Learn to Sign
Learn more about deaf culture and sign language
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
The two main characters in Wonderstruck, Ben and Rose, are deaf. Journey with your students to learn more about deaf culture and sign language.
What it teaches:
Sign language, communication, empathy
What you need:
What to do:
After reading Wonderstruck with your students, ask them: How is the deafness of the two major characters important to Wonderstruck, a story told in words and pictures? How do Ben and Rose communicate?
Then share with your students some information about American Sign Language. ASL is a complete and complex language with a rich history. It uses signs made by moving one’s hands along with facial expressions to communicate.
Encourage kids to learn the sign language alphabet. Students can spell their names and other words with the Fingerspelling activity on this site. You can find a video ASL dictionary at signingsavvy.com and teach your students the signs for basic words such as hello, goodbye, boy, girl, etc. Finally, consider challenging your students to choose a sentence from Wonderstruck they find particularly meaningful and translate it into sign language.