Friday, October 24, 2008

Sign Language Plays

Children sure love to move! Repressing that urge, as most parents will tell you, seldom works and in fact, often backfires. Channeling the wiggly-ness is a much better option!

All kinds of activities channel energy, but I think doing plays in sign language is especially great because, not only do the kids participate in structured movement, but they are learning something genuinely useful, as well as doing something that could potentially bless other people.

My brother, sister and I have a cousin who is deaf, and so, our mother taught us little bits of sign language when we were younger so that we could communicate with him. We loved it!

As we were working on this little play that we wrote my sister and I thought about how much our cousin would enjoy seeing it. It gave us something fun to work on that was about more than ourselves. That seems healthy. We learned from The Joy of Signing. Many people who have been trained in ASL will tell you that this book is overly simplistic, and is probably not a good start for someone who wants to become fluent. But for children, I think it is a wonderful tool. The pictures are easy to understand and imitate and the layout is simple. When my sister and I were very young we taught ourselves many of the signs simply by browsing on our own.

I don't know if there are good resources out there to help children who are learning sign language to meet deaf children. Maybe some of you have experience with this and could share?

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