An Easy, Improvisational Song Using Signing

An Easy, Improvisational Song Using Signing


(This song appears in my book “Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Rhythm Instruments for More for Active Learning.”)

Did you know that ASL is the fourth most widely used language in the United States, after English, Spanish, and Chinese? Many early childhood centers are introducing ASL words in their classroom. Research suggests it may actually may help hearing children with language skills.

The ASL sign for “please” is made by using your open hand to rub in a circle over your heart. The sign for “thank you” is made by moving your hand out and down, starting near your mouth as though beginning to blow a kiss. After learning this song, you and the students may use these signs in conversation for extra practice.

Children may be sitting or standing. Sing to the tune of “Frere Jacques”:

                        Please clap your hands,

                        (Make the sign for “please,” then clap)

                        Please clap your hands,

                        Clap, clap, clap,

                        Clap, clap, clap,

                        Thank you all for clapping,

                        (Make sign for “thank you,” then clap)

                        Thank you all for clapping,

                        Clap, clap, clap.

                        Clap, clap, clap.

Additional verses:

                       Please pat your knees…

                        Please pat your shoulders…

                        Please nod your head… 

Have the children suggest additional movements.

Learning benefits of “Please Clap Your Hands” include:

                        Curiosity (exploring music and movement)

                        Learning ASL words

                        Fine motor skills

                        Patterning (each verse has a “Please” section and a “Thank you”

                                    section, an AB pattern)

                        Social skills (sharing ideas and respecting those of others)

                        Improvisation and creative thinking



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