SignWriting in Belgium
Flanders: Kasterlinden School for the Deaf

School For Deaf Children
Brussells, Belgium

Web Report from teachers at the
Kasterlinden School for the Deaf
March 30, 2005

Web Report #2
About SignWriting Publications

We have made a book that has only the drawings from the story Goldilocks in it. This will be used to introduce and have the children tell the story themselves. This can be used with all diffrent groups because there are no words or signs to be found. Children who want to tell the story to their classmates can tell as much or as little as they feel comfortable with....

1. Goldilocks & The Three Bears, SW Level 1
Workbook & Coloring Book

a. Did your students like this book? Were they eager to open it and use it? Did they color in it? Did they write rows of symbols and signs?

Because we introduced the story with a little theatre show, the students liked the book very much. We made the level one book with a red cover. And showed the level 2 book so the children know what is next. This book has a yellow cover.

We also adjusted the ASL to VGT. The children loved the drawings and the sign for ‘house’ was pretty clear to them. The first question most children had was: ‘Can we color the drawings?’. So we think that’s a big success.

The kids also liked writing the symbols and signs. Some children had more difficulties doing so because they did not know how to begin writing the symbols. What to draw first, how to start making this shape. We saw children making minor mistakes, they forgot to color the handshape black or forgot a thumb... but by doing so, we could show the children the effect of writing a mistake. If you forget a thumb, you get a whole diffrent handshape. And the meaning of the sign can even change....

b. Was the information clear? Were there specific questions that were hard for you to answer?

The children didn’t know what to do at first when they saw the rows of symbols. After a short explanation it was easy to just let them work, each at their own pace. Some children had questions about the book. Especially the students who have Dutch as their first language wanted to know why we didn’t write it down in Dutch. Why in SignWriting? And as you can imagine, that’s a big question to answer.

c. What improvements would you suggest? Would you add or subtract anything?

In the level 1 and level 2 book we made 2 different books. One for righthanded signers and one for lefthanded signers. We were curious if the children would notice it. We don’t think this has to be done for all books from now on, but we wanted to try and see the effect of it. Because one of our students was starting to feel a bit diffrent from the rest and was trying to change his dominant hand.

Here are some suggestions, lessons that can be related to working with the Goldilocks story.

-Telling the story again with pictures
-Using the colouring book.
-Practising SignWriting: in different ways (sand, paint, clay,…) a more creative approach.
-Working with handshapes: games, pictures, flashcards, ..
-Sort signs according to the parameters: the signs with the same handshape, the signs that are formed at the same place, …
-Sort signs from high to low: (Example below....ASL signs for: dreaming – who – Canada)


Another task
-Sort signs from left to right (which signs are made starting left): bishop, what’s up, hair, …


Other tasks...
-party game, memory, lotto (find the same cards),
-working with the topic: big – bigger- biggest, small- smaller – smallest, ..
-working with the number 3 continues next page...



Kathleen Heylen and Sara Geudens

Kasterlinden School for the Deaf
Dilbeekstraat 1, 1082, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Belgium

SignWriting in Belgium
Flanders: Kasterlinden School for the Deaf