What's So Great about Adapted Books? - Mrs. Burgen's Sign me Up
ASL Adapted Books for Guided Reading

What’s So Great about Adapted Books?

What is so great about Adapted books

with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students?


THIS IS PART 2 OF 3 CLICK TO READ PART ONE Everything You Need to To Teach Guided Reading with Beginning Deaf Readers.
My students absolutely love them! From students with very little vocabulary  (English or ASL) to my beginning readers, these books are always a first choice.
 I first found adapted books being created by special education teachers and SLPs. The books would require students to match a picture to a picture or an English word to a picture.  While those books are highly engaging for my deaf students they were missing the signed vocabulary piece.  So, when a clip artist came out with ASL clip art, I got to work right away, creating these books with an American Sign Language component.
I know I’m preaching to the choir when I talk about how language (vocabulary) deprivation that my students enter the classroom with, affects their ability to develop both ASL and English Literacy. And how I am, nearly all of the time, simultaneously teaching both ASL and English.
 With these Adapted books, students are required to match a sign to a picture a food.  As students advance and learn the target vocabulary, they are then asked to complete a sentence.  The target sentence is repeated on each page, allowing the student to master the sentence with the target vocabulary.

How can you use these books in the classroom?


I typically start with introducing the vocabulary in a whole group. (this could be a guided reading group or selected based on vocabulary or however you determine)
 I begin with introducing the title and probing to see if students are familiar with the category. In this case, the category is FOOD.  I will probe to see if students are able to name any foods.  I am never surprised when students are unable name even one food.  While they may eat a variety of foods, and they may very well have a sign or label for that item, their brains have not yet developed a CATEGORY for the word food.
Being able to categorize words is an ESSENTIAL skill for young D/HH students. (but that is for another blog post)


After determining the students’ level of expertise with listing foods, I show them the cover of the book and probe to see if they are able to label any of the foods on the cover of the book.
Following that task, we begin a picture walk of the book. We look at each picture in the book and discuss. Do you know what it is? Have you eaten if before?  Do you like it? Did you eat it at home, at a friend’s house, at school?  If you are able, bring in the real food, or demonstrate with plastic food.  I really do WHATEVER I CAN to be sure the students become familiar with the vocabulary.


Finally we are ready to start reading the book.  I demonstrate each sign as I pull it off the velcro and put it in a pocket chart, visible to all the students. Then I turn to the page and demonstrate the sign again with the picture visible.  I ask the students to come up one at at time and choose the correct sign to match. (This helps students to associate the 2D static picture with correct 3D parameters of the actual sign). We continue to practice as a whole group until I feel the students have a good grasp on the vocabulary.
Some ideas for whole group practice include
  •  students holding the book and asking peers for the target sign.
  •  students choosing a sign card out of a box and finding the page to place it
  •  hiding the cards around the room, letting them search and find then coming back together and finding the correct page to place the sign.
  • students signing the target word and having a peer find the page and another peer locating the sign
Now you are ready to use your books in guided reading.
To access these resources you can click on the following links
Click here to access
Using Adapted books to support Guided Reading with Deaf and Hard of
Hearing students.

Hi, I'm [Name]!

I help [ideal client] [result] so that [what’s in it for them]. 

Learn more about me and how I can help you here [link to About page].

Let's Connect!

Get [Freebie Name]

[replace with ConvertKit Shortcode]