ASL Resources for Elementary Students

All About Sign Language by Felicia Lowenstein. (Enslow, 2004)

With a high-interest format and full-color photos and illustrations, Lowenstein uses stories  of real deaf people, such as Helen Keller and Alice Cogswell, to introduce each chapter, and effortlessly weaves the fascinating history of American Sign Language into the narrative.  Setting it apart from many books on the subject, this one goes into the linguistic principles of ASL, using the five aspects of a sign not only to demonstrate sign vocabulary, but also to show that ASL is a real language.

The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language. (Gallaudet University Press, 2014)

With colorful illustrations and easy-to-use organization, this is a great first ASL dictionary.

Learn to Sign the Fun Way: Let Your Fingers Do the Talking with Games, Puzzles, and Activities in American Sign Language by Penny Warner.  (Prima, 2001)

This book is packed with vocabulary, depicted in clear, kid-friendly drawings and organized into well-defined chapters, but it also gives a host of cultural information without  overwhelming young readers.  A section of simple sign language games at the back is of especial use to teachers.

Signing For Kids by Mickey Flodin. (Putnam 1991).

The first signing manual written for kids, this guide presents a host of signs in an easy-to-follow, large format.  Included among the subjects are the manual alphabet, pets and animals, food, sports, school, family and friends, money, and numbers.

Signs for Me: Basic Sign Vocabulary for Children, Parents, & Teachers by Ben Bahan & Joe Dannis (DawnSignPress, 1990)

With an informative introduction, clear organization, easy-to-follow line drawings, and illustrations for each concept, this book is a classic ASL resource.

Sing ‘n Sign Holiday Time with Gaia.  (Heartsong Communications, 2003)

Gaia Tossing leads a group of deaf, hearing, and hard-of-hearing kids in signing Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah songs in this spirited production, available on both video and DVD.  All content is signed as well as spoken and open-captioned, making the production completely accessible.  The DVD also features a “Training” section, where Gaia and Jonnie break down 14 songs and teach viewers the ASL interpretations, incorporating valuable information about ASL structure and how it differs from English.

You Can Learn American Sign Language by Jackie Kramer and Tali Ovadia. (Troll,

A great source of ASL vocabulary, with over three hundred signs arranged by theme in a high-interest graphic style incorporating color photos of real kids and snappy comic illustrations.

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