Friday, March 13, 2009

Deaf Awareness Day

Today is Deaf Awareness Day, so I've got a couple of stories to share that would be perfect to introducing young children to deafness or to just further their knowledge so they are accepting and respectful to those who are deaf.

Millman, Isaac.
Moses Goes to School.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, NY.

It's the first day of school for Moses, and like most children, he's eagerly anticipating reconnecting with his friends after a long summer vacation. However, when Moses arrives at school we quickly learn that he's attending a special public school for the deaf. Children at the school do basically all the same things that hearing children are used to: writing to pen pals, using the computer, singing and dancing, and learning how to read and write. It is important that children see the similarities between themselves and deaf children in order for acceptance and understanding to take place.

The book is truly wonderful and would open the doors for wonderful conversation. It would fit well in a classroom as part of a character education program featuring acceptance/diversity or even to just use to introduce students to sign language, as much ASL is provided throughout the reading.

Heelan, OTR/L, Jamee Riggio.
Can You Hear a Rainbow?: The Story of a Deaf Boy Named Chris.
Peachtree Publishers: Atlanta, GA.

Chris, a young boy, shares with readers how his deafness affects his life. He explains how he communicates with his family and friends: the use of sign language, visual clues, lip reading and hearing aids to compensate for his inability to hear words.

The illustrations, life-like body parts photographs added to the drawn clothing allows children to visualize the concept that deaf children look the same as hearing children. I think this really helps make a point! The story also does a wonderful job of showing children how children who are deaf are lacking one of their senses but make up for the lacking sense in other ways and is able to communicate feelings and thoughts just as well as hearing children.
This is definitely a book that would a wonderful addition to a unit about the 5 senses or to be used for teaching acceptance and diversity in the classroom!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to


style='clear: both;' Corey Schwartz said...

Thanks, Katie. I have a masters in deaf education (though I dont' teach anymore) and I am very happy to find out about these books. I checked on Amazon and I see that the Moses book is part of a series. I'm going to order it for my own kids. I signed with them a lot when they were babies.