Manners – Signs ‘n Storytime

Disclaimer: I am not bilingual in ASL. I took some courses in college (which seems like a million years ago now…)  I know I am not going to teach anyone to be fluent in ASL – as a fully formed language, there is no way I could do this.  But I view this program as a way to teach parents signs that they might find useful to use with their babies, as children can sign before they can speak.  I am teaching words, not grammar or culture.  I mean no disrespect to the Deaf community, and I welcome comments/ways to improve this service in a culturally respectful manner.

I thought some of these “Manners” signs would be useful for little ones to learn.

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



Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Tim Bowers

Signs used with the story:
Nice to Meet You
Excuse Me 
Thank You 
I’m Sorry 

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.


Time to Say “Please”! by Mo Willems

Signs used with story:
Excuse Me
I’m Sorry
Thank You 


Wave Hello, Wave Bye-Bye by Pamela Chanko

Signs used with story:


4 Short Spots with Cookie Monster and Prairie Dawn from Sesame Street Monster Manners


Book: Penguin Says “Please” by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Oriol Vidal
(signs to use with story: hungry, thirsty, no, please)

Book: Give Please a Chance by Billy O’Reilly & James Patterson
(signs to use with story: please)
I wasn’t going to read this whole book, but just some pages.

Book: Mealtime by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marieka Heinlen
(signs to use with story: thank you, please, all done)
I didn’t get to see a copy of Manners Time from this book series, but I think that would work as well.

Book: Yes, Please! No, Thank You! by Valerie Wheeler, illustrated by Glin Dibley
(signs to use with story: yes, please, no, thank you)

Book: Please Say Please! Penguin’s Guide to Manners by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
(signs to use with story: no, hello, please, thank you)

HOW IT WENT: This was nice storytime for signing, because the books gave lots of opportunities for kids to use the same words again and again.  Plus, while manner books may be kind of didactic, I think these are the kinds of signs that parents want their little ones to learn. I really liked the Sierra book, that one was perfect for this.  The books go back and forth in age because I started this storytime with an older audience (closer to 3-5), then had some toddlers join in.  The older ones still had fun identifying the animals in the board book, but it was good for the littles too.

PRESENTED: Thursday, February 14 at LM Branch


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