This lesson is one of my favorites for 3rd grade -- it is difficult, but also very rewarding for the students.
I will have them write words in sign language.
Once we covered that and students seemed in the right mind set I told them our plan was to draw letters using sign language to spell a word. Most students became excited, a few winced, a few flashes of fear. We went through the alphabet as a class - making each letter on our hand (this seemed to help those that winced and panicked).
Next, I did a demonstration where I drew some of the letters - thinking out loud while I looked at my hand and back to my paper. I also did a couple where I only looked at the print out.
I reminded the kids that it might be harder than they expect, but to just keep trying!
- Pick a word between 4 and 6 letters.
- Draw the hands life size or bigger.
- No giving up.
I passed out papers and let the kids go. The first day tends to be the most frustrating day, as it is harder than they expect. The second day it is a lot easier for the kids and they tend to take off! Make sure on the second day to review where the fingernails and wrinkles go, as many tend to get happy about putting them on.
When they are done with their drawing they come to me to approve - I make sure fingernails are in the correct locations. Next, they outline with Sharpie. If there is still time that day they look through magazines for letters to glue above each hand.
When these are complete the kids beam at their final project. They are often very proud and ready to show them off!