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Unit 15 – CLOTHES FLASH Flash clothes

Scene M – Nothing to wear


You should come to my sisters' party. Zoe's going!

Yay, awesome! I like Zoe!

I know! All my friends know.

I need to go shopping.

Why? You don't have to buy my sisters presents.

I have to buy a new t-shirt.

I have to go shopping to buy my sisters presents.

What do they like?

DVD's, clothes.

When's the party?

It's this Thursday. It's a BBQ, you can help me cook.

Fine, I'd be happy to help.


Learning vocabulary and aspects of Deaf culture

The students will learn the vocabulary for some items of clothing and about the importance of descriptions of people and clothes in Deaf culture.

Introducing clothing vocabulary
Play Scene M – Nothing to wear.

Ask the students how much they can understand. Using your copy of the Scene M transcript, help them to gain a better understanding of what is being communicated in the scene. This scene will help them to recall some of the vocabulary they learnt in Unit 6 in order to express feelings, needs, and wants.

Now play Scene P – What a bargain! and follow the process outlined above to determine your students' understanding.

Facial expressions
Replay the scene and ask the students to focus on the facial expressions that the characters use when they give descriptions. For example, when describing something as BIG, you puff out your cheeks as you sign. To express SMALL, you suck them in.

Play Clip 15.1a (features such as hair type, eyes, other). Have the students practise the vocabulary for describing people, using appropriate facial expressions where they are needed. Hand out Worksheet 15.1 (Describing people) for their reference.

Play clip 15.1a again. Ask the students to note the following aspects of signing in relation to the pictures on the worksheet.

  • The sign CURLY-HAIR refers to a person with long curly hair. When you refer to a person with short curly hair, you make the same sign but make it to show the shorter hair.
  • The sign EYE refers to one eye. When referring to EYES, you point to both eyes.

Describing people
Explain how descriptions of people and things are important in sign language. The information in the introduction will help you to do this.

In conversation, Deaf people can respond quickly and sustain a conversation if the other signer is describing people and things clearly. The visual aspect of a person is important when Deaf people are describing someone who is not present.

Have your students practise signing the vocabulary to each other until they become reasonably fluent at reading and signing the words, using appropriate non-manual behaviours.

Describing people and their clothes

The students will ask for and give descriptions of people and their clothes.

Review colour signs
Play Clip 8.1b: Colours and review the colour signs with your students. Reinforce their recall by using colour flashcards, with the students responding with the matching sign.

Play Scene P and ask the students how much they understand.

Seeing people communicating normally in NZSL in different situations is part of your students’ language learning experience. This experience will help them to develop strategies to make meaning across a range of contexts and to communicate more proficiently in NZSL.

Introduce vocabulary for clothes
Show Clip 15.1b, which covers the vocabulary for clothes.

Explain that the sign for HAT refers to a beanie. Play the clip many times so that the students can develop their signing skills using the presenters as their model. Hand out Worksheet 15.2 (Describing people and their clothes) for their reference.

Remind the students about the sensitivity to "visual noise" that Deaf people have, just as hearing people are sensitive to loud auditory noises. Brightly coloured and patterned clothing, as well as dangling jewellery or brightly coloured nail polish, can distract people’s eyes when they are conversing in NZSL. Ask your students whether they have experienced this sensitivity when exchanging information visually. What have they found particularly distracting?

Play "Guess who"

Divide the students into groups of five or six. Play "Guess who". They take turns to describe one of their group members, using this pattern: hair, eye colour, height, colour of top. The others guess who the person is by fingerspelling the person’s name or signing IX-she or IX-he. This task will develop the students’ reading skills as well as their signing skills. Remind them to avoid looking at the person they are describing so as not to give the game away!

To vary the task, one student could describe a person and the clothes they are wearing, and the other students could draw that person from the description. Then they check their understanding by showing their drawings to each other and the signer. Adding colours to the descriptions adds a further challenge.

Create a clothing poster
Have the students, in small groups, create a fashion poster on which they draw or make a collage of different colour and clothing combinations. Remind them to use illustrations that they can describe using the NZSL that they know. Then, using what they have illustrated on the poster, they make up a description that they present to the rest of the class.

What do they look like?

The students will give descriptions of people and clothes and will respond to other people’s descriptions.

Setting up the task
Hand out copies of the sentence patterns from the Unit 15 overview for their reference. Play Scene P. Use your copy of the Scene P transcript to guide your students’ understanding of the content.

Describe a person
Make small sets of cards, enough for one set per group, using the template on Worksheet 15.3 (What do they look like?). The students place the cards face up on a desk. Then they take turns to describe a person on one of the cards without saying which card it is or looking directly at the card. The first student to identify the card by pointing to it earns a point.

Signing descriptive sentences
For the next task, the students place all the cards face down.

One player turns a card face up. That player then signs four sentences about the person illustrated on the card while the others slowly count to ten.

If the player has not signed four sentences by the count of ten, the other students support the student’s learning until they have completed the task.

The focus of this task is on individual improvement through peer-assisted learning.

Play a describing game
Distribute two sets of the cards to each group of three students.

Deal four cards to each student. Place the rest in a pile.

The students place their cards face up on a desk, using a makeshift screen to hide their cards from each other. In this way, their hands are free for signing.

The object of the game is to get as many pairs as possible by asking each other whether they have a particular person. This means signing a description of that person.

When the students describe a person successfully, they get to take the card and get another turn. If the person they ask does not have the matching card, they pick up a card from the pile. The student with the most pairs at the end wins.

Tell a story
Now get the students to take turns to tell a story, following the guidelines in Activity 14.4 but adding a further card prompt: a description of a person. Tell them to look back at the feedback they received on their storytelling performances in Unit 14 and to strive to make the suggested improvements as they prepare for this task.

Get them to tell their audience about the aspects of their performance that they are trying to improve. Decide on the process you and they will use to enable them to review their own performance against their own criteria for improvement.

For example, you could:

  • record the storytelling performances so that the students can review their own and others’ performances and compare these performances with earlier ones
  • give them a sheet to use to assess the improvements specified for each person.

Discuss, feedback, feed forward, rewatch
Together, discuss each student’s performance and agree on the improvements each student has made. Play scene P again and find out how much more your students can understand.

Assessing progress

The students will assess their own and each other’s progress.

Go over assessment criteria
Use the assessment criteria (Worksheet 10.1) for Unit 10 and decide on the process you and your students will use to complete the assessment.

Prepare role-plays
The students now present role-plays.

Depending on their level of confidence with the new vocabulary and sentence patterns, choose from the following options. These range from controlled use of language to “free production”, which is where they create the content based on the language they have been learning.

  • They role-play a scenario, choosing either Scene O – Let's go shopping or Scene P – What a bargain
  • They make up a role-play about what they are going to wear to a party.
  • They make plans for a video they are producing. As part of their planning, they describe three characters and the clothes they will be wearing in particular scenes.

Present, watch, feedback, feed forward
Have them present their role-plays to the class. Record, view, and discuss these with the students for feedback on individual and class performances using the agreed criteria.

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