Adapted Books for Emergent Deaf and Hard of Hearing Readers


Adapted Books for Guided Reading

Adapted books are a highly engaging way to begin teaching vocabulary and concepts about print with deaf and hard of hearing students. When we first meet a student who has experienced language deprivation and has a very low functional vocabulary it can be difficult to know where to start.  There are so many questions.
Where do I start?  What do I need?  How can I possibly teach students with limited vocabulary to read?  Is there a way to teach the vocabulary in a meaningful way? How do I teach students to read that have had limited exposure to language, books, vocabulary… the list of questions goes on and on…..sigh.
I hear these questions ALL THE TIME.  I have asked these questions.  There are many resources out there that support guided reading, but very few that specifically address the needs of deaf and hard of hearing students.
 So, based on my experiences in teaching young deaf and hard of hearing students, and years of adapting curriculum, I finally decided to create my own beginning series. I included the components that I feel are ESSENTIAL in  teaching emergent deaf and hard of hearing students the vocabulary and structure they need to read. 

Adapted Books

Unfortunately, for many of my students, their experience with reading has not been positive.  Many students come to my classroom uninterested in books. Wait, what? At first it was unimaginable to me that young children would not be engaged by a story, but  it’s true. Adapted books make reading interactive and engage the students by allowing them to physically participate in reading and learning the vocabulary.  In each set , of books I’ve created, you get two adapted books, one with single word target vocabulary, and one with a repeated target sentence. This really helps to meet students wherever they are at. I typically start  with the word only book. Once students have mastered the 8 target vocabulary words, then I move on to the simple sentence book. Students LOVE moving the velcro pieces. 


ASL Adapted Books for Guided Reading

Adapted Books Supplemental materials

These sets of Adapted Books are loaded with supplemental materials, because I know that students need multiple exposures to words before they are able to transfer the vocabulary to long term memory.    I created a variety of practice cards for students to work on in multiple situations to extend their practice with the target vocabulary.  You may use ALL of these resources with some students or just one or two with others. That determination can be made depending on student learning needs.
ASL Adapted Books for Guided Reading






Following exposure to the Adapted Books and the target vocabulary, students are ready to do some independent practice.  These two books would be great to use at independent center time or to send home for out of class practice. Parents or caregivers can easily help students (and learn the signs at the same time). Students love cutting a pasting into their own books. This may take some supervision with students initially, but it is a worthy investment.
After students have become familiar with the vocabulary using the
Adapted Books, they are ready to “graduate” to THE REAL DEAL book. That’s right, no picture/sign support just straight up reading the words. My students are excited  to read and interact with the adapted books, but, they beam with pride when I bring out the student readers.
I choose to keep the color copy as my teacher copy that multiple students will read with me.  I make student copies of the black and white books.  Students are able to keep in their reading boxes or take home.

Adapted Book Storage

Unfortunately, I am NOT very organized.  I constantly have random pieces of a variety of resources hiding in all kinds of places. But, NOT at the table with me when I am working with a student…#typeBteacher.  This binder helps to keep me organized. I made sure to write down exactly what goes in each section, so if I have a paraprofessional working with the materials, it would be easy to see where they belong.
View the HUGE SELECTION of ASL adapted books for available purchase by clicking THIS LINK.
So many options to choose from. You are able to select just a single book, a group of 6 books or the ENTIRE collection of 25 books. 
Want to try before you buy? 
Check out these Adapted Books of Colors in our Free Resource Library.
asl-colors adapted-books-for-special-education
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Read more about Adapted Books HERE
Learn more about Language Deprivation HERE
Download the FREE teaching guide for Teaching students with Language Deprivation by filling in the form at the bottom of this page. 
Mrs. Burgen
Mrs Burgen
teacher of the deaf

Hi, I'm Heather Burgen!

I am a hearing teacher of the deaf dedicated to working with both deaf and hearing colleagues in providing the best education for deaf and hard of hearing children.

Learn more about me and how I can help you here

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Grab my free guide, Teaching students with Language Deprivation: A Guide for Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children