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American Sign Language
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man and woman using sign language


  1. Sign language uses the hands to communicate. The first thing that we'll learn is the sign language alphabet. Once you have learned this, you can fingerspell. Click here to print out a chart with the sign language alphabet. Practice fingerspelling your spelling words, your name, and your classmates' names with a partner. Have your partner guess the word that you've spelled. Once you think you're an expert, click here to print out a worksheet to decode some fingerspelled words.
  2. You've learned how to fingerspell. If you had to fingerspell every word in a conversation, it would take FOREVER just to communicate one sentence to your friend. This is why there are signs that symbolize whole words or phrases. This makes communicating much faster and easier for people that rely on sign language to communicate. For this activity you will explore a web site that shows signs for words and phrases. You will make a sign language word book illustrating your knowledge of word types and grammar. To do this, choose a word or phrase for each of the following categories:
  • Noun - person (example: girl)
  • Noun - place (example: school)
  • Noun - thing (example: pencil)
  • Verb (action word; example: run)
  • Adjective (a word that describes a noun; examples: blue, tall, salty, etc.)

You will describe the action for the word that you chose and draw an illustration showing what the sign looks like. Do your best!

Click here to go to the American Sign Language Browser site.

Click here to print out book template.

Be sure to put all completed work in your Blast From the Past folder.

Congratulations, you've learned a little bit more about sign language. Click on the image to learn about Braille!

man reading braille


Click here to return to Student Communication Page.


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