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I just finished doing a signing lesson with my Art I kids. I can't take credit
for the idea -- that came from Carolyn (b2w6w4kn). I enlarged a
copy of the American Manual Alphabet and used the following directions. It
involves a lot of tracing, but the copies didn't "stiffen" nearly as much as I
thought they woud.
Signing Your Name
Objectives: To demonstrate the use of the American Manual Alphabet by forming
the letters of your name.
To draw the hand in a variety of positions.
To construct a composition of cut paper hands.
Materials: Illustrations of the American Manual Alphabet, pencils, tracing
paper, multi-cultural construction paper, long pieces of black paper,
scissors, Sharpies, rubber cement, handouts of the alphabet in a variety of
1. Practice signing your name with your right hand in the American Manual
Alphabet, used by hearing and non-hearing people to communicate with others
who are deaf or hearing-impaired.
2. Draw the contour lines of your hand in the position for each letter of your
name. If your left hand is your dominant hand, you may draw straight on the
multi-cultural colored paper.,
3. Sign with your left hand and draw on tracing paper with your right hand if
you are right handed.
5. Fold a sheet of white drawing paper in half and cover one half of one side
with graphite with an Ebony pencil. Save this in your portfolio to use during
the year to transfer drawings from one paper to another.
7. If you are right handed and had to draw on the tracing paper, flip the
tracing paper over so your signing now appears to be right handed. Use the
graphite sheet to transfer the drawings of your hand to multi-culturally
colored construction paper.
8. Use a Sharpie to trace the contour lines of your hands.
9. Glue the hands in order of the letters in your name to the black paper.
10. Draw the letters of your name in a specific font. Cut these out of the
same multi-cultural paper and glue to the strip of black paper with the
I was really pleased with the results. The colors of the paper I had them use
wasnít too great, but black made them look good.
I encouraged the kids to draw a good bit of arm, too, but many of them didnít,
so to keep them from "floating" I used another one of Carolynís suggestions
and had them add wallpaper sleeves. That way they could have some arms longer
that others with different sleeves and skin tones. I had them consider using
sleeves cut from the same color range. Carolyn had her students add buttons,
lace, trim, watches, etc. Iíd have loved to have seen those!
As I told Carolyn, it turned out one of my new students has a deaf mother and
several deaf brothers and sisters. This has been a great bonding thing for the
two of us. She's a really beautiful, shy little girl and has been excited to
be "the expert" for a change.
Thanks, again, Carolyn for such a great idea.