Fingerspelling is the process of spelling out words by using hand shapes that correspond to the letters of the word. A set of hand shapes used to spell words is know as a “manual alphabet.” There are many different manual alphabets throughout the world. American Sign Language uses the ASL Manual Alphabet. You may also see the ASL Manual Alphabet referred to as the American Sign Language Fingerspelled Alphabet.
In American Sign Language, fingerspelling is used to indicate places, names, or ideas for which there is no official sign. Fingerspelled words can also be used if you do not know the sign for something. A college level English dictionary has approximately 180,000 words in it. A comparable ASL dictionary only contains around 10,000 signs for words. Thus, there are a lot of words that have no sign and ASL is essential in helping communicate to those that rely on this language.
Every human being expresses themselves differently, and many children are visual in nature. Coloring is a fertile vehicle for self-expression as children make color decisions and flesh out the boundaries of a coloring page, sheet or book Coloring is also calming and therapeutic for students, especially if they have no other outlet for unpleasant or confusing emotions. Even students who fall into the “normal” range of emotional health can benefit from processing their feelings, frustrations and emotions though the simple but profound act of coloring.