Exploring 4-H Home Economics Judging
4-H Home Economics judging can take several forms. Members can be asked to identify tools, equipment, fashion, and techniques.
They can also be involved in situational judging where they use the resources provided to come to an adequate solution. A simple example of this would be to provide a variety of different types of thread, needles, buttons, and ask the youth to sew a button on a particular type of fabric. The member would be judged on the type of fabric and button selected, their technique, and how well the button can be buttoned through a buttonhole.
Most of the judging that takes place at the state level is a classification type of judging. This type of judging involves the youth making a decision from three or four alternatives. This selection is then marked on a judging card.
Oral reasons are often given as a part of this type of judging so that the members can express their opinion on a specific class of alternatives.
Giving oral reasons requires basic knowledge, presentation skills and practice. Here is some information that will help you help your 4-H members.
A Good Set of Reasons is Dependent on . . .
- Accurate observation
- Large and effective vocabulary
- Orderly system for note taking and organizing thoughts
- Ability to communicate, practice of delivery
Outline For Oral Reasons
- State your placing
- If desired, give quick overall appraisal of entire class (Not always necessary)
- Analysis of top pair. (1st and 2nd) "gives" "grants"
- Analysis of middle pair (2nd and 3rd)
- Analysis of bottom pair (3rd and 4th)
- Analysis of bottom item
- Restatement of placing
I placed this class of ______________________________ ____________________ (placing)
I placed (first) over (second) because _____________________________________
I placed (second) over (third) because _____________________________________
I placed (third) over (fourth) because ______________________________________
I placed (fourth) at the bottom of the class because _________________________
For these reasons, I placed this class ___________________ _________________ (placing)
- Grant - A "grant" is an advantage the lower item might have over the item placed above it. Not all pairs will have a grant, but judges will look for the grant (if it's obvious) in your reasons.
Taking Notes for Reasons
- Keep notes short and simple. Do not write them out - you just need an outline. You will not read your notes to the judges, or refer to them during your reasons.
- Think and write in comparative terms.
- Notes will help to provide a mental picture of class being judged. Jot down unusual items - e.g., A - Black dress, C - McDonald's meal, B - Burnt muffin. Use variety of terminology. Use abbreviations to save time. e.g. - vit., VA, pro., col., m. nut., bal.
What a Judge Looks for in a Set of Reasons
- Appearance - neat, good posture, clean.
- Delivery - confidence, your placing is right!, don't talk too fast or too slow, talk loudly enough.
- Truthful, Complete, and Concise Reasons - don't lie or make up reasons, don't add unnecessary words. Omit small items that leave room for doubt.
- Terminology - use a variety.
- Speak Fluently - follow the basic reason pattern. Practice reasons out loud or in your head before being judged.
- Number or Letter Switches - don't confuse yourself and the judge! Keep mental picture of class in your head.
- Answers to Questions - judge may ask questions to test your knowledge of class, be truthful.
Suggestions and Guidelines to Follow While Giving Oral Reasons
- Be accurate in your statements.
- Use the comparison method. Use descriptive words sparingly. Use a positive rather than negative approach.
- Refer to the various items by number or letter. This will help to keep you straight, and will give a clearer picture to the person listening to you. Avoid excessive use of "it."
- Do not mix numbers or letters up.
- Practice "seeing" the items when you are talking about them.
- Do not use "better" in your reasons. Be more specific. Avoid broad category words.
- Always grant the "under" item any credit that may be due.
- With a close pair, give nearly as much credit to the "under" item as you do to the item you have placed over it. Indicate so if you have a close pair.
- Give a simple statement at the end why the last item was placed there.
- Stand in a straight, comfortable position while giving reasons - feet spread apart and hands behind your back is preferred by most individuals. Hands may also be held at side - whichever is most comfortable.
- Have confidence in your placing, yet do not assume a "cocky" attitude. Be serious, but pleasant. A smile is nice. Remember that your placing is correct until you know otherwise.
- Talk in a clear, convincing tone of voice, but do not shout.
- Vary your speech. Make your main points impressive. Use proper grammar.
- Look the judge squarely in the eye, or at least give him that impression.
- Have your reasons well organized and talk your points in a logical sequence. Use short sentences containing one thought. Reasons should be concise, yet complete and specific enough to give a vivid picture of the class.
- Use a variety of terms; avoid repetition of terms. Understand the meaning of all terms. Keep in mind what the items in each class are to be used for and use appropriate terms.
- You are allowed two minutes to give a set of reasons.
- Be yourself when giving reasons.
NOTE TAKING FORM CLASS NAME: _________________________________________ PLACING________________ OPENING STATEMENT OR COMMENTS: _______________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ REASONS FOR PLACING | GRANTS | FAULTS ______________________|____________________________|__________________________ | | 1 | 1 | ______________________|____________________________|__________________________ | | 1 | 1 | ______________________|____________________________|__________________________ | | 1 | 1 | ______________________|____________________________|__________________________
Possible Areas of Consideration When Judging Home Economics ClassesMENUS CANNED FOODS nutritive value color vitamins/minerals free of imperfections saturated/unsaturated fats uniformity simple/complex carbohydrates flavor variety standard jar color/eye appeal/texture proper amount in jar cholesterol proportion of solid to liquid sugar content clear liquid caloric values crispness preparation techniques maturity fiber enriched/fortified health benefits balance among food groups fat content CLOTHING sodium content body proportion, balance (formal/informal) rhythm, emphasis energy values suitability for purpose imitation appearance on wearer which foods provide key nutrients tailoring milk/type of milk will it wrinkle? cost Travel pressing BAKED GOODS versatility texture design of pattern line, color, design or shape, form moistness focusing attention color line (vertical/horizontal) symmetry finish shape how will it wash? tenderness bulk/weight thinness/thickness time surface stretch size compatibility flakiness woven/non-woven soft/hard interfacing crispness cleanliness accessories style color pattern and fabric coordinationExamples of Comparative Terminology
MENUS (POSITIVE) FOODS (POSITIVE) most balanced meal more uniform in color more pleasing eye appeal processed in standard jar less fat content more proper proportion of solid to liquid provides more key nutrients more desirable color more nutritious most desirable shape contains more vitamins most uniform in texture cooked with less fat flakiest pie dough more pleasing texture more characteristic surface lower in sodium clearest when held to light (jelly) lower in calories clearest liquid broiling is a more desirable... most free of imperfections menu shows more variety most uniformly golden-brown crust more nutrient rich foods best grain (NEGATIVE) (NEGATIVE) least balanced ...is overbaked highest salt content ...lacks symmetry highest amount of calories ...uneven shapes ...not stiff enough ...food too mature CLOTHING (POSITIVE) holds its shape better more desirable tailoring fabric will not wrinkle as easily more cost effective easier fabric to work with would have more body more desirable vertical center line better focuses attention to... neatest seam finish would ravel less less time consuming to use more stretch more versatile more desirable pattern and fabric coordination (NEGATIVE) not as versatile widens and shortens the figure disturbs the vertical line would add too much bulk
Class of Menus
I placed this class of menus C, D, B, A. In placing this class, I feel there is a fairly easy top placing and a very obvious last place.
I placed C over D because it is the most balanced and nutritious menu, including all food groups and with a variety. The broiled fish entree is lower in fat and sodium than the beef in D. This menu is also lower in calories, especially in the vegetable comparison. The 2% milk selection is also a better option than whole milk. I grant that D is also a balanced meal, but it does have more calories in the entree and the way the vegetable are cooked.
In placing D over B, I feel it is an easy placing since D has much less fat, sugar, and sodium than the B menu. D also has an advantage since it includes milk as a dairy product. B is a relatively balanced menu but its food items -- fried chicken, jello, dressing on the potato salad -- makes this menu too high in fat, sugar, and sodium to place higher.
B places over A because it is more nutritious and balanced. The B menu also has more variety. A places on the bottom very easily because it is not nutritious or balanced, and it is very high in fat, sodium, and sugar. It also contains no vegetable.
For these reasons, I placed this class of of menus C, D, B, A.
(Blouse or top for 4-H'er with broad shoulders and wide hips)
I placed this class of patterns D, A, C, B.
In placing this class, I feel the first two patterns would be acceptable and the last two would not.
D places over A because it has a more desirable vertical center line that gives a look of height. This pattern is also most desirable in focusing attention to the neck area. I will grant that A also has a vertical line and focuses on the face, but it's ruffle disturbs the vertical line and tends to widen the shoulders.
A easily places over C because it has a vertical line compared to C's horizontal stripes which add width and shorten the figure.
C places over B, in a close placing. Both of these patterns widen and shorten the figure, but I feel that the C pattern is less objectionable than B with a yoke and "over-skirt."
For these reasons, I placed this class of patterns D, A, C, B.
Class of Fabrics
I placed this class of fabrics for making a tailored jacket B, C, D, A.
B goes to the top of the class because it is a wool, nylon blend with lots of body. A jacket made from this fabric would hold its shape better than the other fabrics. It is also a more desirable tailoring fabric than C for making sleeve heads, the collar, lapel roll, buttonholes, and pocket styles. C, which as a 100% linen would make a wearable, dressy jacket, will wrinkle easily and is not as suitable for tailoring skills.
I placed C over D because it is more cost effective. D, as a faille, or 100% silk fabric, could be costly to use for a beginner tailor. Also, C is an easier fabric to work with that will not ravel or require extensive pressing. The D fabric would not make as versatile a blazer as either B or C.
D places over A because the finished garment would have more body than the lightweight wool of A. I grant that A is a more inexpensive material, but it simply does not have the body to make a tailored garment.
For these reasons, I placed this class of fabrics B, C, D, A.
(A gathered skirt from a cotton blend fabric)
I placed this class of seam finishes B, A, D, C.
B, a clean finish, places at the top of the class because it is the neatest and most easy to use. It would also ravel less during washings than A, and lie flatter when pressed.
A places over D because it is a more suitable finish for a skirt. The D finish, a flat felled seam finish, is usually used on shirts or jeans. I will grant that D will wash more satisfactorily than the pinked edge of A.
I placed D over C because it is an easier finish to complete. D is also more suitable to the fabric as the binding in C will create more bulk in the seam with this fabric.
C, a bound seam finish, places easily at the bottom of the class. A bound seam finish is a difficult specialty finish often used in unlined jackets, and it is not necessary in this skirt.
For these reasons, I placed this class of seam finishes B, A, D, C.
(For a dress with long gathered sleeves, a semi-fall skirt, and a round collarless neckline. Using a soft knit fabric.)
I placed this class of interfacings D, A, B, C.
In placing this class, I feel the first three interfacings could be acceptable to use, with C not acceptable and therefore an easy bottom.
D, and "Easy Knit," places over A because it would be less time consuming to use. As a fusible interfacing, it would be easier to apply than A which must be sewn in. D is also more stretchy than A and is more compatible with the garment fabric. Both D and A are lightweight and would not add bulk, but D's convenience places it on top.
I placed A, a "pellon sheerweight," over B because it is more lightweight--B is of a heavier weight than the garment and would add unwanted stiffness. A is also more stretchy, but B is a non-woven. B would be an acceptable interfacing if others were not available.
B places over C because of its more desirable weight and stretchiness. C, which is a shirt fuse, easily places at the bottom. Since it is a very stiff and firm interfacing, usually used in shirt collars and cuffs, it would add too much bulk and stiffness to the dress.
For these reasons, I placed this class of interfacings D, A, B, C.
WRITTEN BY: Carol Schurman, Indiana County, with materials adapted by Patti House. Introduction written by Jan Scholl.
For more information on textile science judging activities, view the "Common Threads video," available at your local extension office, or from the Penn State Audio Visuals Library.
Contact for questions
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