Saturday, August 25, 2018


Sign language is multi-sensory, quiet, and engaging for children. It’s also good for developing small motor skills. There are several excellent free websites where you can learn to make the manual signs.
Hint! Encourage the children to make “strong” letters. As children tighten up muscles in their hands, they will also be strengthening small motor skills.

Where Are the Letters?   (Sing to Learn CD)

Change the words to "Where Is Thumbkin?" to teach children how to make manual signs for the letters.

Where is A? (Place hands behind your back.)
Where is A? (Children repeat.)
Here I am. (Make "a" with your hand.)
Here I am. (Children repeat and make an "a" with their hand.)
What do you say A? (Wiggle hand.)
What do you say A? (Children repeat.)
/a/ /a/ /a/ (Make the short a sound.)
/a/ /a/ /a/ (Children repeat.)

The Alphabet in My Hands  (Move It!  Learn It! CD)
(“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”)

I’ve got A /a/ /a/ in my hands. (Sign the letter “a.”)
I’ve got A /a/ /a/ in my hands.
I’ve got A /a/ /a/ in my hands
And I can read.
Continue signing and singing other letters.

Take photographs of the children making the manual signs and use them to make a book to go with the song.

Letter Box (Totally Reading CD)
Here’s another song you can use to teach children manual signs for letters. It goes to the tune of “Polly Wolly Doodle.”

I wish I had a letter box
To put my A in.
I’d take it out and go (Hold up sign for a.)
/a/ /a/ /a/
And put it back again. (Pretend to put hand back in box.)

Continue singing other letters and making signs for other letters.

Teach children the manual sign for the first letter in their name. Dismiss children to line up by making the sign for their name.

Sign Language Center
Make a SIGN LANGUAGE CENTER with a pocket folder. Glue a copy of manual signs for letters on the inside of the folder. Write alphabet letters on index cards and place in the pocket. Children choose a card and then try to reproduce that sign. For older children, write sight words or spelling words on index cards for them to practice spelling manually.

*Make a matching game with letters and signs.