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Deaf  Culture  &  History    


Week 1 Topic: What is Culture? Deaf Culture? Course Learning Outcomes At the end of the course, students will be able to: 1. Analyze the components of Deaf Culture, including Deaf values, norms, and identity. 2. Classify different categories of hearing loss and identify several causes of Deafness. 3. Discuss the impact of Deaf children in hearing and Deaf families. 4. Examine and compare different communication systems. 5. Identify key events in Deaf History and their current impact on the community. 6. Compare issues and trends in Deaf Education 7. Assess laws and policies that support or supposedly support the Deaf Community. 8. Compare and contrast technological impact on the Deaf Community. 9. Examine the prominence of ASL for the Deaf Community 10. Develop understanding and appreciation of language and traditions in the Deaf community through Folklore, ASL Literature, and the Arts. 11. Examine the significance of sports in the Deaf Community. Student Learning Opportunities At the end of the lesson, students will be able to: 1. Brainstorm cultural values for a variety of cultures in a chart provided by teacher (and this would be aligned with course outcome #1) 2. Determine what aspects of the cultures are observable and what can only be experienced and apply this towards Deaf culture values, norms, and identity. (and this would be aligned with course outcome #1 & #9) 3. Examine several key elements in Deaf history and the linguistics of ASL by using a pre-quiz. (and this will be aligned with course outcome #5) Assessment Informal assessment technique(s): • Instructor will use modeling, commenting/giving feedback, and rephrasing if needed for new ASL literature and cultural terminology taught during the session. Other techniques include encouraging a struggling student to ask peers for assistance in producing (or comprehending) ASL phrases. Comprehension checks are integrated throughout the activities and lecture to ensure students understand the new material. Systematic observation is used throughout class time, making mental notes of students’ understanding of culture and their involvement in the classroom and group discussions. Critical thinking is also integrated throughout the classroom discussion by providing with questions of nature that allows for an opportunity for deeper understanding of the material.

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Formal assessment tool(s): • Teacher will use rubric (see appendix F) to assess students’ journal entries. Materials Needed • • • • Computer Internet Access LCD Projector Comparative Chart Teacher Resources Deaf Culture Comparative Chart:

Prior to Class Session • Post Syllabus to Learning Management System, e.g. Desire to Learn (D2L)


• Copy Culture Comparative Chart Worksheets Prepare quiz questions on Worksheets Lane, H., Hoffmeister, R., & Bahan, B. (1996). A Journey into the Deaf-World. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress Mindess, Anna. (2004) Reading Between the Signs: A Cultural Guide for Sign Language Student and Interpreters. Boston: Intercultural Press. Moore, M, & Levitan, L. (2003) For Hearing People Only: Edition 3. Rochester, NY: Deaf Life Press. New Vocabulary & Information • • • • Value Norm Identity Deaf vs. deaf Lesson Plan 1. Take Attendance a. Use Roster List (Appendix A) 2. Introductions (10-15 min) a. Remind students the prerequisite of completing ASL IV with a grade of C+ or better is required for this course. ASL Literature will be discussed in future class sessions, so it is imperative that they are comfortable with their ASL comprehension and expressive skills. b. Introduce yourself, allow other students to introduce themselves as well. 3. Ice Breaker Game (20 min) a. Elephant Game (see Appendix B for instructions) 4. Discuss Syllabus & Expectations (15 min) 5. Pre-Quiz & Discussion (30 min) a. Use b. See appendix C for ideas for questions c. Open discussion 6. Group Activity (45-60 min) a. Comparative Chart: Deaf & Ethnic Cultures Handout (see appendix D) b. Break into Groups of 5’s i. Discuss whether each group has a distinct culture trait. Put down yes, no, or somewhat/sometimes. c. Agree on a definition for the word “culture” d. Present to class your summary of the group discussion 7. Lecture (30 min)- see PowerPoint slides in appendix E a. Formal definition of cultures discussed. b. Iceberg Theory by Anna Mindess i. An iceberg has a visible section above the water, and another invisible section below the water. Visual features of culture traits can be observable. Other features of culture traits can only be experienced through beliefs and values. (Mindess 9) ii. Discuss what is observable, and what can only be experienced. 1. Discussion of examples regarding Values, Social Norms, Identity, Etc. a. Discuss terminology for Culturally Deaf vs. deaf 8. Wrap-Up (10 min) a. Follow up questions to ensure that the material taught was understood b. Assign Homework


Deaf  Culture  &  History    


Assignment Journal #1: What culture(s) do you identify yourself with? What are two or three ideal values of your culture(s)? How do you decide who is “in” or “out”? Appendix A. Roster List • Provided here B. Elephant Game Rules: • One of the most well known cultural activities enjoyed by Deaf individuals of all ages • Rules: o “To play the Elephant Game, players (often called elephants) are arranged into a circle and face inward towards the caller or pointer who stands in the middle. That person points to a player who must immediately form the elephant trunk by placing two S handshapes together in front of his or her nose. The two players on each side of the person forming the elephant trunk create that person’s elephant ears using the B or Open B handshapes, completing the arrangement. If no errors are made, then the caller/pointer selects a new person to become the elephant and the game continues. However, if a handshape or location error is made, then the player or players who made the error are eliminated. The game continues until only the caller/pointer and two players remain, leaving three final players who win the game. Advanced players of the game often continue the game beyond this point with these additional steps: The caller/pointer continues to point to one of the two players. The player pointed to forms the elephant trunk, while the second player must lean over and form both elephant ears on that person. The caller/pointer continues to select who becomes the elephant. When one of the last two players is eliminated, the caller/pointer steps in to continue the game. Without being called or pointed to, the two players alternate forming the elephant trunk and ears until an error is made. The last player remaining wins the game.” Signed Media, Inc. (Retrieved from:

C. Pre-Quiz Deaf Culture & History Ideas: 1. Let’s Practice: Text in your first name 2. Sign Language is Universal. T/F (false) 3. Who was the third founder of the American School for the Deaf in addition to Gallaudet and Clerc? (Cogswell) 4. Approximately what percent of Deaf people who marry are married to other Deaf people? (90%) 5. The percentage accuracy for a person who lip-read is between 30% to 40%. T/F (true) th 6. What graduate of the Kansas School for the Deaf played professional baseball in the early 20 century? (Hoy) 7. All Deaf people know sign language. T/F (false) 8. Historically, ASL was influenced by three groups of people? Name them. (French LSQ, Martha Vineyard Sign Language, & Indian Signs) 9. What is the name of Gallaudet student newspaper? (The Buff and Blue) 10. What is your favorite thing about being part of the Deaf world or learning about it so far?


D. Comparative Chart for Deaf & Ethnic Cultures: (Retrieved from

E. PowerPoint Slides- see separate file F. Rubric for Journal Entries

Category) Contents) Support) Organization)

3) Shows&a&full& understanding&of& the&topic& Uses&2&or&more& examples&& Journal&entry&is& logical&and& effective&to&read.&& No&spelling&or& grammar&errors&

Mechanics) &

2) Shows&a&good& understanding&of& the&topic& Uses&at&least&1& example& Journal&entry&is& generally&logical& and&effective&with& few&minor& problems& Some&spelling&or& grammar&errors&

1) Shows&a&poor& understanding&of& the&topic& Uses&no&examples&& Journal&entry&lacks& logical&order&and& organization& Many&spelling&and& grammar&errors&