The goal of this assignment is for you to watch and critique a children's television show, describing its potential impact on young viewers.
must choose from the following list:
- Blaze and the Monster Machines
- Jake and the Neverland Pirates
- Doc McStuffins
- Sofia the First
- Super WHY!
- Curious George
- Peppa Pig
- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Please note that many of these shows consist of two or more smaller segments. In all cases, you must watch and analyze the equivalent of a half-hour show. So if, for example, you go to a website and they are showing 12-minute "episodes," then you would need to watch two of them. You need to watch the entire episode, including beginning and ending credits. If you watch the show on TV, then you should also watch any material that airs between segments (i.e, commercials, words from sponsors, public service announcements) and incorporate those into your critiques.
Note: If you're not sure when each show is on the air, your best bet is to go to (https://www.tvguide.com/listings/.). In addition, you can watch full episodes of many shows online at the network's sites or on YouTube (Links to an external site.). You can also use services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, or On Demand, or use a Roku, Chromecast, or other similar device to stream shows.
Questions to answer
Once you have watched the show, you need to answer the following questions. Although this is a numbered list, your paper should be in essay format. Do not give me a numbered list of answers. Also, you do not necessarily need to answer each question one at a time in the order that I asked them. If you do, you may find yourself unnecessarily repeating information. What is most important is that you organize your information in such a way that your arguments are presented clearly and cogently.
- What was the name of the show? What was the name of the episode(s) that you watched? (If you watched on TV and didn't get the episode name, go to TV https://www.tvguide.com/listings/.) and look it up.)
- Briefly summarize the plot of the episode that you watched (or content, if there is no clear plot). You may assume that I am familiar with the characters of the show, so you don't need to explain who they are.
- Analyze the show's content as it might affect a young viewer, considering the following questions:
- Did the characters display any academic, educational, and/or critical thinking skills? Give specific examples from the plot that show what these skills were and how they were demonstrated.
- What sort of aggressive behaviors did they exhibit? What about prosocial behaviors? What were the consequences of those behaviors? (For example, one common criticism of some shows is that characters often engage in inappropriate behaviors for which they are not punished, and characters may escape unhurt from situations that would cause physical harm in real life. In other shows, it is made more clear what behaviors are or are not acceptable.)
- How were gender roles portrayed?
- Does the cast appear to be ethnically diverse? What messages might be sent by the diversity (or lack thereof)?
- How did the adults (if any) interact with the children on the show?
- Would viewing the show reinforce or break down any stereotypes? If so, which ones?
- What did you think of the pacing and stimulation level of the show? Many children's shows have been criticized on the grounds that they are too fast-paced, with too much going on (e.g., lots of sound, plus sudden noises, plus quick scene changes, etc.). Do you think that criticism applies here? Why or why not?
- Is there anything else in the show that you consider to be relevant in evaluating its impact?
You may not need to answer all of the above questions—just answer the ones which are relevant. The overall question that you are trying to answer is, "How would young children be affected by watching this show? What skills, behaviors, and/or messages (either good or bad) would they pick up by watching this?" Your goal is to go beyond initial impressions of the show, analyzing it more deeply to get a more thorough sense of its messages (both intended and unintended).
- What was your overall evaluation of the program?
- Do you feel it is appropriate for children? If so, for what ages? Justify your answer based on what you know of toddler/preschooler/early elementary age development.
- If you felt that the show is appropriate for children: Do you think this is a beneficial show for them to watch, or merely neutral (e.g., neither good nor bad)? Why do you feel this way?
There is no set number of pages that you need to write; however, the typical paper will probably be about 3-4 double-spaced pages.
- answer all of the questions listed above?
- Were your answers thoughtful and considered, or were they superficial? Do they indicate a thorough and critical evaluation of the show's messages?
- follow the APA style
- Is your writing free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors?