Sign Language

Sign Language (3)

Travis and I did a brief lesson on American Sign Language during homeschool today, a lesson plan provided by Raddish Kids (which, by the way, has dozens of homeschool units even if you don’t subscribe to their recipe kits).

The lesson was a great way to talk about embracing and accepting difference, starting by asking Travis if he knew what it meant to be deaf. Once I explained the concept to him, it immediately became familiar since he remembers some of the Sign he used as a baby, and we use it now with little sister Veronika. A video link had neat biology about the ear.

Raddish provided lots of links which could make this a very detailed homeschool unit for older kids. We kept things simple and jumped ahead to learning a few songs in ASL, including Itsy Bitsy Spider.

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Veronika was grinning when we checked out a video for 16 animals in ASL, since she already knows most of these. She looked thrilled we were speaking “her” language.

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It was fun to go through the alphabet and Sign the kids’ names, too!

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You can add to the lesson by cooking a love-ly recipe or curling up with books on the topic. We read I Have a Sister, My Sister is Deaf by Jeanne Whitehouse, Hands & Hearts by Donna Jo Napoli, which had us learning a few new Signs, and The Deaf Musicians, a great book for onomatopoeia by Pete Seeger.

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Extend the unit with older kids by doing a biography of a famous deaf person. Fun suggestions include Beethoven or Helen Keller.

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