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5 Little Ducks – Printable Activity

Five little ducks went swimming one day . . .

Free printable duck templates from www.dltk-teach.com and www.first-school.ws

Mama Duck – http://www.first-school.ws/t/cpduck2.htm

Baby Ducks – http://www.dltk-teach.com/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.dltk-teach.com/books/brownbear/clips/bduck.gif (print 5 on different colored paper)

Laminate these, place a number on the baby ducks 1-5, and stick magnet tape on the back of them (or not if you just want to lay these out on a table or the floor).  You want your child to lay these out in order, so either tell them to pick up the “blue” one (my number 1 was blue) and put it in the proper position, or if your child is beginning to recognize numbers you can tell them to pick up number 1, and put it in the proper position. 

As you get to the end of the verse, say, “Take away number 5,” then recount the remaining baby ducks out loud, and then sing the verse from the beginning with the new number. 

Over the hills and far away,

Mama Duck said “Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack . . .

But only 4 little ducks came back.

(Go back to the first verse and drop the number by one for the first and last verse, removing the highest numbered duck each time.)

Here is the ASL to go with key words in the song.  You can cut these out and stick them to the surface you’re putting your duck printables on so you’ll have easy hands-free access to them while you’re working through the song.  Just click on the graphic and print. 

If these signs are new to you, remember to use the free ASL dictionaries at www.babysignlanguage.com or www.lifeprint.com to make sure you understand the correct sign and then use these graphics as a reminder or prompt.

Learning Sign Language Naturally – How to Incorporate it into Daily Living

As Noah (5 – Down syndrome) continues to struggle with language acquisition, using sign language is becoming more and more of a route around here.  Even as he learns to say words, sign language is a great prompt and a great backup for when his pronunciation isn’t clear enough for us to understand what he is saying.  Even those who do not understand sign language benefit from his signing because so many of the signs are logically connected to the words they represent.

(Isn’t this ADORABLE?)

For example, if he attempts to say butterfly, he will probably not be understood.  But if he says butterfly in the context of animal or something he is seeing and he backs it up with the sign, you will most certainly know what he is saying.  Your understanding will give him the motivation and confidence necessary to continue with his attempts at speech.  It’s a win-win situation.

So, now that we’ve talked about the why, let’s talk about the how.

How in the world, in the midst of raising a family, do you learn a new language?  And not just how do you learn sign language, but how do you practice it so that it is not learned and then forgotten?

I’ve struggled with that one as we have broadened our sign language vocabulary to a point we know most of the “necessary words.”

Here’s what hit me today, as I realized the term “girls and boys” is used at least 9 times in the book, “The Little Engine that Could,” as retold by Watty Piper.  (Noah’s speech therapist has been working with him on identifying boys versus girls and learning the signs for both.)  If you are spee

Books + sign language graphics = Practical practice and review every day.

You know that book you read to your child over and over again every day or two?  What if you had a collection of small sign language graphics to glue or tape to the pages for key words in the story?  (Click on the page for a printable version.)

These graphics came from http://www.answers.com/topic/the-girl-told-the-boy-that-she-loves-him

The best thing about this is even if you don’t have a copy ofThe Little Engine that Could, you can still use these graphics.  They are all common words used in children’s books, so don’t limit yourself.

Something else I like about this is that while daddys may be very willing to read to their children at night, often times they don’t want to sit down to a sign language lesson to recap what the child has learned that day.  It’s not that they have an aversion to learning sign language, they’d just like to be able to do it on their time without any pressure.  Moms, you don’t have to say a word.  Just put these cards in the books you want them in, and when your husband is reading that book to your child, he will see the signs and he’ll either learn them or he won’t.  But it’s all right there for him.  I think dads can tend to feel left out of the therapies and progress of their children.  This is a great way to include them on their terms.  But please, whatever you do, don’t nag them about this.  Just wait and see what happens.

This idea works great for siblings too.

I do suggest that you visit www.lifeprint.com to see video clips of the proper signs to go with these graphics.  It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re only looking at a picture; but if you see it on video first, chances are a picture will be all you need to remind you of the proper sign.

What are your favorite phrases in books to sign?

Stop!

Stop!  Hold everything.

I’ve been brainstorming about bus printables and activities that would work with most books about school busses rather than just one, so yesterday Noah and I read Hello, School Bus by Marjorie Blain Parker.  One thing that  books about school busses have a lot of is pictures of stop signs.  So, seeing how STOP is Noah’s favorite sign, I pointed out the stop signs on numerous pages and signed stop.  Today I read the book again to him, and when we got to the picture of the stop sign, I pointed to it and Noah signed stop without any additional cueing.  The same thing on the following pages.  And the enthusiasm behind his signs I cannot even begin to describe.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing him excited about language!

I never know what’s going to be hard to teach Noah and what’s going to be easy.  It never works out like I expect it too, but I am sooooooo encouraged when I can teach him something new one day and he demonstrates mastery the next.

www.lifeprint.com ASL for “stop” – the motion is like a chop.