Signing Activities at School
Language Experience Approach (LEA)
Hands-on activities will help students with diverse background build common experience and knowledge which makes it easier to introduce new vocabulary and concepts that are used during this activity. LEA can be used with individual students as well as with small groups. LEA can be very successful when students work together with a â€œmore knowledgeable other.â€ This person may be the teacher, a more experienced student, teacher aide, or parent. This approach can be used with younger students (pre-k- 2nd grade), but this will also be very effective for older students who are struggling readers (3-8 years old or beyond). By giving them an authentic hands-on activity, the students will be motivated to learn new words and even learn to read those words.
Recommended steps for LEA:
- Focus on an experience that is either common to all students from outside their school experiences (e.g., going to the grocery store) or an experience that is the result of a class trip, class lesson, or activity (creating an english muffin pizza, planting a seed, etc.). Take pictures or show them pictures.
- Show pictures and introduce vocabulary words that are used in that activity.
- Have them sign aloud explaining what is being done in that picture. Model signs if needed. You may take pictures of each sign and place them next to the picture. Create a booklet or slideshow.
- You sign aloud the whole event, model appropriate signs.
- Invite students to view and retell them retell what happened to their partner or to an adult.
- Publish that book and show it to their parents.. And have them retell it to their parent and share what they did in this activity.
It is also recommended to model how to write what they signed in English as well in that book. Show them vocabulary words in English that aligns with the sign they made.