Step Three: Develop Questions

The Spartan Garden at White Station High School

The students at White Station High School in Memphis, Tennessee started the "Spartan Garden" from the ground up. Do you have a school garden? Consider interviewing a classmate about their experience gardening!

Remember, the pre-interview preparation is as important as the interview itself! You will want to do research about your interviewee and topic(s) you would like addressed in the interview. To prepare, outline a list of questions you would like to ask, such as how they got their start gardening, what they enjoy most about their garden, and how their garden has changed over time. Plan on asking your interviewee at least 10-15 questions. Use the interview planning sheet in the "Garden Toolshed" to prepare your questions.

Tips as you develop your questions:

  • Pick a few themes (such as growing food, childhood and family experiences, or garden design) and develop questions around those themes.
  • Avoid “yes or no” questions. Questions should be open-ended and encourage the interviewee to tell stories. Questions starting with ‘why,’ ‘how,’ or ‘what’ are often useful in teasing out parts of a garden story.

Optional: check out sample interview questions in the “Garden Toolshed” for more question ideas.