Sometimes the best way to explain something, is to act it out. Just do it. There are many things that explanations cannot help people to understand. There are times we just need to act out what we want to teach:
- Act out words. Sometimes the easiest way to say something is to just do it. The best example I know is “open the umbrella.” Many new deaf workers will try to sign every word. However, just act as if you are opening an umbrella. There are many times, you just act it out. “Throw the ball?” Just act as if you are throwing the ball. You can also add more details on how you throw the ball. Throw it far. Throw it near. Throw it the wrong way. Simply by acting as if you are throwing the ball, you can add a lot of detail and other information as to how the ball was thrown.
- Acting can explain some words. In the Philippines, I once asked the deaf what proud and humble meant. Their idea of humble was “poor.” Their idea of proud was “rich.” I explained what the words really meant by acting it out. One time I was waiting in line at a grocery store. An obviously poor lady did not want to wait. She literally pushed me aside while knocking items off the shelf. She was proud, but poor. (Often explain proud as, me thumbs up, you thumbs down. Humble is me thumbs down, you thumbs up.)
- Act out Bible stories. I often act out Bible stories when I preach. It makes the stories come alive and helps the deaf to both understand and remember the story. Make sure to tell the story according to the Bible. Do not add or take away for the Biblical teaching for any reason. Acting out Bible stories will make the action clear.
More next time: Act It Out (2)