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ASL 1-2. Unit 4 Lessons. © 2010 Natasha Escalada-Westland. Unit 4. 1. Unit Four Family and Friends. Unit Four Objectives To recognize and use gender distinction in ASL To understand and use contrastive structure To sign about family, friends and relationships

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Asl 1 2 l.jpg

ASL 1-2

Unit 4 Lessons

© 2010 Natasha Escalada-Westland

Unit 4

Unit 4


Unit four family and friends l.jpg
Unit FourFamily and Friends

Unit Four Objectives

To recognize and use gender distinction in ASL

To understand and use contrastive structure

To sign about family, friends and relationships

To understand how ASL name signs are made

To use pronoun signs appropriately

Unit 4

Unit 4


Based on Master ASL Level One by Jason Zinza

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Lesson 1


Unit 4

Unit 4


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Ordinal Numbers

First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Seventh Eighth Ninth

Numbers that describe order, ordinal numbers, are twisted forward up to ninth. For tenth and up, sign the number then add a fingerspelled “th”. ASL does not use “nd” or “rd” as an ending for the larger ordinal numbers. For example, English uses 22nd but ASL uses 22th. For street names, the ending is sometimes just omitted.

Unit 4

Unit 4


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Numbers: Ordinal and Listed

Number Review. Practice signing each number sequence and sentence correctly.

1. His phone # is 555-0762 4. Everyday I go to 201 Swan Rd.

2. Their address is 655 S. 4th Ave. 5. I have a class at 312 Grant Rd.

3. We visited 4120 E. 23rd St. 6. Our teacher’s email is [email protected]

With a partner, describe various dolls in the picture below by using ordinal numbers and small/large. Have your partner point to the doll you are describing.

Unit 4

To camp l.jpg
To camp

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To play

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Sometimes (used for frequency of an event)




Never Sometimes Always

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Family l.jpg

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Like, same as

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All, Everybody(quantity, how many)




all some none

All together, added up

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Children l.jpg

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To have

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Parents l.jpg

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People l.jpg

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How Many Altogether?

Headcount. Ask a partner how many members are in each family. Your partner will respond using the information below. When done, switch roles and repeat the exercise. Sentence examples are provided.



  • 8 people

  • 3 people

  • 11 people

  • 5 people

  • 16 people

  • 4 people

  • 6 people

  • 9 people

  • 2 people

  • 7 people


Unit 4

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How many families l.jpg
How Many?: Families

How many? What can you say about each family? Following the example sentence, explain:

  • How many children are there in each family?

  • Who are the hearing and Deaf members of each family?

Smith Family: All Deaf

Duggar Family

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Clark Family: Child Deaf

Alvarez Family: Parents Deaf

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Lesson 2

More Family and Relatives

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Family, Relatives

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Brother, Sister, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Grandma, Grandpa

Spell “great”

Grandparents, plural form

Gender neutral form

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Other Family Signs


Step (mom, dad…)

Half (brother, sister)

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“Have Deaf?”: Relatives

Have Deaf? The expression have deaf is a common way to ask whether there are Deaf people in your family. If the answer is yes, it is polite to explain who is Deaf in the family. Ask a partner if he or she has any Deaf members in the family, following the example. Your partner will respond using the information shown. Switch roles and repeat the exercise when done.




  • Yes, my mother is Deaf.

  • No, there are no Deaf people in my family.

  • Yeah, I have a Deaf cousin.

  • Yes, my brother is Deaf.

  • Yes, my Aunt Claire is Deaf.

  • Nobody’s Deaf in my family, but my grandfather is hard of hearing.

  • Yeah, I have a cousin who’s Deaf.

  • Yes, my sister and brother are Deaf.

  • All my family is Deaf.


No, nobody’s Deaf.

Yes, my _____ is Deaf.

Are there any Deaf people in your family?

Unit 4

Unit 4


Building sentences relatives l.jpg
Building Sentences: Relatives

Building blocks. Create complete sentences using information from each column. An example is shown.

  • Column A

  • sister

  • cousin

  • parents

  • brother

  • friend

Column B






Column C



lives in


to study

Column D

sign language





My Deaf friend lives in Mexico.

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Natasha’s family. Ask a partner questions about the family tree in complete ASL sentences. Below are some possible questions.



  • Is Natasha’s brother named Max?

  • Who are her grandma and aunt?

  • Does Natasha have a cousin?

  • Is Natasha’s entire family small, medium or large?

  • Who are Natasha’s other relatives?







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Lesson 3

Gender Related and Relationship Descriptions

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Gender Distinction in ASL


MASL p. 128


You may have noticed by now that ASL distinguishes gender aspects of signs by locating a sign in either the masculine or feminine areas of the face, as seen in the illustration. Depending where you place the sign cousin, it means female cousin or male cousin. What other signs do you know with gender distinction?

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More Gender-Related Signs





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To be dead gone missing l.jpg
To be dead, gone, missing

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To marry l.jpg
To marry

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To divorce

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Older, tall, adult

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Younger, short

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Compound Signs

MASL p. 133

Many of the signs you recently learned are compound signs, which are two separate signs combined to make an additional meaning. Combining the signs for mother and father creates parents, and girl plus same (in its older form) means sister. When using compounds, sign each portion quickly and smoothly in one motion. Can you think of other compound signs you know?




Unit 4

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Gender l.jpg

  • Gender distinction. Sign each sentence in ASL, using the correct form of the gender-specific signs as needed.

  • My cousin Joseph lives in Florida.

  • Her niece was born yesterday.

  • My sister married a man who has two daughters.

  • Our daughter is named Carrie.

  • I have a cousin named Tara.

  • My aunt and uncle are divorced

  • My nephew lives in Ohio with my sister.

  • My ASL teacher is a woman.

  • Our daughter’s name is Rebekah.



cousin (f)

cousin (m)





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Dialogues: Families

  • Dialogue. Create a dialogue with a partner in which family information is exchanged, including:

  • Asking about any Deaf members of the family:

  • Asking for and giving the names of at least three family members and their marital status;

  • Explaining whether one has older or younger siblings.

Unit 4

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Lesson 4

Shoulder Shifting – Contrastive Structure

Unit 4

Unit 4


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Shoulder Shifting“Eyes on ASL #8”

There are three main uses for Shoulder-Shifting in ASL. In this section, you will use Shoulder-Shifting to ask and answer questions that incorporate more than one detail or piece of information. Using Shoulder-Shifting in this way is known as contrastive structure. This generally takes the place of “and.”

Shoulder-Shifting is related to the concept of deixis in which the index finger points to a person or object which may or may not be visible. It is a way to distinguish several pieces of information in a signed sentence by slightly moving your head and shoulders in a different direction for each detail. Shoulder-Shifting is used for:

contrasting: Multiple topics or pieces of information in the same sentence;

comparing: What more than on person says or does;

separating: More than on idea or concept in the same sentence;

MASL p. 131

Unit 4

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Pratice Exercise – Contrastive Structure

  • Contrastive structure drill. Sign each of the following sentences, using contrastive structure for the information in italics.

  • They are: 1 man; 2 women. 8. My parents are divorced:

  • I have 2 cousins: Father lives in San Diego;

  • 1 Cousin named Sean; Mother lives in Phoenix.

    • 1 Cousin named Laura. 9. My:

  • I need: hot and cold water. Mother is Deaf;

  • I see: Girl; Boy Father is hearing;

  • I have: One brother; Two brothers are Deaf.

    • Two sisters. 10. She has:

  • His: Grandmother is deceased; One dog;

    • Grandfather is alive. Two cats;

  • My: Uncle is watching TV; Two older sisters.

  • Aunt is sleeping.

  • Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Contrastive structure l.jpg
    Contrastive Structure

    Shoulder-Shifting. Use contrastive structure to describe each illustration.





    Unit 4

    Unit 4


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    Facial Expressions

    Facial expressions. Use Shoulder-Shifting with each pair of facial expressions.





    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Lesson 5 l.jpg

    Lesson 5

    Signing Age & Discussing Life Events

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Teenager l.jpg

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    To be young l.jpg
    To be young

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    To get something l.jpg
    To get (something)

    …get degree / diploma

    …get license

    Unit 4

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    Should l.jpg

    The difference between need and should is the NMS. Raise your eyebrows with should

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Some life events transitions l.jpg
    Some Life Events & Transitions



    high school



    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    The age spot eyes on asl 9 l.jpg
    The Age-Spot,Eyes on ASL #9

    MASL p. 135

    Place a number sign at the Age Spot and then move the handshape away from the chin in one movement. You do not need to twist your wrist inward for ages involving the numbers 1-5. Moving the number away from the Age Spot conveys the meaning years old, so you do not need to add separate signs for year and old after the number.

    Ages 13, 14, 15 are always signed like this

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    More ages l.jpg
    More Ages

    Generally, age numbers follow the format seen here:

    25 years old

    34 years old

    40 years old

    65 years old

    • Signing Age. Use the correct sign for each age number.

    • 3 years old 8. 1 year old 15. 29 years old 22. 11 years old

    • 10 years old 9. 55 years old 16. 33 years old 23. 17 years old

    • 25 years old 10. 13 years old 17. 16 years old 24. 23 years old

    • 18 years old 11. 40 years old 18. 5 years old 25. 14 years old

    • 20 years old 12. 15 years old 19. 60 years old

    • 8 years old 13. 17 years old 20. 42 years old

    • 35 years old 14. 2 years old 21. 9 years old

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    The best age for l.jpg
    The Best Age for…?

    • What’s the best age? At what age do people do the following things? An example is provided.

    • Vote 13. Go to a party

    • Go to college 14. Graduate college

    • Learn ASL 15. Start school

    • Work

    • Understand life

    • Marry

    • Move out

    • Have children

    • Learn to read

    • Have email

    • Learn to ski

    • Get a license

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    People should l.jpg
    People Should…

    • People should. What should or shouldn’t people do? An example is provided.

    • Visit grandparents

    • Go to college

    • Practice ASL

    • Be nice

    • Be bad

    • Help old people

    • Be absent

    • Drive tired

    • Marry young

    • Have email

    • Like their family

    • Have a cat or dog

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Age and shoulder shift l.jpg
    Age and Shoulder Shift

    • Age and Shoulder-Shift. Use contrastive structure to state each set of ages. An example is provided.

    • 6…10

    • 21…12

    • 7…9

    • 14…16

    • 16…20

    • 8…32

    • 17…25

    • 1…1

    • 3…6…9

    • 13…14…15

    • 22…26…28

    • 19…15…11

    Accent Tip: Don’t switch your dominant and non-dominant hands when using the Shoulder-Shift. Simply orient your shoulders in a different direction and continue signing.

    Example: 7…3

    They are seven and three years old.

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


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    Lesson 6

    Listing & Ordering Technique

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


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    The Listing & Ordering Technique

    Making a visual list of information such as names or ages is called the Listing & Ordering Technique. This technique is used most often when providing several details about one or more person or thing. The non-dominant hand forms a list with each new bit of information signed by the dominant hand.

    MASL p. 138

    Example 2

    (He) Marc is a student, I’m a Teacher, and (she) Lila is my dog.

    Example 1

    Marc is the first, I’m the second, and Lila is the third.

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Practice exercise listing and ordering l.jpg
    Practice Exercise – Listing and Ordering

    Making lists. Use the Listing & Ordering Technique with each group of information.

    • Bryan, Leslie, Jason, Lisa, Jeff.

    2. I’m going to: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego.

    4. Megan is tall, I’m medium height, and Hannah is short.

    3. John is first, Lara is second, and Rick is last.

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Lesson 7 l.jpg

    Lesson 7


    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Best friend l.jpg
    Best friend

    Unit 4

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    Boyfriend l.jpg

    Unit 4

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    Girlfriend l.jpg

    Unit 4

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    To get together l.jpg
    To get together

    Unit 4

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    To go out leave l.jpg
    To go out, leave

    Unit 4

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    Good friend l.jpg
    Good friend

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    Since, For, Up-until-now

    Unit 4

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    To be single l.jpg
    To be single

    Unit 4

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    Sweetheart honey l.jpg
    Sweetheart, Honey

    Unit 4

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    Husband l.jpg

    Unit 4

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    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Translations friends l.jpg
    Translations: Friends

    • Translation. Sign the following sentences in ASL.

    • She is my best friend. Her name is Aundrea.

    • Do you want to get together tonight? *

    • I’ve known him for four years. *

    • I met my sweetheart at work.

    • He wants to go out with her, but she can’t.

    • On Saturday we are going to the beach. *

    • We’ve been buddies since we were 7 years old. *

    • My good friend is named ________.

    • I have / don’t have a ________.

    • We want to get together ________. *

    *Don’t forget, ideas that express time or time frame most often come first in ASL sentences.

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Getting info friends l.jpg
    Getting Info: Friends

    • Information exchange. Ask a partner the following questions in ASL. When done, switch roles and repeat the exercise.

    • Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Are you single or married?

    • What is your best friend’s name?

    • How long have you known your best friend?* (for how many years/months)

    • Do you like to get together with friends?

    • Who do you want to go out with?

    *The sign to have indicates the literal possession of something, so you don’t need to include have when signing “How long have you…”

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Lesson 577 l.jpg

    Lesson 5


    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    To argue l.jpg
    To argue

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    To date l.jpg
    To date

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    To fall in love l.jpg
    To fall in love

    Unit 4

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    To flirt l.jpg
    To flirt

    Unit 4

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    To get along l.jpg
    To get along

    Unit 4

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    Love romantic l.jpg
    Love (romantic)

    Unit 4

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    Relationship connection l.jpg

    End Relationship

    Unit 4

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    Together be together l.jpg
    Together, be together

    Unit 4

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    To break up break off a relationship l.jpg
    To break up, break off a relationship

    To get back together

    Unit 4

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    Verbal fight l.jpg

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Translations relationships l.jpg
    Translations: Relationships

    • Relationships. Sign the following sentences in ASL.

    • Tim fell in love with Angela but they’re not dating.

    • I have a date on Saturday night, do you?*

    • No, I think they broke up.

    • My older brother loves to flirt.

    • I get along with my parents.

    • She argued with her best friend. Now, they don’t get along

    • Should I date her?

    • I love my sweetheart!

    • Do you want to go out with us?

    • They’ve been together for 3 years.

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Modulating non manuals l.jpg
    Modulating Non Manuals

    • Non Manual Signals. Using only facial expressions and non-manual signals for the meanings shown in bold, how would you sign each concept? Work with a partner and make a list of the ways you can modify the meaning of each sign.

    • To argue (a lot) 6. To go out (often)

    • To fall in love (repeatedly) 7. To be single (happily)

    • To break up (pleased) 8. To be single (unhappily)

    • To be together (a very long time) 9. To argue (a big argument)

    • To flirt (too strongly) 10. To get along with (not by choice)

    Unit 4

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    Translations: Relationships

    Sign selection. Fill in the blanks with signs in the box and then sign a complete sentence.

    Argue Want

    Date Don’t want

    Verbal-fight Flight

    Parents Break up

    Brother Fall in love

    Sister Together

    Friend Relationship

    Girl/boy friend Good friend

    • Yesterday, I _____ with my _____.

    • They do / don’t _____

    • We _____ to go to the movies tonight.

    • He _____ with her.

    • On Friday I did ? Didn’t fight with my _____.

    • They ______?

    • I _____ _____.

    • Are you _____?

    Unit 4

    Unit 4


    Lesson 691 l.jpg

    Lesson 6

    Fixing Mistakes

    Unit 4

    Fixing mistakes l.jpg
    Fixing Mistakes

    How Do I Fix Mistakes – Unit 4

    Mistakes happen whether you are fluent in a language or not. An important part of using a language well is knowing how to correct your mistakes. ASL has several ways to help correct mistakes: The most common corrections are oops and wave-no. When you make a mistake, use either sign and continue signing. You don’t need to over-emphasize the signs or exaggerate facial expressions. The sign um shows one is thinking of what to say next. It is a visual cue that informs those watching that the signer isn’t done.


    Um, hold on, I’m thinking.

    It slipped my mind.


    Unit 4

    Fixing mistakes93 l.jpg
    Fixing Mistakes

    More practice on p. 151 & 155, MASL

    • Sign selection. Which “fixing” sign best matches the concept shown in italics? Select the best option and sign the entire sentence.

    • “I can’t remember the sign…

    • “He’s from… let’s see, uh, I don’t know.”

    • “No! I don’t want to go out to eat.”

    • “The homework is due Wednesday… No wait… It’s due Friday.”

    • “Your name isn’t Val? Oops… It’s slipped my mind. What’s your name?”

    • “Oh, I need to start again.”

    • “I signed that the wrong way – I meant love, not love-it.”

    • “It’s on the tip of my tongue…”

    Unit 4

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    Lesson 7

    Pronouns and Number

    Unit 4

    Pronouns and number l.jpg
    Pronouns and Number

    Pronouns and Number & Eyes on ASL #10 – Unit 4

    Use the ASL pronoun that shows the particular number of people being talked about whenever possible. When the exact number is unknown or larger than 8, use the general pronouns we, us, or they. Otherwise, use the following pronouns that refer to a specific number of people. You can include number in pronouns up to eight.

    Use eye-gaze and hand placement to indicate if the speaker, listener, couple or group not present are included in the pronoun.

    Three of us

    Three of you

    Three of them

    Unit 4

    Pronouns and number96 l.jpg
    Pronouns and Number

    More practice on p. 153 & 154, MASL

    • Pronouns. Sign the following sentences in ASL.

    • The two of them like pets.

    • Yesterday, four of us ate at a restaurant.

    • Eight of them are driving to California tomorrow.

    • The two of you get along well.

    • All four of them are arguing.

    Unit 4

    Pronouns and number dialogue l.jpg
    Pronouns and NumberDialogue

    p. 152, MASL

    Practice signing this dialogue with a partner. Add a greeting, farewell, and at least two new details. Be able to sign both parts.

    Unit 4

    Pronouns and number dialogue translation l.jpg
    Pronouns and NumberDialogue Translation

    p. 152, MASL

    What did you do over the weekend?

    On Friday, some friends and I went out. What did you two do?

    We visited my grandparents.

    Oh, how are they?

    Unit 4

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    Coyote and Roadrunner

    Told by Ella Mae Lentz

    Unit 4

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    1,000 – 1,000,000

    Unit 4

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    two thousand

    three thousand

    four thousand

    five thousand

    six thousand

    seven thousand

    eight thousand

    nine thousand

    one thousand










    Unit 4

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    Millions, Billions…



    Often billions, trillions and higher are fingerspelled for emphasis.

    Unit 4

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    Lesson 8

    Physical and Personal Qualities & Characteristics

    Unit 4

    To be cute l.jpg
    To be cute

    p. 156

    Unit 4

    To smile l.jpg
    To smile

    p. 156

    Unit 4

    To be ugly l.jpg
    To be ugly

    p. 156

    Unit 4

    To annoy bother dv directional l.jpg
    To annoy, botherDV - directional

    p. 157

    Unit 4

    To be arrogant l.jpg

    p. 157

    To be arrogant

    Unit 4

    To be friendly l.jpg
    To be friendly

    p. 157

    Unit 4

    To be funny l.jpg
    To be funny

    p. 157

    “Ha, ha, ha”

    Unit 4

    To laugh l.jpg
    To laugh

    p. 157

    A lot

    A little

    Unit 4

    To be mean l.jpg
    To be mean

    p. 157

    Unit 4

    To be mischievous l.jpg
    To be mischievous

    p. 157

    Unit 4

    To be shy l.jpg
    To be shy

    p. 157

    Unit 4

    To be sweet l.jpg
    To be sweet

    p. 157

    Unit 4

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    Qualities / Characteristics

    MASL p. 157

    What are you like? Ask a partner which qualities apply to him / her. When done switch roles and repeat the exercise. An example is provided.

    • Like to smile

    • Mean

    • Shy

    • Cute

    • Easy-going

    • Like to go out

    • Arrogant

    • Friendly

    • pretty

    • Mischievous

    • Like to annoy people

    • Funny

    Are you shy?

    Unit 4

    Dialogues describing qualities using shoulder shift l.jpg
    Dialogues: Describing Qualities Using Shoulder Shift

    MASL p. 156

    Practice signing this dialogue with a partner. Expand the dialogue by adding material before and after the sentences below.

    Use shoulder shift to convey “and” between each quality

    Unit 4

    Dialogues describing qualities using shoulder shift translation l.jpg
    Dialogues: Describing Qualities Using Shoulder Shift - Translation

    MASL p. 157

    Why are the two of you friends?

    I love my best friend because she’s always funny, she’s friendly, likes to go out, and is easy going.

    Practice – Dialogues: Describing QualitiesUsing Listing

    MASL p. 157

    Work with a partner to develop a dialogue between two signers that features at least five vocabulary words from the physical and personal qualities sign lists. Incorporate the listing technique into your dialogue, and use correct ASL grammar, facial expressions, and remember the dialogue must make sense.

    Unit 4

    Lesson 9 l.jpg

    Lesson 9

    More Personal Qualities & Characteristics

    Unit 4

    To be immersed in dive in to take to something whole heartedly l.jpg
    To be immersed in, dive-into take to something whole-heartedly

    p. 159

    Unit 4

    Deaf world l.jpg
    Deaf World

    p. 159

    Unit 4

    To be boring l.jpg
    To be boring

    p. 159

    Unit 4

    To be interesting l.jpg
    To be interesting

    p. 159

    Unit 4

    To be lazy l.jpg
    To be lazy

    p. 159

    Unit 4

    To be motivated eager l.jpg

    p. 159

    To be motivated, eager

    Unit 4

    To be negative pessimistic l.jpg

    p. 159

    To be negative, pessimistic

    Unit 4

    To be positive optimistic l.jpg

    p. 159

    To be positive, optimistic

    Unit 4

    To be outgoing assertive l.jpg

    p. 159

    To be outgoing, assertive

    Unit 4

    To be smart l.jpg
    To be smart

    p. 159

    Unit 4

    To be stupid l.jpg
    To be stupid

    p. 159

    Unit 4

    To work hard l.jpg
    To work hard

    p. 159

    Unit 4

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    No, she isn’t/Yes, he is

    More practice on p. 158 & 159 MASL

    Respond to what a partner says about an individual following clues provided. Use wave-no or yes as needed.

    • They are lazy. (No, they work hard)

    • She is not shy. (No, she’s outgoing)

    • He is friendly. (Yes, but arrogant)

    • She’s interesting and smart. (Yes, works hard)

    • Your mom is nice. (Yes, I love her)

    • His girlfriend is pretty. (Yes, she is not ugly)

    • Is he smart or stupid? (He is smart)

    • Your brother annoys me. (Yes, he bothers people)

    • Is your cousin a troublemaker? (No, he’s sweet)

    • My best friend likes to work hard. (No, he’s lazy)

    Unit 4

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    Narrative: FriendsComprehension Activity

    Friends - Unit 4


    Watch until you understand and/or discuss with another student using ASL.

    • Comprehension Questions:

    • How old was Kelly when she met Leon and Rae?

    • Are the three friends Deaf?

    • What do they do every day?

    • Why did Leon dive into the Deaf world?

    • How does Leon show Kelly and Rae that he’s dived into the Deaf world?

    Unit 4

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    CODAsChildren of Deaf Adults

    Did you know approximately 10% of Deaf people have Deaf children, which means 90% of Deaf parents have hearing children. A hearing child of Deaf adults is known by the fingerspelled word “coda.” Though codas are hearing, they are an important part of the Deaf community and culture. Often, a coda’s first language is ASL. Contrary to popular belief, hearing children of Deaf parents rarely encounter problems learning how to speak. It can be said of codas that they have the best of both worlds! Many codas cherish ASL and the Deaf community and are proud to have this unique background. To learn more about codas and CODA, an international organization of codas from around the world, visit:

    Fun Links: Coda Brothers

    Keith Wann

    Unit 4


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    Deaf Family Dynamics

    p. 134 MASL

    Historically, very few hearing people learned ASL aside from codas (children of deaf adults) and those who worked closely with Deaf people, such as the clergy. Unfortunately, very few others learned how to sign, including hearing family members and relatives. Most Deaf people are from hearing families who don’t know ASL but rely on a few signs and improvised gestures called home signs. Even today many Deaf children have parents who don’t sign, or live in a family where a mother and sibling – usually a sister – can sign.

    Because of this background where most hearing people did not want to learn ASL, a sincere question is Why do you? Asking this is a way for Deaf people to get to know you and your background, to learn whether you have a Deaf relative or friend, and your motivation to learn ASL. Is it for work reasons, for socialization reasons, for fun? Deaf people are genuinely pleased to see more hearing people learning ASL for many reasons, especially for mutual communication and understanding Now that ASL is becoming widely respected and studied, more parents are learning ASL for the sake of their Deaf children, a welcome sight in the Deaf community.

    Unit 4


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    Deaf Culture – Creative Expression

    p. 140-141 MASL

    Part of the definition of culture includes art, which is the expression of human creativity in theater, painting sculpture, poetry and literature, multimedia, film, drama, and other related forms. The arts are a vibrant an important aspect of Deaf culture, a culture that cherishes the hands and visual mode of communication.

    Art: Chuck BairdBetty G. MillerDeaf Art/Deaf Artists

    Other famous Deaf artists: Douglas Tilden (sculpture), Tony Landon McGregor (traditional Native American styles)

    Theater: NTDDeaf West TheaterTerrylene

    Poetry: Deaf InfojonLenoisClayton ValliFlying Words Project

    Storytellers: Ella Mae LentzVarious ABC stories

    Unit 4


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    Languages Change & Grow

    Unit 4 - My Family, p. 143 MASL

    All languages, including signed languages, change over time. You can see an example of this by comparing the two signs for telephone in Kris’ family portrait. Think about the sign drive: What kind of signs can you think of that might have been used when people rode in a Model T? What about when riding in a carriage?

    Other examples:

    newer sign for Deaf

    older sign for Deaf

    older sign for brother

    newer sign for brother

    Unit 4


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    Friendship Patterns in the Deaf Community

    Having many life-long friendships is a common experience for people who belong to a small tight-knit community. Long-lasting friendships between Deaf people often begin at schools for the Deaf and continue through college, marriage, and old age. Email, videophones and class reunions are just a few way Deaf individuals stay in contact with each other. Newcomers to an area are quickly welcomed and form close friendships as well, especially if the individual actively participates in Deaf community events. Historically, these deep bonds were formed by shared experience of being deaf in a predominantly hearing world. Hearing people are welcome in the Deaf community as long as the language and culture of the Deaf are respected, and hearing individuals who sign fluently can easily form friendships with Deaf individuals.

    How does this differ from you own experience? What benefits do you think the Deaf community gains from being close-knit? Any drawbacks?

    Unit 4