ASL Activity for Families

Click here for PDF version and time code pictures: American Sign Language Activity

Purpose: Your child will use their hands to represent the appearance of things (classifiers), and different facial expressions including puffed cheeks, blowing mouth, squinted eyes, etc. to show the size and number of things (non-manual markers).

Materials:

  • Cottons
  • Glue
  • Two pieces of light blue construction paper (white paper will work)
  • White chalk or white crayon

Instructions:

  1. Watch the video, “Winter is Here” by Kevin Henkes and signed by Jenna Smith:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39_rkOnkdvU

  1. Go back to the video to imitate some classifiers and non-manual markers demonstrated by the signer:
    1. Puffed cheeks while one handshape represents the tree and the other handshape represents the snow covering the tree at timecode 1:42 – 1:47
    2. Mouth shaped like “o” and squinted eyes while one handshape represents the tree and the other handshape represents snow at timecode 2:05-2:06
    3. Puffed cheeks while one handshape represents the door and the other handshape represents snow being piled up at timecode 2:21-2:25
    4. Squinted eyes and sign snow at timecode 2:34-2:35

See if you can find some more examples in the video to imitate the signer.

This another activity can be done on a different day to practice your classifiers and non-manual markers. Work with your child to create two separate pictures with “snow” on the ground and snowflakes in the air.

Instructions:

  1. Get several cotton balls and stretch them. Glue them across the bottom of one sheet of light blue construction paper or a plain piece of paper. Make it about 1 inch tall like a “thin” snow on the ground.
  2. Get several more cotton balls and stretch them. Glue them across the second sheet of light blue construction paper or a plain piece of paper. Make it about 3-4 inches tall like a “thick” snow on the ground.
  3. Add some falling snow above the snow on the ground by making white dots with chalk or a white crayon.
  4. Ask your child to tell you the difference between the two pictures using classifiers to show how thin the snow is on the ground in one picture and how thick the snow is in the other picture. Be sure to use the “o” mouth for thin and puffed cheeks for thick snow.
  5. Optional: draw a tree and a house in one of the pictures and add a layer of snow on the tree and the house. Use classifiers and non-manual markers to describe what the tree and the house look like with a layer of snow on them.

Remember: Don’t worry about being perfect, but have fun and laugh when you and your child make facial expressions and use handshapes to describe the pictures you see in the book

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