ASL Resources for Educators and Librarians

ASL Access: www.aslaccess.org

This non-profit organization’s website offers video/DVD reviews, articles, and links to many sources of information.

Come Sign With Us: Sign Language Activities for Children by Jan C. Hafer and Robert M. Wilson. (Gallaudet University, 2002)

This easy-to-follow book presents twenty lessons on basic sign language, broken down into easy chunks such as “Asking Questions” and “Saying Hello”, and accompanied by clear line drawings of the signs discussed.

Dancing with Words: Signing for Hearing Children’s Literacy by Marilyn Daniels.  (Bergin and Garvey, 2001)

Daniels’ book demonstrates that American Sign Language isn’t just for deaf students.  Citing numerous research studies, many conducted by Daniels herself, this book gives solid evidence as to why and how ASL supports literacy in hearing children.  Best of all, Daniels offers practical strategies for use in the early elementary and preschool classroom.

Deaf Heritage: A Student Text and Workbook by Felicia Mode Alexander and Jack
R. Gannon. (NAD,1981)

This classic resource offers information on important deaf figures from the 1800s to 1980, and includes brief readings for students on deaf schools, ASL, the oral movement, deaf artists, sports, theatre, and writings by deaf authors.  Timelines help keep dates straight, and comprehension questions and follow-up activities appear at the end of the book.

“Hands-On Collection Building: A librarian offers tips for sign language materials selection.” by Kathy MacMillan. School Library Journal, March 2003.

A practical guide to evaluating and updating your library’s sign language
collection.

History Through Deaf Eyes edited by Cathryn Carroll.  (Gallaudet University,
Clerc Center, 2002)

Three young deaf students visit a deaf history exhibit, and learn about sign language and deaf history as the statues come to life.  From the prince of Lydia in the 6th century B.C.E. to more recent seminal figures such as Laurent Clerc and Helen Keller, this book presents the highlights of deaf history in an accessible way, without ever shying away from its uglier parts.

“Keep ‘Em Reading: Deaf History Month and ASL.” by Kathy MacMillan. Library
Sparks
web resource, May 2006.

Recommended resources and activities for teaching about American Sign Language and deafness.

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center: http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/

The premiere source of information about deafness online, with fact sheets,
teacher guides, information about assistive devices, and more.

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Programs with Sign Language

Handouts, videos, and information from an online workshop presented by Kathy MacMillan.

Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom by Kirsten Dennis and Tressa Azpiri. (Redleaf Press, 2005)

A must for any preschool teacher serious about incorporating ASL into classroom activities.  Dennis and Azpiri write from their own experience of using ASL in the classroom, and, though neither is fluent in ASL, they share their detailed curriculum.  They provide a context for using the language by giving a basic introduction for beginners, then give copious lesson plans, on topics common to the early childhood classroom (weather, seasons, school, family, colors, community helpers, animals, feelings).

Try Your Hand at This!: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language Into Your Programs by Kathy MacMillan. (Scarecrow Press, 2006)

This down-to-earth guide includes tips for using sign language in programs for any age group, along with background information about sign language and deafness, tips for improving your sign language collection and marketing to deaf and hearing audiences, and a section of ready-made programs complete with a visual glossary of storytime signs.

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