ASL Storytelling Program Supports Deaf Education Classrooms

Posted by ASL Storytelling on 5/7/2021 9:15:00 AM

ASL Storytelling - students watching a caucasian woman signing story on screen.Did you know that the Statewide Outreach Center (SOC) at Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) provides free weekly ASL Storytelling classes to any deaf education classroom in the state of Texas?

You may wonder if these classes are a good fit for you and your students, so keep reading and find out all about the SOC’s ASL Storytelling program.

What are weekly ASL Storytelling classes?

ASL Storytelling classes are free for deaf education classroom teachers and students done through interactive video. ASL Storytelling classes are 20-30 minutes every week at the same time depending on students’ needs and classroom schedules. Here in our studio at TSD, we have a green screen where ASL storytellers can superimpose themselves over the pages of children’s books and lessons. SOC’s storytellers serve as deaf role models for students while reading books and providing language and literacy support. 

What age groups are ASL Storytelling classes for?

ASL Storytelling primarily serves elementary classrooms; with resources permitting, middle and high school classes can be held as well. For elementary classes, a storyteller will read books and play comprehension games. For middle and high school students, weekly lessons are modified to cover more complex topics such as deaf culture, history, current events, and American Sign Language (ASL). We want to support teachers’ and students' needs. If you are teaching a specific topic or theme, we can find books and content to mirror your class lessons. You can also request specific books or topics relevant to your students’ learning. 

Do students need to be fluent in ASL?

Absolutely not. We are here to support the literacy and language needs of a variety of students whether they be fluent in ASL, Signed Exact English (SEE), oral or any other form of communication. Some of our current students are oral and just learning ASL while others are fluent signers. Experienced ASL storytellers can match the language needs of your students and modify their language and teaching strategies to best serve them.

What do I need to do to join ASL Storytelling?

ASL Storytelling classes are absolutely free to deaf education classrooms across the state of Texas. We strive to make it as easy as possible to join the program. All you need to do is sign up and register. We will provide you with a free webcam that can pan and zoom. After you have filled out the registration form we will ship the camera to you and schedule a weekly class time that works best for your schedule. You will have a link to use to connect to class each week at the same time. We ask that you hook up the webcam to a projector or SMART Board®. 

We feel reading to children is key for improving vocabulary and language skills. Over the years, we have had many teachers join us and others who keep coming back every year with rave reviews. ASL Storytelling would love to have you and your students join us - so sign up today.