Signing Children’s Books: A Chocolate Moose for Dinner
This article is part of our “Signing Children’s Books” series, which highlights children’s books and pairs them with pre-built Signing Savvy word lists to help you get started with learning and signing the vocabulary in the book. Reading and literacy is so important. By sharing these pre-built word lists, we hope to cut down on prep time for families that are just beginning to learn ASL and hope you can find more comfort in sharing literacy with our young deaf children.
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner is an illustrated fantasy exploration book of the English language and how fun, yet confusing, it can be for a child (or foreign speaker) to navigate through as they learn the language.
This book, although enjoyed by younger children because of the beautiful illustrations, is better tailored for older elementary to even high school deaf students so they can really understand the full content of the book, such as homonyms and homophones in the English language. There are a variety of levels covered, so there is definitely something for everyone!
The first page begins with the title of the book, and a large chocolate moose sitting across from a young child at the dinner table. The book continues on with some words that sound the same, but are spelled differently, yet to a young child they wouldn’t know that, and have very different meanings.
The interesting thing in sign language, is these words would most likely be signed conceptually correct, so if the book is being shared where the person reading is signing the words, before showing the pictures, the students might not get the full enjoyment out of the book. My suggestion would be to show the children the pictures first, and then looking at the words (assuming the students can read), trying to figure out the puns and discuss how the actual situation being demonstrated in the picture would be both signed in ASL AND written in English. For example, you can show the page where the little girl talks about Mommy saying she had a “chocolate moose for dinner last night” and sign the little girl said MOOSE, but then ask the kids what you think the Mom really meant. The answer is actually the word MOUSSE and you can also ask the kids what mousse is (a dessert you eat, like a pudding).
My students really enjoyed this book and had a great time coming up with their own “Language Play” words and even illustrated them into their own classroom book to share with other classrooms. The book is great to cover over a period of time or revisit again and again until all the homonyms and homophones can be covered and explored by the students.
Here is a fun idea from Pinterest where they created a chocolate mousse to go along with the book:
Get the Pre-Built Word List for this Book!
I hope through the A Chocolate Moose for Dinner pre-built word list you will feel confident to share this story with your children.
Word List for A Chocolate Moose for Dinner
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