Juror Manual


    AGES 0 to 2: Children should not be glued to the screen and are not expected to sit still and be attentive. It's okay for them to shift their attention to other things and to get up and move around. Notice whether the program engages the children part of the time and when it does so. In your evaluation, you might mention things such as: "The kids all bounced along to the music" or said, "again, again." Note whether the program is engaging for parents by offering suggestions of things they can do with their infant or toddler.

    AGES 2 to 5: Many children 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. 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." Children will need more coaxing. Try sitting on the floor with them while asking them questions and make eye contact. Don't expect a long attention span.

    AGES 5 to 8: Children respond well to programs that promote a sense of security and accomplishment, such as "how to” programs that teach magic tricks or science experiments; programs concerning separation issues with parents; pets that rescue. They model heroes they see on TV. They enjoy fairy tales, musicals, animal stories and other inspirational programs. Usually quite forthright about responses, they may need prodding for specific comments. Girls and boys may respond differently. That's okay - just be sure to mention it in your evaluation. Actual quotes from the kids are great, and we often print them verbatim in our reviews. Try to talk to the older ones in a manner that they can relate to. For example, one Juror had a six-year-old boy who loved the word “cool.” Rather than asking him if he liked the video she would say, "Johnny did you think the video was cool?" Then she would follow up with "why?" By that time she knew she had his attention and he was ready to explain.

    AGES 8 to 12: Children relate to more complex plots and characters. 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. They easily succumb to peer pressure and tend to repeat feedback from the first respondent. Remind them, "There are no wrong answers." You can make copies of the evaluation form for each child and have them write their evaluations. Share 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 non-gratuitous violence, bias and stereotyping, and replicable unsafe behavior.

    AGES 12 to 18: This group often considers themselves adults, even though they may vacillate between juvenile and mature behavior. They are critical thinkers and, when directed, can be incredibly insightful. Provocative, open forum discussions can be held over issues such as loyalty, honesty and friendship. They also will succumb to peer pressure, particularly if there are strong personalities in the group. Girls and boys may have quite different interests at this age. You might even consider single-sex groupings occasionally for more in-depth responses.

    Evaluation Process
    Using KIDS FIRST! Criteria
    Evaluation Attributes and Forms
    Rejecting aTitle
    About Your Forms
    Children’s Jury
    Tips for Working With Children
    Tips by Age
    Let's Get Started - Sample Review
    Stay in Touch

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