March 28, 2016

26 Ways to Incorporate Alphabet Signs into You Story Time (7-10)

Today we continue with a series of enrichment activities for incorporating alphabet signs into story time. The activities offered this week are similar to those described in the last post, but they add the element of alphabet flash cards, which can be created in activity #7 below: 

7. Create a Set of Alphabet Flash Cards 

Get some blank index cards, paste, and scissors, and download and print the alphabet glossary sheet from the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes Series (available on page 3 of the Story Time Activity Packet -Younger Children available at this link). Cut out the letter A and the corresponding handshape from the manual alphabet. Paste the letter A on the front of an index card and the corresponding handshape for the letter A on the back of the card. Repeat this process with a new index card for each letter of the alphabet until you have a full set of alphabet flash cards. These cards can be used for a variety of games and activities to provide a fun way to practice spelling and fingerspelling, such as the activities described in #8 - #10 below.

NOTE: For the ideas shared below, you will want to create a list of vocabulary words that go along with a story you've read or the theme of your story time. 

8. Use Flashcards to Fingerspell Vocabulary Words (or Your Spelling List)

Choose a word from the vocabulary/spelling list, and use the flashcards to spell out that word. For example, if the word you have chosen is brown, you would find the cards for B, R, O, W, and N. Now, make the handshapes for each letter as you spell the word aloud, B-R-O-W-N. If you need a reminder for how to make a particular handshape, you can look on the back side of the card. Continue practicing until you have mastered every word on the list. This activity can be facilitated by a leader for pre-readers, and can be practiced individually for readers. For some words, you may need more than one set of flashcards to spell the word.  

9. Use Flashcards to Fingerspell Your Word List With a Partner

This is a fun game for partners. Grab your vocabulary/spelling list and your set of flashcards, and choose one person to be the dealer and one person to be the fingerspeller. The dealer chooses one word from the list and places cards with letters face up to spell the word from the list. For example, if the word chosen is orange, the dealer finds the cards with the letters O, R, A, N, G and E, and the fingerspeller uses the manual alphabet to spell the word O-R-A-N-G-E. Once you have completed all the words on the list, switch roles. Continue practicing until both partners have mastered every word on the list. For some words, you may need more than one set of flashcards to complete the word. To add complexity to this activity, the dealer can place the cards with the handshapes face up. 

10. Use Flashcards to Fingerspell Your Word List With a Partner, Plus

This is an extension of the activities above to make it more challenging once you have confidence spelling and fingerspelling the words on your  list. Grab your word list, and choose one person to be the fingerspeller and one person to be the interpreter. The fingerspeller fingerspells one word from the  list, and the interpreter locates the flashcards that corresponds with the letters that have been signed to spell the word from the list. For example, if the word chosen is black, the fingerspeller would spell B-L-A-C-K and the interpreter would find the cards B, L, A, C, and K to spell the word and would say “Black!"

If you want to make any of these activities even more challenging, extend the learning further by inviting participants to research the ASL signs for each words on the list. Those signs can be added for each round of play for each word on the list. For example, in activity #10 above, if the word on the list is red, the fingerspeller would fingerspell R-E-D, and the interpreter would find the cards R, E, and D, and say and sign, “Red!”

You can also increase the complexity of the activities in this grouping by having teams of participants race each other as they spell.  

Helpful Resources:

ASL Alphabet Glossary (use this link to download the activity packet for younger children, and the alphabet glossary from my books is included in that packet)

The sign for Alphabet

A to Z Sign with Me

Abdo Publishing Group
Please contact Dawn using the form to the left if you'd like to receive reduced pricing on books in the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes series. This offer is available to workshop participants, consulting clients, and subscribers to this blog or Dawn's social media accounts.  

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