Online ASL Classes (ASL 3 – Unit 7)

ASL 3 – Unit 7

Handshape Stories and Deaf Jokes

In this unit of the online ASL classes, you will be learning about handshape stories and Deaf jokes.


Conversation Review 7.1

Turn to page 12 in your workbook. In the video below, Crystal, Christine, and Cristian will have a conversation. Answer the questions in your workbook.

ASL Literature

Deaf people highly value the literature and art of their culture. There is a wealth of Deaf art, poetry, stories, theatre, media, jokes, and books that teach the culture (most of which are not in a tangible form). Deaf children learn how to fit in with Deaf culture from positive and negative feedback about their behavior and from the stories and literature that are passed down through the generations.

ASL Handshape Stories

Handshape stories are a creative and more simple form of storytelling and poetry in ASL. Handshape stories are stories that are signed using the letters of the alphabet, numbers, or other handshapes. There are three kinds of handshape stories:

  1. ABC Stories – ABC stories use only the handshapes of the manual alphabet in order from A to Z.
  2. Number Stories – Number stories are like ABC stories, but use numbers instead of letters in a pattern.
  3. One Handshape Stories – One-handshape stories are stories that use only one handshape throughout the entire story.

When signing these stories, you need to follow all grammatical rules as well as keep it in an organized sequence.

Deaf Jokes

Deaf jokes are also an essential part of Deaf literature and are usually passed down “orally”.

There are two main types of jokes in Deaf culture. The first type is a joke in which the Deaf person wins. These jokes don’t necessarily make fun of hearing people, but they favor Deaf culture and the Deaf way of life. The second type is a joke related to the linguistics of ASL. For example, the production or misproduction of a sign can be humorous in certain situations.

Deaf Jokes Practice 7.2

Turn to page 13 in your workbook. In the video below, Crystal will sign 2 Deaf jokes. Answer the questions in your workbook.

Check your answers in the back of the book. Then go back and review the questions you missed.

Expression Assignment 3-4

To practice your expression skills, I want you to use your webcam (or a video camera) and sign a Deaf joke. Then, go back and watch your video. This is a great way to practice your expression skills and be able to critique your own signing.

Or, you can check out The Start ASL Tutoring Program. Personalized ASL tutoring is a great way to practice what you’ve learned. You can practice this assignment with an ASL tutor and get instant feedback! Book an appointment with The Start ASL Tutoring Program today!