March 19, 2016

26 Ways to Incorporate Alphabet Signs into Your Story Time (4-6)

Today, we continue with last week's series of activities for incorporating alphabet signs into story time. 

For the three 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, and print out a resource that illustrates the ASL handshapes for all of the letters in the alphabet. These handshapes are referred to as the manual alphabet. In classroom and homeschool settings, these activities can provide a fun way to practice the weekly spelling list and extend the learning.  

4. Fingerspell Vocabulary Words (or Your Spelling List)

Read the first word from the vocabulary/spelling list aloud, then fingerspell that word as you say each letter aloud. For example, if the first word on the list is blue, you would fingerspell and say, B-L-U-E. 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. 

5. Fingerspell Your Word List With a Partner

This is a fun game for partners. Grab your vocabulary/spelling list, and choose one person to be the reader and one person to be the fingerspeller. The reader reads one word from the list, and the fingerspeller uses the manual alphabet to spell that  word. Once you have completed all the words on the list, switch roles. Continue practicing until both partners have mastered every word on the list.

6. Fingerspell Your Word List With a Partner, Plus

This is an extension of the activity 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 identifies and then says the word being fingerspelled. For example, if the word on the list is green, the fingerspeller would fingerspell G-R-E-E-N, and the interpreter would say, “Green!” 

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 #6 above, if the word on the list is yellow, the fingerspeller would fingerspell Y-E-L-L-O-W, and the interpreter would say and sign, “Yellow!” 

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
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