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Grammar Work

Visual Verbs: Teaching the State of Being

Understanding what state-of-being verbs (is, are, was, were, am , will be)  mean and how they function regarding their rules can be overwhelming and confusing. In this workbook, students learns how to conceptualize the role of each word with meanings that are sensical and have a purpose. The building, and more critically the order of skills presented,  capitalizes on what makes most sense. The words have, has, had are also included as they are a very helpful way to guide students in differentiating meaning while developing these skills. The design of the instruction highlights the use of a developmental hierarchy of skills that will make sense to the students who finds these words to be confusing.

Picture This: Phrasal Verbs- Figurative Language for Beginning Readers

We often think that figurative language (e.g. idioms, similes, cliches, etc.). should be taught when students are older. However, English includes figurative rather than literal types of words in beginning reading. Students often believe that words mean singular things (e.g. GET = receive something). However, in early reading, phrasal verbs confuse this issue. For example, "get dressed" does not mean to "receive" "a dress". Rather it means 'to put ones clothes on'! In this workbook, each page contains one phrasal verb and two contextual sentences using beginning vocabulary. These are the earliest uses of a kind of figurative (not literal) ideas that beginning readers must become comfortable with. After reading each sentence, students discuss the meaning, illustrate the sentence and if desired, include the ASL handshape to target the specific meaning.

Picture This: Multiple Meanings for Beginning English Readers

This workbook is designed for beginning readers. Each exercise page focuses on one English word and two meanings (e.g. FLY-1) insect, 2) action verb). Each target multiple meaning word appears in two contextualized sentences. Vocabulary is controlled using high frequency words such as found on beginning word lists (e.g. Dolch, Fry, etc.).  Students then illustrate the sentence to show the variations in meanings. Student's can also choose an included ASL handshape to visually connect the meaning of the word in context to the required ASL sign.

Picture This: Multiple Meanings in English Context

This workbook is designed for the student who is able to read beyond a beginning level yet still needs more focused work in this area to support comprehension. Each exercise page focuses on 1 English word with 4 multiple meanings (e.g. back, put, light, etc.). The target word is then used in four different, highly contextual sentences to help the student discern the specific use of the word given the context. Vocabulary is controlled to ensure that the focus is on comprehending the meaning of the word as used. Students then illustrate the intent of the sentence.

Other workbooks for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students 

by Dr. Di Perri available at Butte Publications, Inc.

Additional Resources for Literacy  Development

Picture This: Figurative Language in English Context

This workbook, though beyond the beginning level, continues to provide a clear format for considering how figurative language "works" without high level vocabulary and difficult syntax. Using simple vocabulary and comprehensible context, each page has a single word that is used figuratively in two very short paragraphs (e.g. LIGHT- 1) eat a light lunch, 2) to feel light headed). Students read the paragraph, discuss the intent, provide evidence from details in the paragraph that lead to their definition of the highlighted phrase. They then illustrate the paragraph.