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Plant/Animal Breeder Interview Article

Updated on November 9, 2013

Cell Division and Genetics Performance Task


I am Moira and I am a science teacher in a country that just adapted the K-12 curriculum last 2012.

This transition is making everyone crazy. The most difficult would be that of creating performance tasks.

Since I've made some really good ones I'd like to share it with everyone to lessen the burden. I sincerely hope this would make our teaching career more fruitful.

After discussing Mendelian genetics, meiosis and mitosis, Grade 8 students are required to report on the importance of variation in animal and plant breeding. They could do so by doing an interview with animal or plant breeders.

The rubrics focuses on the quality of the interview article and its ability in achieving its purpose. Etiquette is also a factor.

The following instructions are what I gave to my Grade 8 students and I'm excited to see their output. I hope you find this article helpful.

Instructions to Students

You are a team from a newspaper whose been assigned to interview a local plant or animal breeder. Your editor wants to you to write an interview article about the importance of variation in plant and animal breeding.

Your article should:

  • Capture the reader’s attention & pull him into story by highlighting an important aspect of the variation of traits via anecdote/information/quote;
  • Identify its purpose as reporting about the importance of variation with the first paragraph;
  • Focus on the importance of variation of traits in plant/animal breeding;
  • Be well-organized with logical development/progression of ideas and effective use of transitions;
  • Contain direct quotes from the breeder you interviewed; and
  • Refers to specific real-life cases or examples discussed in class. (These don’t have to be brought up by the breeder; they can be mentioned by the journalist as comparison.)

Aside from these, your article must be at least two full pages (long) with a headline, double spaced, normal margin (1 inch on all sides), and written in 12 point Times New Roman.

Use past tense ("asked" instead of "ask", “said” instead of “says,” for example). Use proper punctuation, spelling and grammar. Write in the third person. All quotes must be attributed—don’t place quotes in the story without also adding the speaker’s name. Do not insert extra spaces between paragraphs.

Place your interview article in a long sliding folder.

Page 1 Group Name, Members and Roles

2-3 Interview Article

4-7 Performance Task Instruction, Rubric, and Interviewee Feedback Sheet (place the feedback sheet in a sealed and signed envelope

Cooperative Learning Roles

Editor – checks and rechecks work; makes sure the article will be published (submitted) on time

Journalist – writes and conducts the interview article

Resource – looks for persons to interview and records the interview

Encoding and Layout – encode and layout of article ready for printing

Publisher – in-charge of and pays for printing the project

Project Flow Chart

A project flow chart is a good guide for students who are just learning to work with each other. It eliminates the guess work in who will do what and when.
A project flow chart is a good guide for students who are just learning to work with each other. It eliminates the guess work in who will do what and when.

Will you use this performance task?

Are you going to use this performance task for your Grade 8 students?

See results


The rubric and some of the instruction for this performance task are modified from a Google document I found on the net. I would like to give credit to where credit is due but I do not know who made the document.

I'm sure that whoever made that document is a teacher who would not mind to help another teacher fulfill the noble call of education.

Thank you, fellow teacher, whoever you are.

Rubric for Interview Article

It was not noisy prejudice that caused the work of Mendel to lie dead for thirty years, but the sheer inability of contemporary opinion to distinguish between a new idea and nonsense.
— Wilfred Trotter

Quote from

Manners Matter

It's not enough that students do an interview and write about it. They must also be careful how they conduct the interview.

The last thing we want as teachers are negative feed backs from the interviewees that could possibly tarnish the reputation of the school employing us and our very own reputation.

In this regard, I've made an Interviewee Feedback Sheet to track how my students are behaving while doing the interview. This also makes my students aware how to act in this situation. Furthermore, it makes the interviewee know that our students are briefed how to work the interview.

Credit: The Interviewee Feedback Sheet is based on this study guide from

The Interviewee Feedback Sheet

The feedback sheet starts with a letter followed by a set of criteria for the interviewee to rate.

Dear Interviewee:

Thank you for giving an interview to my Grade 8 students about the importance of variation in plant and/or animal breeding. I hope they have behaved well in your presence. You have become an important part of their education.

Please take some time to provide feedback about the interview by checking the appropriate box. Then place this feedback sheet inside a sealed and signed envelope.

May God give more blessing to your endeavors!

Very sincerely yours,

Moira D. Abesmo

Grade 8 Science Teacher

Interviewee Feedback Sheet

Cell Division Trailer

Gradual Release of Responsibility

Following the principle of the gradual release of responsibility, students should be given ample practice how to conduct an interview and consequently write an article about it.

The following table describes briefly how I tackled my lesson.

List of Activities for Cell Division and Genetics

The students...
The Teacher...
Setting Goals and Objectives
... are informed what they are expected to learn and do
... informs the students.
Short Interview
... will look for an adult in the school and ask them 2 questions about genetics and cell division.
... orients the students how to conduct an interview and prepares questions for interview.
Homework: Video Viewing and 3-2-1
... view the video featured above and write 3 things they learned, 2 things they want to learn more, and 1 question they still have.
...assigns video to watch and leads discussion on students 321 answers.
Learning Stations: Cell Division
... view each station and answer the questions posted on each station.
... prepares lab materials, especially prepared slides showing various phases of cell division and other necessary materials.
Homework: Comic Strip
... make a comic strip that shows the organelles in the cell involved in cell division and how mitosis is different from meiosis.
... evaluates and gives feed back.
Gallery Walk: Mendelian Genetics
... formulate questions about the exhibit.
... prepares exhibit and guides students in formulating intelligent questions.
Gregor Mendel's Press Conference
... pretend as journalists and ask Gregor Mendel the questions they formulated from the previous activity
... pretends as Gregor Mendel and answers students question while throwing thought-provoking questions as well.
News Article
... write an article about the significance of Mendel's work.
... evaluates and gives feed back.
What Will Your Baby Look Like;
... pair off and find out what their offspring will look like
... assign traits that will be used for the activity.
Interview Article
... interview classmates about their realizations while doing the previous activity.
... evaluates and gives feed back.
Chapter Test
... are tested for the understanding they have formed.
... prepares test. evaluates and gives feed back.
Performance Task: Interview Article with a Plant or Animal Breeder
... write an interview about the importance of variation of traits in animal/plant breeding.
.... evaluates and gives feed back.

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