After they learned the ASL alphabet, the students clamored for more. I found that teaching them certain signs was very helpful in classroom management. Instead of someone interrupting me when I was working with a small group or grading papers or doing other paperwork while students were having inside recess, I would have them raise their hand and show me the sign for which activity they needed to do. I taught them “restroom,” “yes,”, “no,” “wait,”, and many more as they indicated interest. We didn’t have videos back then, but I had a book that showed the actions and it was the most checked-out book in my small classroom library for many years. One year for a talent show, I taught my class the sign language for the chorus to the song “Angels Among Us.” We sang the song, did the signs, and had a slide show of pictures of the teachers and staff of our school on the projector screen. There weren’t any dry eyes after that!
Now that the internet is readily available, you can find many websites that offer short video clips of signs. You can also find free worksheets and activities to help teach your children sign language. My daughter is teaching my grandson a few words now and he is just about 15 months old! Get them hooked when they are young, make sure you use it in class, and they won’t ever forget it.
Here is the list of websites I found useful:
I hope you find ASL to be a useful tool in classroom management and just for fun with your students!