Monday, April 4, 2011

ASL Workshop

Riddle me this...

Who has blue eyes, red lips, black eyebrows and a blonde "Rachel" style haircut?  Choose your answer from the selection of possibilities provided below.

If you guessed #9 you would be correct!

Now, voices off.  ASL workshop has begun. Choose a portrait and describe him/her in great detail using only American Sign Language.

This activity builds receptive and expressive language in our students while promoting eye contact and attention.  Our ASL instructor introduced this game through modeling and thinking aloud about his process for describing an illustration.  Although his narration included specific details about the hairstyle (wavy, flowing, pulled back, etc.), clothing, jewelry and general tone of the picture when the children went off to give it a go on their own their commentary was not nearly as specific.

To deepen their noticings he instructed them to include color (which he presented in a splendid PowerPoint) and off they went again.  As before each group of students sat with a teacher but this time we recorded the whole thing with Lauren's new, handy-dandy iPad 2 (an incredible tool for the classroom).

We watched and realized, once again, some areas that needed to be targeted for follow-up lessons. These support structures we provide will help expand student language and ensure that while it is done they are having a good time.  One numbered template contains pictures of the students in the class.  If that is not motivating I don't know what is.


Tess Kincaid said...

I would venture to say the student pictures would generate some creativity!

Angella Lister said...

fascinating! i remember in grade seven being given exercises all year to describe things as specifically and creatively as possible so that someone could see what i was describing with their eyes closed. looking back, i think it was one of the moments of epiphany that moved me forward as a writer. so this really resonates for me.

Angella Lister said...

p.s, the teacher would bring in all manner of objects for our description exercises, some we had never seen before, and all year we were forbidden to use the word "nice."

Gary said...

Tess - Yes! I am glad that my picture wasn't up there.

Angella - Don't you love those lessons/activities that touch something in us and move us forward? You never know what can cause an "a-ha!" moment but when it happens you never forget it. The forbidden "nice" comes into play in so many creative endeavors. I remember in acting class we were told never to state what something is from this subjective point of view but rather to show it, live it, embody it so that others can come to a conclusion on their own. It makes it more personal. That sense of discovery. Very exciting when that happens.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

but how did the students respond to seeing their faces!

alright lauren with the bonus techno helper

Gary said...

It was a nice surprise for them to see themselves. I think it brought out commonalities and differences between us in an enjoyable way.

The iPad 2 is incredible. I may be seduced into getting one for educational purposes (when I can save the funds).


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