ASL Tales
© ASL Tales:2015
Note:  Please contact us if you are interested in getting free materials in exchange for analyzing the text and creating guides for each of our books.  This sample just includes a few opportunities for more advanced readers.  Though we don’t have sample guidelines for the other grades, we do know of successful experiences across the age space. Consider joining our team of enthusiastic, passionate volunteers. Some Teaching Ideas from ASL Tales: Rapunzel Page 1 Finding hidden messages "On the other side of the wall, lived a witch.  A witch with a beautiful garden. Why mention a beautiful garden?  If they husband and wife had a beautiful garden too, would they care about the Witch having a beautiful garden?  This is the clue that the husband/wife's side of the wall is NOT a beautiful garden and the ASL makes that clear by describing both gardens. Discussion: The art helps too, but what other clues could you use to know that the gardens are are different? The stone wall is another hint.  What else does the ASL message tell you that is only implied in the English text? Predicting  Think about what the big stone wall might tell you about what's coming next.  Even without the art, the stone wall is a  Think about what you know about a stone big stone wall that would make you looking for something coming next. The ASL emphasizes the stone wall. Discussion:  What do big walls do?   (examples: - divide, keep people apart).  Page 2 Idioms and Exageration "I must have some”, she said, “or I might die" If you look at each English word and don't think of the whole context and consider metaphor, then you can get a wrong meaning.   The ASL clearly shows the hyperbole and invites students to examine text for idioms.  Discussion: Why doesn’t the ASL message use the sign “DIE”?  Discuss ways that gestures in spoken language (and ASL) can highlight exaggeration and how that alters meaning.  Discuss identifying idioms and exageration ins written texts. Page 3 Literal vs. figurative "I'll take my chances with the Witch," thought the husband.” 1)  The ASL translation is wife?..witch?...wife? ….witch?….witch. There is a sign for ‘take”, “chance” and “my” but none of those signs are used in the ASL, Important when thinking about vocabulary in ASL or English.  This is another opportunity to point students to thinking of meaning, expanding either in encoding or decoding English messages. Discussion:  What do you think of when you think of the word chance?  It has many meanings.  It could say, the husband thought, "I have to choose between my wife and the witch.  I will chose the Witch." This is a closer English verbatim translation from the ASL, but not so interesting and not fun reading.  2)  When he looks at wife he touches his heart, showing he cares about his wife. The ASL message could have demonstrated a differennt emotion about his wife, and that would also be a viable interpretation of that English sentence.   Discussion:  What if he pointed to his wife and looked afraid at her yelling at him?   Different readers don't always get the same meaning from every story. An important part of reading is to make your own 'movie'.    What other ‘movies’ could you make from this idiom. Also, that phrase implies that both are bad 'chances'. The video shows  that he decides dealing with his wife's hysteria is less bad than facing the dangers of climbing the wall. Using context from earlier in the story “That night he climbed the wall ….” The English doesn't say need to say he was scared when he climbed the wall. An ASL message, embodying the experience of the husband, must show his emotional reaction.  Discussion:  How do we know he was scared?  What is explicit in th English story and what clues do you have, as a reader, to assume he’s scared? … and brought back a basket of greens." In English we don't have to say he collected all the greens in a basket.  We know he had to have collected them in order to bring some back.  The ASL provides a detailed description of what happens in the garden. Discussion:  See the husband looking around and whistling.  Can you think of other ideas of what the husband would be doing while he was collecting greens?  Why don’t authors include all the details?  [It leaves room for the reader to engage with the book and also use their own imaginaiton….]  Select another story and think about all the things that are NOT said in that storey. Good literature leaves places for readers to imagine.  “His wife made them into a salad and ate them with glee.  The next day she demanded more and the next even more!” See how proud the husband is when he gives the wife the vegetables, and then see him surprised that she asks for more.  What was the husband thinking would happen?  [that she’d be satifies if he’d do it once]  He is initially happy to see her happy.  Then she taps him on the shoulder and asks for more. See him worried each time he climbs that wall, and the implied repetitoin.  How does the husband feel about being asked over and over again?  The English doesn't tell us, but an ASL itnerpretation must take a stand. If someone asked you to do something over and over again, how do you feel.  Does this happen to you with your chores?  THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY WAYS THIS ENGLISH TEXT COULD BE TOLD.  Acitivty: have students explore any other book and create the ideas that would be in an ASL message (signing skills not required!) Page 4  Making Inferences “One dark night as the husband gathered his stolen vegetables, … Activity #1:  Have the students talk about this page before studying the ASL message.  There are many possible versions, and lots of needed ASL detail, so this is a good opportunity to hav students practice visioning without being influenced by the ASL message they’ve seen.  Activity #2 is to write an different English version of this same concept.  It might be grammatically correct to say: 'One night the husband was scared. He looked around.  He had to cross the wall again.  He walked up to the wall.  He was afraid.   He went over the wall…..” But it would neither be literature, nor even competent writing.  Acitivy #3  What are the clues from that text that informed the translation we did? Imagine other possible meanings if the husband were a different kind of character.  Discussion:  How could exploring this kind of text examination impact spoken commuication?  Think of examples when your intention was misunderstood based on someone just thinking about your words, and either missing the deeper intent or misunderstanding. For children who have difficulty reading social clues, the very explicit nature of ASL provides an  opportunity to explore how the whole idea/experience of reading facial cues, etc.  Activity #4  In the ASL, the husband crosses the wall each time.  This is not described in the English message, but an important part of understanding what happened.  Look for other examples throughout the book/DVD where this occurs.  Apply this process with another book.  This is a good self-study assignment for students to share with the class. Context …. the Witch sprang out from behind a tree.” Discussion:  The story doesn't tell us very much about the character of the Witch.  The English says the Witch sprang out from behind a tree.  What would have to happen before the Witch could spring out? Would the Witch watch him first to make sure what he is doing?  Can you imagine a different kind of witch? The husband stands there holding his basket, being afraid. The English text doesn't say this.  It assumes you remember that the husband is there.  Think about how you create a surrounding context in your reading, not just spotlighting the action that’s being described in the story. Studying the ASL Clues  and the Action Scripts will be particularly helpful for this page. First person vs. 3rd person “What else could he do?” Discussion:  The ASL message makes it clear – this is the narrator speaker. This happens often in a English story.  One hint is the word "he".  This can be confusing.  What clues did the English give you to know that was the narrator. When you are reading it is important to keep thinking about all the different points of view. Reading helps us think about what other people are thinking. The entire English text is told in the 3rd person.  ASL, when possible, uses the first person experience of the character to describe the action in the story.  In some cases we chose a 3rd  person description.  In this case, we felt that the author was not trying to tell you what the character was experiencing, but rather an observer’s perspective.   Thnk of other ways this idea could have been shown (ex. The husband could have thrown his hands up in the air.) Page 6 "She showered her with kittens and chocolate and dolls." In the ASL version, we see the witches action .  It could be translated differently.  The witch thought to , "I love Rapunzel. It makes me so happy to give her things.  I will give her kittens and chocolate and dolls.  Would that be as interesting?  Page 7 "The Witch took her to a tower.” In the English story it doesn't say where Rapunzel and the Witch were.  We know that if you go someplace, you have to get there. ASL requires it, English readers have to assume it. Discussion:   Did you imagine how they got there?  In this story, we use the art and Rapunzel pulling the wagon.  She is following the Witch, so we can assume, in our story that Rapunzel had no idea there was a problem until they got to the tower.  Activity:  What other way could this have happen?  What if Rapunzel fought her all the way?  The English could mean that too.   When you are reading, you can make up your own image of what happened. Page 9 Perspective "Believe me, Rapunzel looked everywhere for a way out.  There was no way out". Discussion:  How do you identify who is talking?    When all the pronouns have been he and she, who is "me".   Think about how you can identify perspective when you are reading.  Page 10 Character Analysis “Rapunzel groaned but went onto the balcony and flung her golden braind down down down to the Witch at the bottom. The Witch grasped the braid firmly and climbed up, up up, higher and higher until she reached the top.” Discussion:  While the witch is climbing to the top of the braid, English doesn't talk about Rapunzels experience.  Notice in the ASL that we see Rapunzel have her braid pulled on. Even though the writer will not include exactly what is happening to all of the characters, just like in real life, things are happening to all the characters...even if nothing is being written about.  Activity:  Notice how ASL Tales has decided what the characters are experiencing and then imagine a different response from both Rapunzel and the Witch.  Page 12 “Rapunzel spent her days reading or baking.  She learned to make a zillion different kinds of cookies, each one more delicious than the last.” Discussion:  ASL makes several things explicit that are not so explicit in the Englishit shows Rapunzel baking. trying and tasting cookies, mixing dough, putting them back in the oven and trying again, until she thinks they are delicious. Where can you find this in the English? ***These are just a some of the opportunites to be found in the 28-page ASL Tales: Rapunzel.  Each of our 4 other ASL-English paired books offer similar ways to explore many of the standards in the Common Core We are always looking for teachers to help us create and share classroom ideas.  If you are interested in building a full activity guide, for any of our books, for your speciality, please be in touch for to become a pilot site.