Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!


Take a wild guess what the sign above is. Yes, that’s the sign for monkey and the fingers move in and out towards the palm a bit…and let’s face it, it’s hard to do that sign with out adding a verbal “Ew, ew, ew” monkey call! That’s one of the beautiful things about American Sign Language – many of the signs are obvious, iconic and representational. This is especially true of animal and food signs. Many others make perfect sense as well, but some are not immediately obvious, but rather representational of the time period when American Sign Language was created – the early 1800’s. Great examples are the signs for boy and girl which represent the tweed caps that boys wore at the time and the braids or bonnet strings that girls had in the 1800’s. Learn from a teacher like me who is fluent in American Sign Language and has studied it as long as I have, and you’ll receive the benefit of my longstanding knowledge of this beautiful language. In my classes, I teach memory aids and mnemonic devices to help parents remember the signs, and families and educators routinely say my descriptive memory aids are what helped the signs to “stick”.

In my four-week Hop to Signaroo series, we cover animals signs in week three and it’s always fun to see the daddies rock back and forth in their seats, representing a penguin’s waddle or hear the mommies make up their own memory aids to remember some of the other animal signs. Ask me in person about the NC-17 memory aid one mom created to help her remember the sign for zebra. It’s clever, a little X-rated but funny. Yes, we do have fun in class and parents are always looking for fun ways to incorporate signs into their typical routine and beyond. Well, I’ve got ya covered with all my techniques in class for your daily routine, as well as ideas for incorporating signs into songs and stories…and now a FREE visit to to Woodland Park Zoo to practice your animal signs!

Seattle-based Starbucks has been thanking it’s loyal, local customers with We-Love-You-Fridays and free tickets to cultural events and venues around town. Tomorrow, June 8th, Starbucks is giving away one free adult admission when you stop at a participating Starbucks and request one. There is no purchase necessary and the tickets can be used for visits to the zoo between June 17th and July 31st. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my, what a great opportunity to visit the zoo and practice your animal signs!  Details are here. Have fun and if the chimps sign back, tell them I sent you!  ;0)

UPDATE:  Ooops, tickets are not being given out until 3 p.m. today.  Sorry, I missed that detail, but it does sound like you can have more than one ticket…if you ask nicely.

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