- camera and film
Objective: Children will use fine- and gross-motor skills and creative thinking when they develop signs to represent themselves.
- Discuss with children different ways that people communicate with gestures rather than words. You can talk to them about signaling in traffic, sports referees, sign language, and common, simple signals (waving, holding up fingers to indicate amounts, and so on). Demonstrate some of these for the group.
- Invite children to talk about themselves, including their likes and dislikes. Ask children to think about a special sign that they might use to identify themselves. What might their sign be like? You and the children can work together to help everyone in the class come up with signs.
- After children have decided on a sign, ask them to practice their signs. Then invite them to play a sign game: One child will stand up, give his name and his sign and point to another child. That child will stand up, copy the first child's sign, then give his own name and sign and point to a third child. This play should continue until everyone has had at least two turns.
- Photograph children making their signs. Attach the photos on a bulletin board and write each child's name under her photo.
Remember: Younger children especially might have difficulty creating a meaningful sign to represent themselves. Encourage them to explore simple signs such as a thumbs up or opening and closing their hands.
Curriculum Connection: Problem Solving
Put It Into Words. Invite children to guess the meaning behind certain signs. Then ask them to create their own signs for certain words. Ask: What might it mean when you hold up your second and third fingers? (Rabbit ears? The letter V?) What "sign" might represent a tree? (An arm straight up in the air, fingers extended? Arms pushed together, hands open?)
The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin
I Spy Little Book by Jean Marzollo
You Are Special by Max Lucado