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Dolphin Day

Language Arts Lesson
for Dolphin Day

The students will develop their own form of classroom sign language.




  1. Share information with the students from the first two web sites listed how dolphins have been taught a form of sign language.  Lead to a discussion on American Sign Language and how people with hearing disabilities use sign language to communicate.  View the Sign Language web sites and teach the students a few signs.

  2. Tell the students your class is going to develop their own classroom sign language.  Work together to brainstorm a list of words for which it would be helpful to have a sign.  For example, recess, clean-up, book, pencil, write, desk, line-up, etc.  Make the list as long as appropriate for the age of the students.

  3. Break the class into small groups of 3-4 students.  Assign each group certain words of the brainstorm list.  They should work together to create hand signs for each of the words assigned.  

  4. Once the groups have created their signs, they may teach them to the rest of the class.

  5. Use these hand signs throughout the day (or longer) to communicate with each other.  The students have created their own classroom sign language!


Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Have the students write a story about an adventure swimming with a dolphin.

  2. Have a phonics lesson on the ph- sound.



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