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  • Writer's pictureLaura Alice

8 Sign Language Week Lesson Ideas

New Zealand Sign Language Week is coming up: This year is is May 6th - 12th.

As Sign Language is one of the three official languages in New Zealand, it is very important that we learn it in schools. This NZ Sign Language Week could be the introduction to sign language in your class, or could spark a passion in one of your students. As we have so many things we need to fit in during the school week, I have found eight amazing websites below that can help teach your class, and you, some sign language.

Keep Scrolling to the bottom where you can find some Sign Language Activities to try with your students…

Paradise Song - Signed by Waimarie Smith - Youtube:

This video has been one of my favourite activities that I have done with my classes.

This is a beautiful song, talking about New Zealand being Paradise, and you can follow along with the signing as you sing. My classes would always get excited to learn this, and they would go home and learn it off by heart. It could be a great School Assembly song too.

Deaf Aotearoa Resources:

Here is a website that gives lots of

different resources for you and your students.

There are books to read, communication tips to use when learning to sign, and most excitedly; you can learn how to sign the NZ National Anthem!

Deaf Aotearoa Youtube Page:

Deaf Aotearoa’s Youtube page has many videos teaching

the signing to songs, or teaching us to sign sentences.

Remember that sign language is different around the world, which is why this Youtube page will teach us the correct NZ Sign Language.

Sign Letter Spelling Poster:

Here is a printable Poster to teach how to sign each letter individually.

This poster will teach your class how to sign letters, as well as improving their spelling… win!

TKI Resources:

I cannot believe that I

only just found this page!

There are endless amounts of resources, with many different topics and units to suit your class and their lessons.

Learn NZSL:

This bright and colourful website has engaging animations that can take you through many different signs, topics, and ideas.

They have a large amount of content, so you may want to break the animations up and view only a small amount each day. I feel that you could sign fluently after going through these topics on the Learn NZSL website.

NZ Sign Language Dictionary:

This is exactly what you think.

If you are not sure how to sign a word, you can just look it up on this dictionary. They have videos to show you how to correctly sign.

NZSL Resources

Download NZ Sign Language Week posters for your school.

As well as some books with different sign language to use in different areas of daily life, and even some stories from New Zealanders.


As promised, here are some ideas on different activities you could do in you class, once you have learned some key words and phrases from the websites above.

Sign Language Activities for the Classroom

Note: These activities are to be done once your class

has learned some of the basic words and phrases.

  • Make a video of each student introducing themselves in sign language - edit together to share for a team assembly.

  • Make a book with photos of different words that have been signed

  • Make an Ebook with photos/boomerangs of words being signed

  • Make labels to put around your class with the sign for each object

  • In partners, have one partner sign a sentence and the other partner has to write it down on a whiteboard. They can see if what was signed and written actually matches.

  • Students pull sentences out of a hat and have to sign them on camera, make a small video.

  • Make their own sign language alphabet sheet by taking photos and labelling with the letter.

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