Teaching Depicting Signs

What are Depicting Signs in Auslan?

  • Signs that are flexible and unique to the object, person, action being described.
  • There are three types of Depicting Signs:
    1. ENTITY– using your hands or finger to represent a person, animal or vehicle (slide 5)
    2. SAS– demonstrating 2d or 3d shapes, patterns, arrangement or even weight and texture of things.
    3. HANDLING- physically demonstrating an interaction with the object (opening the door, a box, pulling something out of a cupboard, changing gears, opening drawers, etc…)

Teach children how to use space, and show shape, size, and arrangement with these activities:

Auslan whispers:

  • Get children into two lines in front of the whiteboard but facing the back of the classroom.
  • Two leaders will face the whiteboard and memorise a geometric pattern. When they are ready, wipe it off the board.
  • The leaders then have to turn around and tap the person behind them on the shoulder. They must carefully demonstrate the image they just memorised. Each person takes turns passing on the descriptive image down the line.
  • The child at the end of the line comes to the front and draws the image they interpreted.
  • Draw/show the original pattern and compare which group copied it more accurately!

Copy the teacher:

  • Similar to the above activity, children can all focus on the teacher’s visual instruction at the same time, by copying the directions into their books. You may tell students to draw a cross in the middle of their page, a square in the top left corner, or circle in the bottom right corner. This is also a great activity for teaching transposition.

I spy…:

  • Children partner up and practise describing objects around the room.

What’s in the box?:

  • Have the class stand in a circle, and begin by pretending to open a box. Use depicting signs to describe what you “pulled” out of the “box”. Whoever guesses correctly gets a turn at “pulling” something out of the “box”.
Guess Who?:
  • Copy the images from the Guess Who game onto a worksheet.
  • Children get into pairs and choose ‘their person’.
  • They play the game of elimination by signing “you have..?” then use S.A.S to describe the appearance (glasses, hat, long hair, moustache, black hair, etc..
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