Jury Coordination and Notes

Getting Kids to Talk – Ages 2-5

I’ve talked about getting the kids on your jury to open up and participate in the evaluation process, ages 8 and up. But what about younger kids?

Although you don’t have to worry about honesty as much with this age group, or the problems with peer pressure that arise later on, pre-schoolers often have to be coached into giving an evaluation with meaning. The evaluation forms we use ask simpler questions and expect simpler responses. However, some of our best insights come out of this crew.

Many pre-schoolers will not sit still for the entire program. They may wander in and out during the screening. Remember that they are still sorting out what’s real and what’s pretend and are easily frightened. Although we love to include direct quotes from your jurors, you will also need to interpret their feedback based on physical responses as well as verbal ones. In your evaluation, you might mention things such as: “The kids loved Dora and asked to see her again the next day” or “No one in this group sat still for more than a few minutes.” Insightful observations, while doing your best not to interject your own opinions, are a great way of letting others who read the evaluation make more informed family media watching decisions.

Children ages 2-5 can be coaxed into responses. Try sitting on the floor with them while asking them questions and always make eye contact. Don’t expect a long attention span. One experienced juror cut out the smiley faces on our evaluation form and made them into puppets by attaching to the end of a craft stick. When it came time to “vote”, kids raised up their smiley puppet in response!

Jurors – have another clever way you’ve gotten your kids to participate? Send them to me and I can use them for future blogs.

Want to learn more about media literacy and the KIDS FIRST! Jury program? Visit our jury page and contact us if you have questions. Our next training class is coming up in a few weeks (early December), so don’t delay!

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