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Old 04-08-2014, 09:03 PM
Linguist92021's Avatar
Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,572
Central Valley of California
High School English (Alt. Ed.)
sign language activities

We are finishing a 2 week lesson on the elements of the plots. We watched and analyzed the movie Miracle Worker, about Helen Keller.
We did discussions, focused on characters and conflicts and tomorrow they're taking a test.
On Thursday a lot of students will be gone and Friday some will be gone on a field trip and that's also the last day before Spring Break. Because of this I want to do some enrichment activities, things that students can miss if they're absent (excused)

So Thursday they will write a letter to Helen Keller, but I also want to do some activities with sign languages, specifically with tactile sign language, like the one they used in the movie. The students were totally into the movie and everything about it.
What kind of activities could I do? The only thing I can think of is print out the alphabet, have them practice (they've already done it on their own) and sing to each other, but I want to be more meaningful and structured.
Any advice?

Besides that I also thought about reading her biography, but I already showed them real footage of her and a summary of her life. (we could still do it Friday)

This is high school, but for this any grade level activity would work.

Thank you!
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:27 PM
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terptoteacher terptoteacher is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,751
3rd Grade Teacher
If they know the ABC s then you could have them try to spell into each other's hands.
Or you could partner them up and blindfold one while the other serves as a guide.

In college we did an activity in teams. Each team member was assigned a disability (blind, deaf, mute, limited mobility etc.) then we were given a task (anything from peeling a banana to making a banana split) that had to be done cooperatively but we weren't allowed to speak. Something like that could be fun .
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:05 PM
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DizneeTeachR DizneeTeachR is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,140
As a girl scout I remember our high school had a blind student...she came in with her typewriter & did our name...too bad a blind student or teacher couldn't come in. We also blind folded ourselves in teams of 2 one blindfolded other was nit & went down a school hallway...boy dud we bump into walls & it was a straight hall!
Praying for Sam & his family!!!
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:15 PM
Linguist92021's Avatar
Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,572
Central Valley of California
High School English (Alt. Ed.)
Before we watched the movie we did an activity where I asked for 2 volunteers. One person was blindfolded, and the other person couldn't talk, but had to make him do something. This way, not seeing, not talking, the person probably felt as if he was deaf and blind.
I wrote the direction on the board, for example: 'make him get up, walk to another desk, pick up the book from under the seat and open it'. It was a great experiment, and we did it in 4 classes, a couple of times.

I already thought about having them sign to each other, but what else can they do? I think I can have them first sign where they can see it, and then to increase the difficulty have the other close his eyes.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:50 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,572
Central Valley of California
High School English (Alt. Ed.)
This is what we ended up doing:
- I showed them a 7 minute video that explained how Braille is used, and it was very interesting, and actually easy to understand. I know I learned a lot, because I didn't know how it works.
- Then gave them a print out of the Braille alphabet and told them to write simple things, (start with words like cat or dog and then if they feel comfortable write a phrase or sentence), switch with a partner and decode each other's writing. I wrote my name on the board with Braille (it's an 8 letter name) to show how to space the letters, etc).

Then I put up a video that showed the alphabet of ASL (it was just 1 minute) and gave them a hand out of the same. The video helped because some of the letters are hard to see on paper. Then I had them sign to each other.

It was great. Everyone was very much into it, they were very engaged. I basically learned the entire alphabet by the end of the day. One girl learned it s fast, and she signed so fast I couldn't even keep up.
It was the perfect activity for the last day before spring break: fun, easy going, still educational and tied to the previous unit.

We didn't get to have them sign blind (to feel the signs, not see them), because I think the signing was a little hard.

Now I have a lot of things for first day of the school icebreaker (the kids know each other, but we always have new students)
- decode English sentences written in the Russian alphabet (we did this in August and they were so into it.
- decode word written in Braille

This is something I can print for them, and they can turn in for extra credit. It worked great.
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