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Martin High School

World Cultures and Storytelling
 The art of storytelling is an appealing way to transmit
information. Since the beginnings of cultural history,
people have been passing on knowledge through the
speaking/listening process of storytelling. Subject areas
come to life when narrative is introduced. Language arts
seems a likely home for the art of storytelling; however,
storytelling techniques and process can support
exploration in many other curriculum area.

 Gossip = an example of modern storytelling

Storytelling in Deaf Culture
 American Sign Language has a rich literacy tradition. ASL is an
unwritten language, so the art of storytelling is very much a part
of Deaf culture. The storyteller and the story have an important
role to play in the bonding of the Deaf-World and the
transmission of its heritage and accumulated wisdom.

 Humor plays a strong role in storytelling. The visual/manual
modality of ASL creates special opportunities for humorists to
play with the rules of grammar to entertain and enlighten us.
Such humor also contains cultural messages and plays an
important role in cementing the society.
ASL Story Telling
 Story Telling is very important in ASL culture.
 Story telling is a form of literature in Deaf culture. This
is how information is communicated and passed down
from generation to generation

Forms of ASL Story Telling
 Metaphors
 Sharing life experiences
 Poetry
 ABC Stories
 Handshape Stories
 Number Stories

Important Features in ASL
 Uses appropriately animated facial expressions
 Knows how to use ASL role playing methods
 Uses bodyshift and eyegaze to model the characters in the
story as they communicate with each other
 Has a wide range of ASL vocabulary choices to accurately
represent the specific concept being conveyed
 Uses classifiers liberally
 Incorporates mime as appropriate
 Tells culturally appropriate and representational stories

 Metaphors are comparisons that show how two
things that are not alike in most ways are similar in
one important way. Metaphors are a way to
describe something.
 ASL Metaphor Example: Bird of a Different

•Stories in which
experiences are told
•Often humorous,
or of an important
ASL Poetry
 Based off of visual aspects instead of verbal/auditory
 Pleasing to the eye, not based off of sounds

In ASL Poetry, Poets Make Use of:
 Word signs that are expressed poetically using regular or modified hand
movements, palm orientations, and hand locations.
 Facial expressions that further add to the hand signs.
 Poetic expression through mouth and head movements.
 Rhymes or ideas through eye movements and eyebrow movements.
 Expressing ideas through body movements.
 Different speeds in signing different lines of the poem. One line, for example,
may be signed fast and another slow. Yet another line may be signed in a jerky
fashion to convey a particular meaning.
 Subtle and strong pauses between signs to emphasize an idea.
 Regular poetic devises like rhyme, rhythm, line, meter, and stanza.
 Features like classifiers, repitition, and assimilation.
 Figurative language like metaphor, personification, taking roles, and symbols

ASL Poetry
ASL Poetry
ASL Poetry
ABC Story
 A signed story that follows ABC order
 Each sign that is used has a specific letter handshape
and is signed in ABC order
 When signing an ABC Story, it is imperative that you
use role shifting and facial expressions. Most of the
meaning of your story comes from body language

ABC Stories
HandShape Stories
 An ASL story that only uses one handshape for all
 Facial expressions, and role shifting is very important!
Handshape Stories
Handshape Stories
Number Stories
 Stories that are made up of counting either forwards or
 Example: 0-10, 15-0 ETC
 Facial expressions and role shifting very important!
Number Stories