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Massapequa Observer - Schools

Sign Language Lessons At Fairfield

Silence was golden at Fairfield Elementary School when Massapequa High School’s American Sign Language (ASL) students taught fifth-graders how to communicate without uttering a word. The program, now in its 18th year, is hallmarked as a “wonderful learning experience for both the fifth-graders and the ASL students,” said ASL teacher Melanie Smith.

More than 40 ASL students prepared a series of 20 minute lessons on a range of topics such as sports, occupations, rooms in a house, feelings and weather. Before beginning the lessons, the fifth graders are divided into small groups so they have the opportunity to learn four different topics. The ASL students taught the lessons with the aid of props, SMARTBoards, role-playing and a multitude of games that effectively kept students engaged. The lessons culminated with a question-and-answer session about deaf culture and technological devices used by the hearing impaired today.

“The beauty of this program is that it inspires our students to take American Sign Language when they reach high school, “said Fairfield Principal Lori Dano. “Our teachers were proud to see so many former Fairfield students return today as presenters.”