Clothes – Signs ‘n Storytime

Working at a new location means I inherited some new programs, and I’m really excited about this one – Signs ‘n Storytime.  This was originally run by a bilingual English/American Sign Language (ASL) speaker, but she since she couldn’t get away from her usual site as easily, I got to take it over.  I’m not fluent at all.   I did take ASL eons ago in college, and I’m excited to get to use a little bit of that.

I approach this storytime as a way for parents to get exposed to some signs that they can use with their babies.  I think it’s important to use signs from American Sign Language.  I do disclose that I am not bilingual, nor a native speaker to the group.

For this storytime, I use the basic storytime pattern that my colleague created. I don’t sign the whole thing, or even a whole book.    As I said – I’m not fluent, so there is no way I could do that, and translating is an art.  Instead, I first pick a theme I think would be useful for a parent and their child.  Then, I try to pick books that have words that would be useful for a toddler to know.  When I come across this word in the book, I show and describe the sign.  Then, if it repeats throughout we all do the sign together.  At the end of the book, we practice again all the words in that book.  Finally, at the end of storytime, we review all the signs we learned from all the books

SONG: “Hello Friends” in ASL

taken from Jbrary
I changed this one a little so instead of doing it time to “say” Hello, I sing, “it’s time to Sign Hello” and use the ASL word for sign


Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.  Created and Illustrated by James Dean. Story by Eric Litwin.

Signs used with the story:

MOVEMENT: If You’re Happy and You Know It
I sung this one a capella, and when we clap our hands we do the ASL version of clapping, we stomp our feet, and we pound our chest.  Whenever there is clapping in this storytime (at the end of a book, etc) we always do it the ASL way.

Ooh La La Polka-Dot Boots by Ellen Olson-Brown, illustrated by Christiane Engle

Signs used with story:

How Do I Put It On?

I was all set to do this flannelboard story (which you can learn in its entirety in this post), but since I only had one little listener, I just sat with him on the floor and we dressed the bear, naming the different pieces of clothing.

Signs used with story:

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

Signs used with story:



Book: Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier.
Book: Baa, Baa, Black Sheep by Jane Cabrera.
Book: Freddie Gets Dressed by Nicola Smee.
Book: Hat On, Hat Off by Teho Hears, illustrations by Renné Benoit (Since this uses the word “hat” a lot I think it would take some practice to get the signing down, but it does have other clothing in the books, so I think it could work…)
Book: Wear a Silly Hat: Sign Language for Clothing by Dawn Babb Prochovnic, illustrated by Stephanie Bauer. 
DVD: “Let’s Play in the Snow” from Baby’s First-Word Stories: Get Dressed

HOW IT WENT: For my first Signs ‘n Storytime, it went pretty well.  I only had 1 child and 2 adults in the audience, so it was a really intimate and close up reading.  That may be because we had a bit of a break in this storytime pattern as we transitioned from the previous staff member presenting it to me.  Hopefully, the more month to month programs will get a regular crowd.

PRESENTED: Thursday, June 14, 2018

ATTENDANCE: 3 people (adults and children)

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