Many homeschoolers have begun studying American Sign Language (ASL) both as a fun activity and as a way to meet the foreign language requirement of a college preparatory education. See It and Sign It is a creative way to begin those studies.
See It and Sign It is a professionally produced, award-winning board game designed to teach 60 signs (10 words in six different categories) as well as the alphabet and numbers 1-10. Retailing for $24.99, the game comes with 60 game cards (sign illustration on front and hidden word on back), two secret decoder lenses to reveal hidden words, ten game boards, and eight durable Easy Remember Guides (with game instructions, cute illustrations showing the signs, and hints on how to recall the signs). These materials are used to play six different games. The game also includes a DVD with live demonstrations so that you can make sure each sign is learned accurately.
The game makers encourage you to watch the DVD and use the Easy Remember Guides to become familiar with the words and signs before playing the game. The DVD has two parts. The Learn section flashes a word on the screen while a child is shown signing it. The second part of the DVD is a practice section. A child is shown making a sign, and the viewer has a chance to recall the word being depicted. The DVD then shows the sign a second time with the word displayed on the screen. The DVD is silent, so a parent or older sibling must help non-readers. For those of us accustomed to fun DVDs with catchy songs, this DVD seems quite dry. However, the signs are accurate and will help children learn the signs necessary for playing the games.
The six games vary both in the number of players necessary and difficulty level. Two of the games are simply ways to use the game cards as flashcards, though the use of the decoder lens makes it much more exciting than traditional flashcards. The other games are a matching game, a game that requires the player to give the sign for the card drawn, and two games that require the ability to fingerspell the sign on the drawn card. The matching game is cleverly designed so that you can use one side of the cards after learning 30 of the signs and then turn the cards over to play after learning the additional 30 signs.
All of the games provide an entertaining way to review and practice learned signs. We've used a popular video series to learn many signs over the years, so my children were already familiar with most of the signs. We were able to dig right in and play. As we played, we realized that it was definitely more fun to play with others of similar signing ability. Children at the same level had a lot of fun reviewing their signs together.
Learning ASL is a worthwhile use of your students' time. Not only will they gain a valuable skill, but they will also be a tremendous blessing to hearing-impaired people they might meet. See
It and Sign It can be a useful tool as your students begin their quest of learning this new language.