Saturday, January 19, 2013

Teaching Sign Language for "I Am a Child of God" - Singing Time - verse 2, 3

For those of you who read my previous post about teaching how to sign "I am a Child of God" verse 1, I have posted how to teach signing a simplified version of verses 2 and 3, below. (We signed "Choose the Right" for the primary program last year, and the parents and children loved it.)

Last week, I had volunteers come up, 3-5 at a time, to sign verse 1 with me after we learned it. They loved it, and it helped with learning the sign for the song by repetition. I think I had 3 groups come up and sign with me.

As I explained before you have to be careful not to be too literal when translating the spoken word into sign or you will inadvertently change the meaning of the song (really, just like translating in any language). That's actually a really good thing to talk about with the children to help emphasize the meaning of certain words of the song. I have added links to the words that the children will learn, choosing the websites that best depicts the correct translation into sign. To help guide me, I compared my selections to the official signing on (choose "ASL" from the link on the right), and the majority of the time, went with what she chose.

Verse 2nd

I am a child
(as explained with the sign language for verse 1 of this song, although he explains two pats, only does one pat)

of God,

And so my needs
(also, find a good explanation here)

are great;
(You can explain here that that the sign shows something big by going from smaller to bigger, and talk about how our need for our Heavenly Father is great. You want to use the sign for "large" or "big" here, as the sign for "great" means "wonderful" and is not the meaning intended by the song. See explanation on why I chose that form of "big" over other ways to do it, here.)

Help me (explained here)

to understand
(Love his light bulb explanation for helping children to remember how to do this sign)
(another good visual here)

his words,
(you are taking the sign for the letter "g" and bringing it toward the index finger of your non-dominant hand)

Before it grows,
(Notice there are four ways to sign "before" - the second one is the appropriate one for this song. There are a few other versions for this same meaning of "before" that are also corrected but I checked against the signer, and she chose this same option.)

it grows too late,
(Note that on, the woman signing uses both hands in the same motion to give it more emphasis. She does the motion at a slightly slower and more respectful manner conducive to the meaning of the line of the song.)

[chorus - explained in previous post, here]

Verse 3

I am a child
(as explained with the sign language for verse 1 of this song, although he explains two pats, only does one pat)

of God,

Rich blessings
(Sign this twice to indicate more than one blessing since this is a plural word - this is a good opportunity to talk about the meaning of the song here, and how our Father in Heaven has blessed us with many blessings, not just one.)

are in store;

If I but learn
(I love the explanation for this one, that provides - "Think of grabbing information from a book or piece of paper and placing it in your head." )

to do
(The kids will have already learned "do" from the first verse. I taught this sign previously with "Choose the Right," and I can tell you it's one of the childrens' favorite signs.)

his will,
(This one is important - there are several ways to sign "will," but this particular method mean's "God's will" so it is very appropriate for the song. I noticed that in, she angles it just a tiny bit above showing it's from God, rather than just straight toward herself like in this video.)

I'll live

(this is a super long explanation. The quick video is here but I chose to link to the other one because I like doing the signs without using letters, since that is the more controversial method. Therefore, you do the sign but with hands in a fist, not in the "l" shape. This sign shows up in verse 1 as well.)

with him 
(I debated how I want to handle this one so I didn't link it since I need to explain it. The two best options for me are to either do the sign for "God" again (above) or do a respectful sign for "him." The versions I found to share were all more casual versions. If you watched the signing video, she simply stretches out her hand by her head, palm up, to indicate a respectful him. It's almost the sign for "God," anyway. I will do it that way.)

once + more
(I also debated simply signing "again" but ultimately, I decided to follow the signing on again, which is that she signs "once" and then does the sign for "God" but gently moves her hand twice in a circular motion clockwise.)

[chorus - explained in previous post, here]

I'm debating whether to teach verse 4 because I think I might need to mix it up and introduce a new activity to keep it interesting. I have some ideas about that which I will share later, once I've finished formulating them. If I receive a bunch of feedback that folks would really like verse 4 in sign, I'll post it, but otherwise, I am probably not going to do it. In the meantime, I am also thinking of fun ways to mix up teaching the sign. Any ideas would be appreciated!

1 comment:

  1. Due to stake conference last week, I'm a week behind your schedule and did the first verse and chorus today. THANK YOU so much for posting this great idea and for a breakdown of which words/signs to do. The kids LOVED it today, our best participation and engagement so far. Can't thank you enough!!