Learning American Sign Language has been a wonderful help in our home. With both Mr. T and Mr. F having Apraxia, the necessity for communication made ASL an easy choice. Keeping the learning and practice fun and engaging can be a challenge with two active learners. How do you combat the boredom?
*Disclosure: I received these products for free. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.*
Once Upon a Sign
DawnSignPress is a leader in ASL and Deaf culture publications and offers many materials for all ages. Once Upon a Sign from DawnSignKids is a collection of fairy tales with modern twists told entirely in ASL. American Sign Language is a beautiful and functional second language that benefits all children and is very helpful for those with special needs as well. Both my boys were mesmerized by Little Red Riding Hood and The Magic Mirror, the two titles we were sent to review. You can see full previews on DawnSignPress’ YouTube channel.
The Magic Mirror
The Magic Mirror is a fable style fairy tale with a wonderful lesson about sparkle really being on the inside. Mr. F loves it! And Alice’s signing of her poems is just beautiful. The expressive signing really intrigued Mr. T. It’s almost like a dance.
It’s 24 minutes long (perfect for getting the kitchen cleaned after breakfast) with voice overs and you can turn the subtitles off or on. The Fun Signs section is on stage after the talent show and the signs covered are all related to the story.
One thing I really enjoy about these videos is that it is true ASL. The ASL grammar and what is in most sign language videos are different. Most video series use ASL signs but regular english grammar. Because we want to use ASL as our second language credits, exposing the boys to ASL grammar now is important to me. I also love that the stories are told through conversation so it exposes them to everyday ASL usage and comprehension rather than a teacher/student type presentation.
Little Red Riding Hood
This is a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, set in New York City. Grandma is a kale-loving hoot! Mr. T loves the Wolf. He just giggles at how sneaky and what a joker that old wolf is. The story is funny and charming. The picnic at the end includes the Fun Signs section, which you can see below in the video. Little Red is just as much fun for adults as it is children. I end up watching with the boys, no matter what else is on my to-do list at the time. It’s also helpful to watch so I can brush up on my ASL.
Fun Signs Sign Language Practice
Overall, Once Upon a Sign DVDs are:
- American Sign Language, complete with actual ASL grammar
- well done and a good length for young students and siblings
- a functional addition for early second language learning
- a good value at $15.95
The only negative is that currently there are only 4. I hope there are more in the works. We have thoroughly enjoyed these! Do you use ASL in your home or homeschool? DawnSignPress is a wonderful addition if you do!
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