This video lesson is designed for 3-6 years old children. In this video, we will learn the alphabet using American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is primarily used for communication by physically challenged children.
It allows the child to understand and sign or communicate English letters in American Sign Language, using hand movements.
What is American Sign Language?
Sign language communicates visually through hand signals, gestures, facial expressions, and body language.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a sign language with the same linguistic properties as spoken languages but with a different English language. ASL is primarily used to communicate with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Fingerspelling is used in ASL to sign proper nouns (people’s names, brands, book titles, and city and state names).
However, any child can learn ASL. A child who can communicate in both sign and spoken language has a bilingual advantage. It is a powerful tool to help children learn the language, vocabulary, core educational concepts, and more. ASL and spoken English both offer verbal, visual, and physical learning methods that encourage learning. In a nutshell, it helps to meet the diverse needs in the classroom.
Benefits of Learning American sign language:
- It helps to reduce tantrums and frustrations when children find it difficult to communicate.
- It promotes early language development.
- It stimulates brain development and enhances memory as they learn and remembers a lot of new words.
- It builds vocabulary.
- It develops fine and gross motor skills.
- It develops confidence and self-esteem.
How to Sign Alphabets in American Sign Language?
Follow the below instructions to sign letters in ASL (American Sign Language)
- A– To sign letter A in ASL, place your hand forward with your palm facing you. Make a fist with your thumb pointing up and pressed against the side of your fist.
- B– To sign the letter B in ASL, Hold your fingers together open with your thumb pressed across your palm
- C – To sign the letter C in ASL, curl your fingers and thumb into a half-circle or “C”.
- D – To sign the letter D in ASL, place your fingertips on your thumb and point your index finger up. It’s like making number 1 using your hands.
- E – To sign the letter E in ASL, bend your four fingers toward your thumb. Place your fingers on the sides of your thumb.
- F– To sign the letter F in ASL, press your index finger and thumb together by keeping the other 3 fingers straight up. It’s like an OK sign
- G– To sign the letter G in ASL, Keep your thumb in parallel to your index finger. Fold the rest 3 fingers closed to form a fist. It’s like forming a pincer grip without touching
- H – To sign the letter H in ASL, hold your hand towards you. Open your index and middle fingers are pointing to your left. Close other two fingers and thumb to form a fist
- I – To sign the letter I in ASL, form a fist and raise your pinkie/little finger straight up.
- J – To sign the letter J in ASL, begin by holding your hand in the position for the letter “I,” then move your hand downward, swoop to the left, and move forward, making J in the air.
- K – To sign the letter J in ASL, Raise your index and middle fingers straight up and spread apart in the shape of a V. Press your thumb into your palm so that its tip lies between your index and middle fingers.
- L – To sign L in ASL, make an L shape with your thumb and index finger. Fold the rest 3 fingers against your palm
- M – To sign M in ASL, make a fist, Now place your thumb between your ring and little finger. Now wrap the thumb with other fingers.
- N – To sign N in ASL, bend your fingers like you are holding a ball. Now push the tip of the thumb between your middle and ring fingers.
- O – To sign the letter O in ASL, join the tips of your fingers and the thumb together.
- P – To sign letter P in ASL, sign K and point downwards. (Point your index and middle finger down while thumbing in between. Fold the other two fingers towards pam)
- Q – To sign the letter Q in ASL, sign the letter “G” and point downward.
- R– To sign the letter R in ASL, cross your index finger over your middle finger. Fold the thumb and other fingers to form a fist
- S– To sign S in ASL, make a fist. Now place the thumb over the fingers
- T– To sign the letter T in ASL, form a fist while placing your thumb between the middle and index finger
- U– To sign the letter U in ASL, fold your thumb, ring finger, and little finger against your palm. Join your middle and index finger and point straight up.
- V– To sign the letter V in ASL, place your hand in the “U” position and spread your fingers apart to make a V. Like making a victory sign
- W– To sign the letter W in ASL, join your little finger and the thumb together. Now, spread the three fingers (index, middle, and ring) apart to make W.
- X– To sign X in ASL, make a fist and crook the index finger like a hook
- Y– To sign the letter Y in ASL, fold your index, middle, and ring fingers towards your palm. Keep your pinky finger and thumb open to form a Y.
- Z– To sign the letter z in ASL, make a fist. Open your index finger like pointing to someone. Now write the letter z in the air.
Tips to Remember:
- Always sign letters with your palm facing outwards except while signing letters C, G, H, and O.
- When signing alphabet in American sign language (ASL) for the first time, watch the video carefully and follow the instructions.
- Initially, when you start fingerspelling the alphabet, mouth the letters silently. It helps you control your speed.
- When switching between letters, keep your arm steady, so the person reading your sign won’t have to bounce their eyes.
Let the child repeat this exercise along with the video and sign the letters using different hand movements. To make the activity more fun, invite your child and ask them to sign letters of their and their friends’ names using ASL.
Related ASL Video Lessons
For more language resources, visit: https://theglobalmontessorinetwork.org/language-lessons/
Video created by: Pocatello Valley Montessori (Idaho)
- American Sign Language