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Activity 11.2

Activity 11.2

Describing animals

The students will ask about and describe animals.

Play scene R. Find out how much of the dialogue your students can understand. For example, can they pick out the names of any animals? Use the scene R transcript to help you lead the discussion.

Play clip 11.1b. Hand out copies of worksheet 11.3 to the students for their reference. Ask them to practise signing along with the presenters as you replay the clip several times. Point out that the sign for EARS refers to human ears. Animal ears are signed according to their shape.

Play clip 11.2a. The presenters model sentence patterns that show how descriptive words (adjectives) are used in NZSL. For your information, these are called descriptive classifiers in NZSL as they indicate things such as size, texture, and shape. Hand out copies of the sentence patterns from the Unit 11 overview for the students to have as a reference.

The following tasks focus on viewing and interpreting information when others are signing, which is an important aspect of the communicative process. They will help your students to practise and embed the linguistic knowledge they need to communicate effectively in less structured situations and contexts.

Using the template on worksheet 11.2 and enlarging the illustrations in one set, make sets of 12 cards, enough for one set per group.

(a) The students spread the cards face up on the table. Each student in turn signs the name of the animal and gives a one-sentence description, for example:

My dog's big.


My cat's soft and furry.


(b) Deal the cards to the members of a group. The students take turns to describe the animal illustrated on their card without showing the card to the rest of the group. The other students guess what the animal is by raising their hand and then signing the name of the animal. The first student to do this correctly wins a point.

(c) Recall earlier vocabulary that your students can use to extend their descriptions, for example, stating likes and dislikes (Unit 5), foods they eat (Unit 9), and colours (Unit 8). Place the cards in a stack face down on the table. The first player takes the top card and describes the animal in NZSL without showing the illustration to the others or signing its name. The other students draw the animal according to their understanding. The drawing that best matches the description wins a point.

(d) Pairs of students converse about their pets, extending their descriptions and questions.

Play scene R again. Find out how much your students can understand now and what has helped their understanding.


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Name Class Section
Document Worksheet 11.3 Worksheet 1

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