Show Me a Sign by Anne Clare LeZotte is a unique and wonderful story that has drawn wide acclaim for her representation of Mary, a girl growing up deaf in 1805 in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard. Chilmark is a special place where ASL is universally known and social norms have evolved such that everyone feels included.
This book is rich in themes that inspire discussion about a wide variety of topics, such as the loss of a sibling, cultural oppression, fear of others, devaluing others, land and property rights, racism, and ableism. This set of discussion questions is mainly focused on themes surrounding growing up deaf in an inclusive community. Below you will find: Questions specific to the central theme of growing up deaf in an inclusive environment; Favorite Quotes; General Discussion Questions; Questions about the Author and recommended reviews.
Questions about growing up deaf in an inclusive community
Do you have a favorite quote from the book? Why did it stand out? Or, select any of the following quotes and discuss why it offers insight into deaf life:
I think I see mama call out to me from the corner of my eye.
I watched her mouth move, her brow pulled down in a scowl. She is yelling at me without signing.
I scream a scream I cannot hear.
I put my hand on the door to feel the vibrations. Nothing but quiet.
I must gasp because Nancy places her hand over my mouth.
Does the shell still make a sound without George’s ear to hear it?
I remain standing so I can express myself with my whole body and not just my hands.
He was signing to no one in particular.
He was opening and closing his hands like he was gathering words out of thin air.
She hushes my hands.
His signs seared my mind.
There are many reviews of this book, here are a few we found interesting for their discussion about Ann’s representation of the Wampanoag tribe.
Review by the School Library Journal, December 19, 2020, https://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/07/01/review-of-the-day-show-me-a-sign-by-ann-clare-lezotte/
Review by Indigo’s Book Shelf, October 26, 2019, https://indigosbookshelf.blogspot.com/2019/10/show-me-sign-by-ann-clare-le-zotte.html
About Walk In My Shoes
The Walk In My Shoes Program offers fun, interactive activities designed to provide schools with tools to encourage and foster a welcoming environment for all students. This program can be used by educators to help children learn about developmental delays and medical conditions issues, take the perspective of others, and identify strategies they can use to support a friend.
A parent's greatest hope is that their child will feel welcome and safe at school and in their communities. Please share the Walk In My Shoes Program information with teachers, counselors, principals, and PTA presidents today. For more information visit: www.walkinmyshoesprogram.org