ASL-winter activities

Make Learning ASL Winter Vocabulary FUN for your Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Want to see before you read? Click play to get a sneak peek at all the engaging activities included in ASL Winter Activities

Create hype with the ASL Winter Anchor Charts

Okay, you are ready to introduce new vocabulary words. Let’s first create some hype! Start by making the vocabulary visible and readily available. Make a big deal about it when you post the charts. Bring the student’s attention to the NEW EXCITING posters in the classroom.

Post the charts in a specific area in the classroom where students must pass by frequently.  In the case of the ASL Winter vocabulary, it may be a good idea to put a copy near the door where the students hang their coats.  This will give you opportunities to use the language while helping students get dressed to go outside in the Winter.

ASL winter vocabulary words  on a chart.  Includes the words winter, December, January, February, snow, snowman, snowball, snow angel, ski, snowboard, ice skate, hockey, coat, hat, boots, sweater, hoodie, socks, gloves, snow pants, cold, shovel, hot chocolate, ice
ASL Winter Anchor Charts

Explicitly teach ASL Winter Vocabulary

Once these charts are in place, EXPLICITLY teach each word.  Act it out, look at pictures that demonstrate the word. Discuss if the students have or have not had not had any experience with the vocabulary word. These words should be personal to the students by the time you start working with them. This is THE MOST ESSENTIAL part of teaching vocabulary with Deaf students. Often we think we “don’t have time” to invest in this part, but in reality, having a low vocabulary base will hurt your students learning in every environment so if you don’t follow through on this part, then teaching reading, math, science, High Frequency Sight words and, well, everything else, is going to be monotonous.   

Not to be too dramatic, but how well will your student do in a reading comprehension test if she doesn’t know how the difference between a snowball and snow pants or if they don’t have labels for common winter clothing.  Will your student be able to count how many snowballs are in the picture if they don’t know what a snowball is? How much time will you need to spend teaching vocabulary during your math lesson?

Building vocabulary is EVERYTHING.

Make it fun with GAMES

Bingo cards featuring American Sign Language and English words for a winter theme

Bingo is a favorite game for both students and teachers.  It takes very little prep and is easy to set up and implement. This game can even be done in a small group with a student as the leader. Whether the students are the caller or the player, this game provides ample opportunity for vocabulary practice in both receptive and expressive modalities. 

Set up Centers for Success with ASL Winter Vocabulary

In my personal experience in working with Deaf and hard of hearing children, language deprivation has almost always impacted my students and I have learned to ASSUME nothing.  For that reason I ALWAYS model  centers in both whole and small group situations before setting up an independent center. 

ASL Winter Puzzles

Consider these 3 important categories when setting up ASL Winter Centers

  1. Does the student know WHAT TO DO.  What are the directions?  What is the task that needs to be completed.  How do I know if  I’m doing it right or wrong? What do I do if I make a mistake.  These procedures must be practiced and clearly understood before you send a student to work independently. 
  1. Does the student have enough familiarity with the vocabulary to make the activity meaningful vocabulary practice? Does the student tend to just circle answers without looking for the correct answer or match pieces based on shapes rather than looking at the word ? If this is the case, try practicing how to use the anchor chart and show the students how to look for the vocabulary on the chart to find the correct answers.  Give the students opportunities to practice all three modalities.  Reading the English word, identifying the picture and using the Sign in context.
  2. Does the student know how to stay on task?  How do I know when I’m done?  What do I do if I’m done? What strategies can I use to stay on task?  How do I stop the task if the time expires before I’m done?  How do I clean up my task?
task cards featuring ASL Winter vocabulary the card showing is of snow pants and shows a person circling the English word with a dry erase marker
ASL Winter Task Cards

You as a teacher must also have a full understanding of how to provide the student with independent practice with the support she may need to complete the worksheet.  Does she need the pieces pre-cut because of OT issues?  Does your student need ready access to the anchor chart for frequent reminders of the sign/English and picture?  It’s tough thing to set the student up for success with just the right amount of support. But, when carefully monitored, you can set your students up for success.

ASL Winter Guided Reading

Get Dressed for Winter is a fun interactive book for your beginning readers. It is highly repetitive and predictive. Students are able to read the short sentences and choose the picture that matches the sentence. I always start this activity with a whole/small group reading of the color book.  

Get Dressed for Winter

First reading– I read the book.

Second reading– I read the book and have each item for the students to put on (or a doll to dress) (depending on your students each student can dress themselves or one student can model while the other students each hold a piece of clothing to give the model when it is time to put it on. 

Third reading– small group, students take turns reading the story and completing MY TEACHER copy of the interactive book. 

Fourth reading– students read the book on their own and complete the cut and paste activity. 

Fifth reading– students read the book to a friend, teacher or parent. 

ASL Winter Writing Activities

Writing with Deaf students can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.  In the ASL Winter Activity set, each word has a coloring page.  I have each student choose a keyword.  Some of my students will be spending their writing time coloring inside the lines, and practicing writing/tracing the word repeatedly.  Other students will be finishing a sentence frame using the target word, while others may write several sentence or a short paragraph about the word.  

Choose the writing paper that best suits your student or add your own paper. It doesn’t matter.   I rarely have 2 students that are working at the same level, for this reason, I can have students work on a detailed coloring of their target word page while I work with the other students on letter formation, sentence formation or correct English grammar of a sentence.

coloring pages featuring ASL Winter vocabulary.  Two pages titled shovel and cold that have been colored with markers and colored pencils
ASL Winter coloring pages

Encourage Families to make ASL Winter vocabulary visible at home

We all know that we cannot control what happens with students outside our classroom. However, you can be as intentional as possible by sending home the vocabulary with a note ASKING parents to post the vocabulary in a visible location. Suggest a prominent placement that will allow for many opportunities to discuss the vocabulary.  Encourage parents to learn the vocabulary with their student and other family members.

ASL Winter vocabulary anchor charts in black and white.
ASL Winter Words at home on the fridge

Independent work at home

Again, we ALWAYS practice these tasks whole group before, asking students to complete them independently either in class or at home.  The student must know the criteria connected to completing the activity with integrity.  For these reasons, I have created several resources that have the same directions but with different words. The winter specific worksheet pages area consistent with other resources I have completed.  They work well as independent centers or as homework.

ASL Winter worksheets featuring vocabulary
ASL Winter Worksheets

ASL Winter Vocabulary Boom Cards

Last but not least, making any activity can be fun whether you are teaching virtually or in the classroom. Boom Cards are fun, engaging and self grading so you can see what your students are doing even when you are not there. Click on the video below for a sneak peak!

ASL Winter Boom Cards Preview

Ready to engage your students and make learning ASL Winter Vocabulary Fun?

All of these activities are available in one quick download. Just click HERE

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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.

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