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Unit 12 – SMILE Smile!

Vocabulary Clip 12.1a: Words to describe feelings
















Learning vocabulary and aspects of Deaf culture

The students will learn vocabulary that will help them communicate about feelings, needs, and emotions.

Play Clip 12.1a (Words to describe feelings) and have the students sign along with the presenters until they can sign the words well.

Play Clip 6.1a from Unit 6 and have the students recall the signs that support the theme of that unit. Ask them to refer to their copies of Worksheet 6.1 (Vocbulary – Describing conditions, needs, and watns) to help them to recall the vocabulary.

Reviewing previously learned material
Review any of the following scenes:

Find out how much the students understand. Play the selected scene again. Tell the students to notice how the people use manual and non-manual signs, for example, facial expressions, to express their feelings.

Talk about how feelings are expressed quite openly within the Deaf community. In Deaf culture, physical contact is quite usual. Deaf people hug more often than shake hands, especially when greeting and farewelling one another.

Discuss how the students express their feelings, emotions, and needs in their cultures. What are some of the similarities and differences that they notice with Deaf culture?

Formulaic patterns of langauge
Raise the students’ awareness of formulaic patterns of language that are used in particular situations and contexts. For example, a question often asked in English is "What’s wrong?". This kind of question is not so common in NZSL. More often, you would see it presented as:


IX-you ALRIGHT IX-youy/n q

Your students may be able to offer other examples of formulaic language and differences across cultures that they have become aware of as a result of learning NZSL and other languages.

Reinforce learning
Play Clip 12.1a again, with the students signing along with the presenters to reinforce their learning.

Play scene H. Hand out copies of the Scene H transcript so that the students can check what the people are saying. Have them role-play part of the scene so that they can get used to expressing their feelings and showing social awareness in a communicative context.

Hand out copies of Worksheet 12.1 (Words to describe feelings) for their reference. Remind your students to practise signing the vocabulary in their own time.

You could make the worksheet more challenging by blanking out the English words below the illustration of each sign. They could write the English word descriptor that matches each sign as a homework task. Give them the web links so that they can view clip 12.1a or use the New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary to complete the task. Check their responses in the next lesson.


The students will learn about storytelling in Deaf culture and will tell their own stories.

Ask the students to speculate on why storytelling, including telling jokes, is such a strong tradition in the Deaf community. The information in the introduction will help you to lead the discussion.

Encourage your students to make comparisons and connections with the cultures they are familiar with. Stories passed down from generation to generation about Māui for example.

Practising new signs and telling a story
Play Clip 12.1b (short responses). Hand out Worksheet 12.2 (Storytelling) and have the students practise the new signs.

Now have your students try telling a story in NZSL. Organise them into groups of four or five. Give each group a set of animal cards from Unit 11. They place the cards face down on the table, and each student picks one up. Each student prepares a story relating to the animal illustrated on their card.

When the students are ready, they take turns to sign their story. Project the following sentence patterns so that they can use them to respond to the storytelling.

That's awesome!




That's a great story!


Cheer up!


Communicating feelings, needs, and emotions

The students will enquire about and express feelings, emotions, and needs.

Play Clip 12.1a for the students to review how to express feelings.

Play Clip 12.2a (How are you feeling?) and hand out copies of the sentence patterns from the Unit 12 overview and have the students practise the patterns.

Working in pairs
Then they work in pairs. Remind them that they can use sentence patterns and vocabulary from previous units as well, especially Unit 6. One student points to a face on Worksheet 12.3 (Communicating feelings, needs, and emotions) and expresses the feeling shown in NZSL.

Here is an example of a dialogue pattern that the students could use.





Focusing on comprehension
Now have the students focus on their comprehension of what is being communicated. Divide them into groups of five or six. Get one student in each group to draw a table with two columns and six rows on a piece of A4 paper, like this:




You could make this up and photocopy it for them beforehand if you wish.

Each student takes a turn to describe a feeling.

The group responds by signing:


The student responds by giving a reason. As each student describes the feeling, the other students view the response and write in English the described feeling and the reason for it. When all the students have had a turn, they confirm what they’ve written with the presenters.

Assessing progress

Use the Assessment criteria from Unit 10. Select the relevant criteria for the students to use, depending on the task that they are to complete. For storytelling, use the criteria as set out in Activity 11.4 of Unit 11. For the role-playing, use the complete set of criteria as the task encompasses all aspects of communication.


The students take turns to tell a story. Decide whether this is to be a group or a class activity, depending on their level of confidence with this task. Decide whether the students are going to use a particular theme, for example, telling a story about an animal using the set of animal cards they used in Activity 12.2. Discuss this and agree on how to manage the topic or theme.

Give them time to prepare their stories. When the students are ready, tell the class or group to show that they are an attentive audience by responding and applauding appropriately, for example, by waving their hands in the air.

Decide whether you and your students wish to record their storytelling on video at this stage of their learning. They may prefer to have further practice with this genre.

At the end of the task, bring the class together and discuss their experience of the storytelling process as presenters and viewers. Ask them to work in pairs or groups to discuss their performances and to give each other feedback using the selected criteria. Tell the students to write down the feedback they get in their workbooks as a reminder of their progress and as a record of what they need to focus on to improve their skills. Help them to assess their own and others’ performances. Reassure them that they will have many more opportunities to participate in storytelling as they carry on with their learning of NZSL.

Practice, with feedback and good models to follow, will help them to develop their skills over time.


Play Scene G, Scene H, or Scene J as you wish. The students use copies of the Scene G transcript, the Scene H transcript, or the Scene J transcript to make up role-plays in which they communicate about feelings, emotions, and needs.

Decide on the assessment process, for example, whether they will assess each other using a recording immediately after each performance. Discuss whether the students will perform their role-plays in front of the class or just to a group.

Then have the students present their role-plays either to a group or to the whole class. Ensure that they record the feedback they receive, including both the positive feedback and the ideas for their next-steps learning.

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