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Unit 8 – MY HOUSE My home

Scene S – Nice place!


Come on.

Wow, look at the TV! It's huge!

Yeah, my uncle and aunt like watching DVDs.

This place is massive.

Yeah, great for a party!

Can you move the table and chairs over to the wall?

Joe and Charles:
No problem.

Lift on the count of three.

Can I help?

Yes, thanks. The table's outside.


Where's the toilet please?

The toilet's upstairs! Straight ahead then turn right.

Okay, thanks.

Where's Ben?

He's outside, why?

Zoe wants to dance.

Introducing the vocabulary

The students will learn some vocabulary for describing their homes and will explore some thinking processes that will help them to construct meaning.

Getting started
Play Clip 8.1a: Rooms, things in the home. Tell the students to focus on the new vocabulary for describing a home.

Replay the clip several times so that they can practise the signs along with the presenters.

Note that it is usual to use the sign for TOILET in NZSL, whereas there are a number of ways of referring to the toilet, including "loo" and "bathroom" in English. The same applies to the sign HOME. In English, we use words like "house", "home", and "place" interchangeably in some contexts. The students will also observe the use of non-manual markers for BIG and SMALL.

Working in pairs
Hand out copies of Worksheet 8.1: Vocabulary for the home. The students work in pairs and take turns to point to a word, with their partner signing the item they indicate.

Extend this task by asking them to interact with each other using these patterns.

First person: IX WHAT?

Second person: IX BEDROOM, IX-me HAVE 4 IX-me

Exploring thinking
The next task will enable students to explore their thinking. Play Scene S – Nice place!.

Ask the students “What information could you pick up from what you saw?”.

Replay the clip. Ask them whether they understood a little more, this time. If they did understand more, ask what helped them to increase their understanding. You have the Scene S transcript to help you with your questioning.

Probe their responses to find out which particular techniques the students use to make sense of the information so that they reflect critically on their thinking processes. Help them to explore new ways of making meaning by having them select one new technique to trial from those you discuss.

Encouraging "thinking" talk in the classroom, where the students habitually review and challenge their own thinking processes, will reinforce the learning focus.

Checking for understanding
The students now use the new technique they have chosen. Replay scene S. Ask whether the students now understand more. Tell them to write a comment in their workbooks about the usefulness of the technique.

Hand out copies of Worksheet 8.2, one copy to each pair of students.

Replay clip 8.1a. The students review the vocabulary by signing along with the presenters. Each pair completes the worksheet and then uses to check their entries.

Challenge the students to walk around their own homes, identifying the different rooms using the signs that they have learned. They could teach family members these signs. As they teach them, they could ask them "What techniques are helping you to learn these signs?".

Follow up this task with a class discussion on learning techniques, based on what the students find out as they teach family members some signs and what they are finding out about themselves in relation to the techniques they use to learn signs in NZSL.

Describing your home

The students will describe their own homes and will respond to similar descriptions from others.

Play Scene S. Hand out copies of the Scene S transcript so that they can check their understanding. Replay the clip as many times as needed for them to follow the dialogue with understanding.

Building knowledge and use of sentence patterns
Now move to a more explicit focus on building their knowledge and use of sentence patterns.  

Play Clip 8.2a: What things do you have in your bedroom? so that they can view the presenters modelling the sentence patterns.

Hand out copies of the sentence patterns from the Unit 8 Overview for their reference. Have the students notice how the presenters indicate the objects they are referring to by pointing in their direction. This is called real-world orientation indexing. Play clip 8.2a several times so that the students can practise the sentence patterns along with the presenters.

For the next task, have each student sketch a plan of their own home, showing the rooms. In pairs, one student asks a question and then the other one responds using these sentence patterns:

What does your lounge look like?


My lounge is big (small).


Extend the task by asking the students to add more information. Each student prepares a description of their home based on their sketch plan and using at least five sentence patterns.

When they are ready to present the information, place the students in groups and have them take turns to give their descriptions. The other students view each presentation and then respond by stating, in English, what was described.

This requires the students to use and develop their receptive skills, which include thinking processes for making meaning and constructing knowledge.

Learning to express colour

The students will learn to sign some colours and will use colour vocabulary to extend the descriptions of their homes.

Make flashcards of the colours in the Unit 8 vocabulary list:





















Use coloured card cut to the required size and glue photocopies of the NZSL signs to the back.

Collect items in the classroom that match the colours you are introducing. You may need to plant some items around the classroom to extend the range of colours before the lesson starts.

Signing colours
Play Clip 8.1b: Colours several times. Have the students sign the colours along with the presenters. Then challenge them to sign each colour as you point to an item or show a flashcard.

Hand out copies of Worksheet 8.3: What colour is it?. Have the students colour the frames of the colour signs to match the colour they represent. Doing this will give them an explicit link between the sign and its meaning. Play clip 8.1b again to reinforce this link.

Sentence patterns
Play Clip 8.2b: What is your favourite colour?. The students now practise the sentence patterns along with the presenters. They already have a copy of the Unit 8 sentence patterns to refer to.

Organise the students into groups. They take turns to present a description of their homes to the group, using their sketch plans to show where the rooms are. Their descriptions should include colours, for example:

The kitchen is white and blue.


Those viewing the presentation write down the colours and features described. Then they check with the presenter to see whether they have recorded the information correctly. Each correct response gains a point. The winner is the student with the most points at the end.

Ending the lesson
Play Scene O – Let's go shopping and Scene P – What a bargain!. Although the context here is shopping, challenge the students to focus on the colours they have been learning, as well as the thinking processes and techniques they’ve been experimenting with, to make meaning of words, sentences, and whole sections of the dialogue.

Use the Scene O transcript and the Scene P transcript to lead your questioning and to confirm their responses.

Communicating about your home

The students will assess their own and others’ progress in communicating about their homes.

Student presentations
The students are to present an interactive description of their homes. Tell them to use the sentence patterns and the vocabulary they have learnt in Unit 8 to prepare their presentations. Get them to interact in pairs. Ensure that the interaction involves asking questions and giving responses in order to request and provide information about their homes.

Set this up as a (virtual) videoconferencing session in which they role-play two friends communicating through the Internet about their homes. One person is coming to visit the other person for the first time, so they have a reason to exchange this information.

This task will allow you to assess their "free" production, that is, their creative use of language where they are using their knowledge of NZSL to make up their own descriptions from the range of sentence patterns and language they have been exposed to. The context provides an authentic purpose for communication.

Preparation and practice
Give them time to prepare and practise. Remind them of the learning outcomes for the unit. Play any of the clips, as needed, to assist them with their preparation. Discuss whether they wish to present in small groups or to the whole class.

If the students are confident enough to present to the class, then record their performances so that you can objectively review these with them afterwards.

Assessment criteria
Project the Unit 10 assessment criteria and go through each of the communication achievement objectives with the students and the measures they will use. In particular, talk about the objective "show social awareness when interacting with others" and discuss the kinds of behaviours that they will need to use to demonstrate this skill. For example, they can use such expressions such as FAR-OUT!

Student self-reflections
As they view the performances, either live or recorded, have them reflect critically on how well they have achieved the objectives.

Give them time to offer their feedback at the end of each performance, with suggestions for ways to improve. Have them evaluate their own performance by using a copy of the Unit 10 assessment criteria as well as by noting what others tell them about the skills and knowledge they need in order to improve.

Replay a scene from any of the previous units or from the three scenes used in Unit 8.

Giving your students lots of opportunities for extensive exposure to NZSL through modelling, explanation, and the use of NZSL to communicate effectively in a range of settings will develop their implicit knowledge of the language they are learning.

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