Jury Coordination and Notes

Getting Kids to Talk – ages 8-12

In April I wrote about involving kids in the process of reviewing films and other media, focusing on ages 12-18. Getting kids ages 8-12 to open up, though, has it’s own special challenges.

Children in this age group relate to more complex plots and characters than their younger counterparts. They like to compare what they see to their own experiences. They are interested in environmental issues, sports, science fiction, fantasy and how things work. Since kids easily succumb to peer pressure and tend to repeat feedback from the first respondent, you should remind them that there are no wrong answers.

Another fun way to get honest answers from your jury is to make copies of the evaluation form for each child and have them write their evaluations. Share the them with the group and discuss the different points of view, reinforcing that everyone’s opinion matters. You can also introduce new vocabulary such as antagonist, protagonist, or discuss production values or accuracy with them. You can also discuss the issue of gratuitous or nongratuitous violence, bias and stereotyping, and replicable unsafe behavior.

At this age kids are highly influenced by what they have seen in the media. Portrayals of gender, racial or religious bias can mold their opinions. It is especially important to include them in the review process, to help them to become more critical of the images they see. With your help, kids can grow up to be adults who think for themselves and are capable of making good decisions.

To learn more, contact our Jury Manager or sign up to take our Jury Training Course.

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