Category Archives: ASL lessons

This Week’s Five Signs

This week, let’s learn family words.

I can’t get the direct links to Lifeprint’s FATHER and MOTHER signs to work, so I’m linking instead to a page with a line drawing for each. You’ll definitely want to watch the video demo for these.

Father. (Touch your thumb to your forehead with all your fingers pointing straight up.)

Mother. (Same sign, but thumb touches chin instead of forehead.)

(All ASL signs for boys and men are made near the upper part of the face. The signs for girls and women are made near the lower half of the face.)

Don’t use the illustrations at the previous link for the next two signs—I’ve never seen them done that way anywhere else, so perhaps that’s a regionalism. Use these instead:


Baby is just what you might expect—put your arms together like you’re rocking a baby.

This Week’s Five Signs

I have another great ASL website to recommend this week: ASL Pro. Like the ASL Browser, it offers free video clips demonstrating thousands of signs. There’s a special category for signs especially pertinent to little ones (“ASL for Babies”) as well as a separate dictionary of religious signs. There’s even have a quiz option so you can test yourself! Very cool.

Unfortunately, I cannot link directly to individual words in its dictionary (just as with the ASL Browser), so the links below will take you to still-photo-demonstrations of the signs. As always, I recommend looking them up in one of the video dictionaries in order to see the sign in motion.

OK, on to this week’s new signs:


Finish (or “all done”).



Help. *The illustration for this sign shows a closed fist on top of a flat palm. I learned it with the thumb of the fist pointing upward, as it is demonstrated on the ASL Browser. Also, this is a “directional” sign—while making the sign, your hands move in the direction the “help” goes—from me to you, for example, if I’m offering to help you; or from you to me, if I’m asking you to help me. The ASL Browser demos the basic sign (without direction), which uses a slight upward movement of the hands.

And a bonus: the sign for YOU is, not surprisingly, simply pointing your index finger at the person to whom you’re speaking. Which means you can now sign:

“Do you want more?” Sign: YOU WANT MORE, raising your eyebrows and leaning forward slightly to make it a question.


“You need help!” Sign: YOU NEED HELP

and lots of other simple sentences using last week’s words (yes, no, please, thank you, and hello).

Five Words

You’ve heard me enthuse about the joys of American Sign Language before. Wonderboy’s hearing loss is our entire family’s gain. I’ve decided to share the wealth by adding a new feature to Bonny Glen: Learn ASL in five words a week.

Here’s a link to the wonderful ASL Browser, a site featuring video demonstrations of hundreds and hundreds of signs. Its setup won’t allow me to link directly to a specific word, but there’s an alphabetical listing for you to peruse.

Most of the signs at this site are demonstrated through a series of still photos instead of video, but I can link to individual words there. I recommend visiting the ASL Browser for a live-action demo of the words as well.

So, this week’s Five Words:




Thank you.

Hello. (This one’s at yet another site—the video’s a little choppy.)

And finally, a big thanks to the folks behind all these sites, whose hard work brings the beauty of ASL to the world, free for the taking!