen from a story read by his class. The teacher prepared her students for this activity by first taking them through Role on the Wall. They explored character attributes and supported their ideas using evidence from the book.

A boy sits smiling next to a teacher who is holding a microphone. His classmates look on smiling.
The teacher holds a microphone up to a student who is asking an interview question and pretending to be a journalist.

His classmates wrote down questions and pretended to be journalists, asking the evil queen questions about decisions she made in the book, why she made those decisions, or how she felt. The student used information gathered from the book and also improvised his responses based on what he knew the evil queen was like.

A boy makes a face that looks like he's yelling as he plays an evil queen character from a book.
Students in a classroom have their hands raised, ready to ask a question as a journalist.

All of the students were excited and engaged throughout this activity. We recommend trying it with your students, of all ages!

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