An ASL Dictionary

Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.

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Signing Savvy is an ideal resource to use while you learn sign language. It includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists and share them with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases, ...and more

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Blog Articles by: Kathleen Marcath

ASL in the Classroom: One Thanksgiving Story with Many Titles

ASL in the Classroom: One Thanksgiving Story with Many Titles

Teaching Tips   |  Monday, March 21, 2016

By Kathleen Marcath

This article is by guest blogger Kathleen Marcath. Kathleen teaches ASL at St. Peter Lutheran School in Macomb, Michigan and uses Signing Savvy in a variety of ways when preparing lessons and creating classroom activities.

Signing Savvy membership is a great tool and has saved me lots of time! I have the wonderful privilege to share ASL with the students at St. Peter's Lutheran School. Together with the classroom teacher, Mrs. Susan Bennett, we wanted to create a project for the students to learn ASL.  We picked the topic, Thanksgiving. The goal of the project was for the students to be able to share sign language with their families on Thanksgiving Day. We had six weeks to get it done. Before learning of the potential of a membership with Signing Savvy, I had spent tremendous amounts of time and energy locating printable signs for our projects. 

Signing Savvy has great video resources to teach a class signs which are also printable.  Using “My List” on Signing Savvy, I created lists with everything this class loved about Thanksgiving. This list included: going to church, inviting friends and family for dinner, favorite holiday foods, the parades, and football. The class gained knowledge and signing skills each week as we practiced their vocabulary on "My Lists." They continued building their sign language vocabulary through the printable signs. They could take them home for reference to practice independently, which further fueled their passion for learning ASL.  

Screenshot of a sign from my list with printing options
Screenshot of a sign from my wordlist, also shows printing options.

The students were so excited, they decided to create a book for Thanksgiving which was only weeks away. The students were put in groups of two or three. Using printable materials from Signing Savvy; each group designed a page in the book using different signs printed from the website. We decided John Miller would be our guest of honor, because he was “the man in the blue shirt” on every page in their storybook. We compiled all of the pages of literature, drawings and photos of our guest of honor for one great Thanksgiving story. These third graders loved being set free to write and illustrate a storybook. Now they needed a title. 

Students making book
Students working on cutting out printed signs for their book.

Every story needs a good title. With crayons and markers, pictures and pen, each student expressed themselves with their own title and book cover. One story with many different titles: Pass the Turkey, Signing Thanksgiving, Pie Time!, Happy Thanksgiving Praise, John and the Drink Choice, and Our First Thanksgiving Signing.

Class with their books
Students with their books: one Thanksgiving story with many titles!

The best part was seeing the entire class proud of their accomplishments. They achieved their goal. They created a great Thanksgiving story filled with the things they love, to share with the people they love on a special Thanksgiving Day. This was a fun learning experience for everyone. Many thanks to Signing Savvy, oh what a fun and enjoyable time we all had!

Presenting finished book
Students presenting their completed book.

After our Thanksgiving storybook project was completed, we sent a copy of the book to John, the man in the blue shirt, on Signing Savvy. The students were excited when John volunteered to "meet" with us via skype. The class got to practice their signing with him and ask questions about Signing Savvy.

Students meeting with John
Students meeting with John, the man in the blue shirt from Signing Savvy.

It was a great project that expanded their sign language vocabulary and got them excited about sharing what they learned with their families.

We would love to hear how you use Signing Savvy. Contact us if you would like to share your experience with us

 

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About the Author

Kathleen MarcathKathleen Marcath lives in rural Michigan where she and her husband raise 4H show cattle. She is very proud of her children and wonderful grandchildren. Her first experience with sign language came at a retreat where she learned to sign, "Our God is an Awesome God." Kathleen has a degree in Deaf Community Studies from Madonna University. She is inspired to share American Sign Language in private and public schools with hearing students and hard of hearing students. She loves working with children. Kathleen strives to create an atmosphere in her classes that promotes excellence, exploration and certainly fun. Students continue to amaze her with their enthusiasm, brilliance and creativity.

More about Kathleen  |  Articles by Kathleen
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