ASL (American Sign Language) dates back to the early 19th century. While ASL is not universal, and some signs are regional, it is used all over the world. When teaching young learners who are Deaf/HH, ASL learning books can help boost understanding while increasing engagement.
Visual Communication is Growing
The world we now live in depends heavily on visual communication. New online video chat programs have grown at a rapid rate in the last six months. Platforms like Zoom, Google Classroom, and Skype have opened doors to help people communicate through visual means. That means there are more opportunities than ever to learn ASL online.
But, how can you supplement your ASL learning methods? How can you keep youngsters engaged with their ASL learning, while continuing to increase their fluency?
To give you some resources to fill your ASL learning toolbox, below you will find a list of ASL learning books.
Best ASL Learning Books
Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box. Try including a “Show and Tell” activity in your reading lessons. Try recording yourself signing along with the audio version of a book.
Thomas G. Wes – “Seeing What Others Cannot See”
This book is a great tool for educators, and provides in-depth guidance that will assist you in promoting early learning through the use of signed communication.
Some of the best ASL learning books for beginners are those with vibrant visuals throughout the story that give readers a visual concept of the story taking place. Visuals help engage learners who are Deaf/HH and/or hearing.
American Sign Language for Kids: 101 Easy Signs for Nonverbal Communication
This is a great resource that is ideal for parents of nonverbal children or children with communication impairments that range from ages 3-6 years old.
This text offers a simple way to introduce both the parent and the child to American Sign Language by provided 101 help vocabulary signs that can be used for daily use. It offers fun activities to practice, and includes practical guides with advice for implementing American Sign Language to children with Autism, Deaf early learners, and more.
American Sign Language for kids is best for young learners or absolute beginners to ASL.
Looking for a Book That Teaches Food & Days of the Week Signs?
Look no further than The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written by Earl Carle. This has a great list of foods to teach beginners. The flow of the story starts on Sunday, and this is a great way to teach days of the week and foods.
The food list is quite long, so try breaking the story up to be read over the course of a week. Assign foods that go with the day of the week that tell what the hungry caterpillar ate. Each day the caterpillar eats a different number of things. This can be taken a step further by adding colors, and numbers to your ASL lesson.
Looking for a Book That Teaches About Emotions Through Colors?
“What’s that Color” is a children’s book written by C.W. The book details the (add information that the author sent via fb, when seeking to sign this book )
Looking for a book to teach ASL beginners about animals? Try Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? This a book that can give ASL learners an insight on how to create a visual show and tell.
They can pretend to be the brown bear using ASL “to show” the brown bear’s actions. Some great ASL vocabulary and best practices to use in your teaching style can include a list of animals mentioned in the story, words/phrases such as; to look, watch, what, and this book gives learners the opportunity to practice indexing.
There are many valuable resources available via print and online.
Looking for some online books or resources to reinforce ASL learning for beginners? Digital Deaf signing books are available online, youtube, and through some free sources also.
Looking for more digital resource to use with your beginners? Here’s a list of online sources that have an abundant resource of books for ASL learners.
- ASL Nook: https://aslnook.com/
- Once Upon a Sign Videos: https://www.dawnsign.com/series/ouas/details/once-upon-a-sign
- ITV Signed Stories: https://www.signedstories.com/
- Deaf Education Library: http://www.deafedlibrary.org/
Youtube has always been a great source to quickly access ASL words, phrases, and ABC stories. Here’s a list of youtube channels that foster best practices and books for beginning ASL learners.
Check out this list also for more great stories and books to be used with beginners who are Deaf/HH, and those learning ASL as a second language.
Helpful YouTube Channels:
- EROD Videos
- ASD Toddlers
- CSD Toddlers
- Clercs Children
- Jay Krieger
Most Importantly, Find ASL Learning Books Your Young Learners Love
These resources will get you started. But remember, the most important step is finding ASL learning books that your child or student engages with.
Have fun reading ASL learning books together, finding books read in ASL online, or signing your way through traditional children’s books. Books are a beautiful way to teach young learners this visual language.