The 4th and 5th graders explore the language on their own for a bit and then we work to put it in child-friendly language with concrete examples, but I try to skip this step with the 1st and 2nd graders and go right to my own language.
Here's the official language:
"In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider:
a. Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed;
b. Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or
c. Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or
d. Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or
information through the pictures;
e. Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience."
[Adopted by the ALSC board, January 1978. Revised, Midwinter 1987. Revised, Annual 2008.]
I love this language, but when asking student to take on the role of a Mock Caldecott Committee they need something they can feel confident in their understanding.
This year, I decided to take the five criteria and translate them into this:
"In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider:"
After a week of playing with this language, it feels pretty good.
What do you think?
What do you use?
I apologize if altering the Caldecott Criteria language has offended any readers.