Image Alt

Lesson Tutor: ASL Past Tense Lesson Plan

  /  Lesson Tutor: ASL Past Tense Lesson Plan

American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English (SE)
Series 3 Lesson 9: Past Tense
By Elaine Ernst Schneider

In asl /english there are time indicators like today, tomorrow, last night, next year. etc… ‘I will go to the store tomorrow’ is English word order. In asl, does the ‘tomorrow’ come first and then ‘store go to I will’ or ‘tomorrow go store will I’? I am not sure which is first. MaryRather than answer your question off the top of my head, I have gone to The American Sign Language Phrase Book by Lou Fant. I will quote him but also add in some explanation. My words will be in brackets. Here is what Fant has to say about Time Indicators: 

“In order to sign the equivalent of ‘I saw you,’ it is necessary to use a time indicator. One may use signs that
will place the event in a specific time, such as ‘yesterday,’ ‘last night,’ or ‘this morning.’

[These phrases would come at the beginning of the sentence.] 

One may also use the “finish” sign [after the verb] to indicate no specific time, simply the past. 

[Most deaf that I know use the “finish” sign to indicate that the activity has just been completed.] 

The ‘past’ sign may be used instead of the ‘finish’ sign, which conveys slightly more information.

[Use of this sign usually indicates something completed further back in time than when using the ‘finish’ sign.] 

For a nonspecific future time, use the “will” sign. Notice that nonspecific time indicators such as ‘finish’ and ‘will’ usually follow the verb; however, they may come before the verb as well. Specific time indicators, on the other other hand, always come at the beginning of a statement. Context is used a great deal in ASL when establishing or determining tense. For instance, the signer may tell the watcher about an incident that occurred sometime in the past or that will occur in the future. The signer will first establish the time of the incident by using a time indicator sign; then the signer will never repeat the time indicator sign or use any additional ones. The watcher knows that all the events described by the signer occur in the time frame established at the beginning of the statement.” 

That’s a nice little summary by Lou Fant, don’t you think? I hope the info begins to answer some of your “time” questions. You might want to consider getting this book. I find it invaluable. Good luck in your ASL studies!!

 

picture of asl sign for 'tell'
picture of asl sign for 'finish'
'him' or 'her' in sign language pictures
tell
finish
him/her

Did you tell him/her?

diagram to show 'tell' in sign language
picture of 'finish' in asl
tell
finish

I told him/her.
Now you try:

  1. Did you eat your banana? I ate it.
  2. Did you drive to school? I drove.
  3. Did you sing in church? I sang.

Need to review your signs? Look them up in the Vocabulary Index Here 

'past' in sign language
waaaay past, or long ago, in asl.
past
long ago, in the past

Combination phrases:

combination phrase: ' last week' in a single sign for asl
'last year' in asl
last week
last year

 

Signs Description of Sign Action
finish Hold open hands (fingers spread) in front of chest, palms facing inward. With a sudden movement, rotate wrists so that palms face outward.
him/her Point in the direction of where someone is located. If no one is there, point to an “imaginary” person.
last week Place the back of a right “1” hand in the upward turned palm of the left hand. Then move the right hand to the right shoulder, symbolizing throwing the spent week over your shoulder. Note: To show 2 weeks ago, make a 2 with the right hand; for 3 weeks, use the sign for 3, etc. as the right hand moves to the shoulder.
last year Make an abbreviated sign for “year” (touch the “S” hands together). Then move the right hand to the right shoulder, opening the fingers during the movement. This symbolizing a year that has been thrown away (over the shoulder). Note: To show 2 years ago, make a 2 with the right hand; for 3 years, use the sign for 3, etc. as the right hand moves to the shoulder.
long ago, in the past Hands alternate back over the shoulder.
past Move the right flat hand backward over the right shoulder and “wave” slightly as if throwing the past behind you.
tell Use a right “d” hand to visually move the spoken word from the mouth into the air.

Continue on to ASL Lesson 10 – Opposites – click here.

Series 3 of our ASL lessons is available in a single, print-friendly file in our [email protected].
Submitted by: Elaine Ernst Schneider entered the classroom as a special education teacher in the 1970’s. Since then, she has taught mainstream English Grammar, Literature, music K-12, deaf education, psychology, Algebra, creative writing, social studies, law, and science in both public and private schools. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for multiple educational publishers and is the managing editor of Lesson Tutor, a lesson plan website found at https://lessontutored.wpengine.com. Her most recent books, 52 Children’s Moments (Synergy Publications) and Taking Hearing Impairment to School (JayJo Books and the Guidance Channel) can be found at Amazon.com. She is currently working on a project with Pearson Prentice Hall as an author of an on-line teacher’s professional development course for the Council for Exceptional Children.
More Articles by this author, Click Here
More lessons in American Sign Language,  Click Here

Add Four Numbers Worksheet Second Grade

Subtraction Word Problems Worksheet First Grade

Picture Addition – Sums up to 5 Worksheet Kindergarten – 2

Graph and Tally Worksheet Kindergarten

Picture Addition – Sums up to 5 Worksheet Kindergarten – 3

Picture Addition – Sums up to 5 Worksheet Kindergarten – 4

2 Digit Addition – No Regrouping Two Worksheets 2nd Grade

3 Digit Addition – No Regrouping Two Worksheets 2nd Grade

4 Digit Addition – No Regrouping Worksheet 3rd Grade

Picture Analogies Worksheet 1st Grade – 4

Picture Analogies Worksheet 1st Grade – 5

Picture Analogies Worksheet 1st Grade – 6

Picture Analogies Worksheet 1st Grade – 7

Picture Analogies Worksheet 1st Grade – 8

Tally Chart Worksheet Kindergarten

Addition Word Problems Worksheet Second Grade

Number Tracing – 1 to 10 Worksheet Preschool

Multiplication Worksheet Third Grade- 6

Multiplication Worksheet Third Grade- 5

Add Tens Worksheet 2nd Grade

Add Tens Worksheet 2nd Grade – 2

Add Tens Worksheet 2nd Grade – 3

Number Line Addition Worksheet 1st Grade

Multiplication Worksheet Third Grade- 4

Number Line Subtraction Worksheet 1st Grade

Multiplication Worksheet Third Grade- 3

Multiplication Worksheet Third Grade- 2

Number Line – Addition and Subtraction Worksheet 1st Grade

Shapes Tracing – Fourteen Worksheets Preschool

Multiplication Worksheets Six – Third Grade

Addition Doubles Worksheet Kindergarten

Multiplication – 2 Digit By 2 Digit Ten Worksheets 3rd Grade

Subtraction Worksheet Kindergarten 2

Addition – Single Digit Worksheet Kindergarten 3

Basic Addition Facts Worksheet Kindergarten

Addition – Single Digit Worksheet Kindergarten 2

Addition – Single Digit Worksheet Kindergarten –

Addition Doubles – Dice Addition Worksheet Kindergarten

Doubles Plus One Worksheet First Grade – 7

Doubles Plus One Worksheet First Grade- 6

Doubles Plus One Worksheet First Grade- 5

Number Patterns – Number Series Worksheet First Grade

Balancing Equations Worksheet Second Grade 3

Balancing Equations Worksheet Second Grade 2

Balancing Equations Worksheet Second Grade

Missing Numbers – 1-30 Worksheet Kindergarten

Multiplication Worksheet Third Grade

Biggest Worksheet Preschool 2

Biggest Worksheet Preschool

Smallest Worksheet Preschool 2

Smallest Worksheet Preschool

Numbers 1-10 Worksheet Preschool

Addition Facts – 1-12 Worksheet Kindergarten 2

Addition Facts – 1-12 Worksheet Kindergarten

Mixed – Addition/Subtraction Two Worksheets 1st Grade

Addition – Ways to make 5 – Making 5 Worksheet Kindergarten

Addition – Ways to make 5 – Making 5 Worksheet Kindergarten – 2

Addition – Ways to make 5 – Making 5 Worksheet Kindergarten – 3

Multiplication Four Worksheets 3rd Grade – 2

Number Bonds Four Worksheets 1st Grade

Multiplication – Repeated Addition Worksheet 3rd Grade – 4

Sides and Corners Worksheet 3rd Grade

Match the Shapes Worksheet Preschool – 8

Even or Odd Worksheet 1st Grade

Multiplication – Repeated Addition Worksheet 3rd Grade

Shapes – Triangle, Rectangle, Circle & Heart Two Worksheets Preschool

Missing Addend Worksheet 1st Grade Math – 3

Subtraction 1 Digit Worksheet Kindergarten

Circle the Picture that is Different Worksheet Preschool – 5

Making 7, 8, 9 & 10 Worksheet Kindergarten

Making 6, 7, 8 & 10 Worksheet Kindergarten

Hundred Chart – Number Chart 1-100 Worksheet Preschool

Number Chart – 1-50 Worksheet Preschool

Missing numbers 1 – 100 Worksheets – Two Preschool

Missing numbers 1 – 100 Worksheet Preschool

Missing numbers 1 – 50 Worksheets – Six Preschool

Fact Family Worksheet – Six 1st Grade

Fact Family Worksheet – Five 1st Grade

Number Line Subtraction Worksheets Eight – 1st Grade

Greatest Number Worksheets – Two Kindergarten

Alphabet Coloring – Letter Coloring – A-Z – a-z- Seven Worksheet Preschool

Balancing Equations Worksheet 1st Grade

Numbers in Words – Before and After Worksheets – Two 1st Grade

Multiplication Worksheet 3rd Grade- 6

Multiplication Worksheet 3rd Grade- 5

Addition Sentences Worksheets Two Kindergarten

Alphabet Coloring – Letter Coloring – A-Z – a-z- Five Worksheet Preschool

Fruits Coloring – Three Worksheet Preschool

Subtraction Worksheet Kindergarten

Missing Numbers – 1 -10 Worksheet Kindergarten

What comes between? Kindergarten 4

What comes between? Kindergarten 3

What comes between? Kindergarten 2

What comes between? Kindergarten

Missing Lowercase Letters – Missing Small Letters – Two Worksheet Kindergarten

Times Table 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 11 & 12 Worksheet 3rd Grade

Telling the Time Three Worksheets 1st Grade

Addition Worksheet – Sums up to 20 Four Worksheets 1st Grade

More or Less Comparison Two Worksheets Kindergarten

Basic Addition Facts Ten Worksheets 1st Grade – 3

Mixed – Addition/Subtraction Worksheets – Five Kindergarten

Addition/Subtraction Sentences Worksheets – Three Kindergarten

Circle the Picture that is Different Worksheet Kindergarten – 6

Doubles Plus One 1st Grade

Beginner Mazes Worksheet Preschool

Picture Addition – Beginner Worksheet Kindergarten

Basic Addition Facts – Ten 1st Grade

How many sides? – Number of sides -Triangle, Rectangle, Pentagon, Hexagon, Octagon Worksheet Kindergarten

Numbers 1-10 Worksheet Kindergarten

Times Table 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 Worksheet 3rd Grade – 2

Times Table 2, 3, 4 and 5 Worksheet 3rd Grade

Skip Counting by 2 – Count by 2s 2

Times Table 6, 7, 8 & 9 Worksheet 3rd Grade

Times Table 2 & 3 Worksheet 3rd Grade

Times Table 4 & 5 Worksheet 3rd Grade

Skip Counting by 2 – Count by 2s

Times Table 8 & 9 Worksheet 3rd Grade

Count back by 2s 2nd Grade 2

Times Table 6 & 7 Worksheet 3rd Grade

Count back by 2s 2nd Grade

Times Table 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 Worksheet 3rd Grade

2 Digit Addition with Carry-Over Worksheet Five 1st Grade

Multiplication Worksheet 3rd Grade

Multiplication Worksheet 3rd Grade – 2

Multiplication Worksheet 3rd Grade – 3

Multiplication Worksheet 3rd Grade – 4

2 Digit Subtraction with Borrowing Worksheet Six 1st Grade

Tens and Ones Worksheet Kindergarten

Tens and Ones Worksheet Kindergarten – 2

“What Comes Between?” Worksheet Kindergarten – 4

Alphabet Coloring – Letter Coloring Worksheet Preschool

Alphabet Coloring – Letter Coloring Worksheet Preschool – 2

Capital & Small Letter Tracing Worksheet Kindergarten – 8

Alphabet Coloring – Letter Coloring Worksheet Preschool – 3

Alphabet Coloring – Letter Coloring Worksheet Preschool – 4

1 More 1 Less Worksheet Kindergarten

1 More 1 Less Worksheet Kindergarten – 2

Adding and Subtracting Tens Worksheet 1st Grade – 2

Adding and Subtracting Tens Worksheet 1st Grade

10 More Worksheet 1st Grade

10 Less Worksheet 1st Grade

Subtracting Tens Worksheet 1st Grade

“What Comes Between?” Worksheet Kindergarten – 6

Making 10 Worksheet 1st Grade

Making 9 Worksheet 1st Grade

Making 8 Worksheet 1st Grade

Making 7 Worksheet 1st Grade

Making 10 Worksheet 1st Grade – 2

Making 4 Worksheet 1st Grade

Making 5 Worksheet 1st Grade

Shapes Worksheet Two Preschool

3 Digit Addition with Carry-Over Worksheet Five 1st Grade

10 More 10 Less & 1 More 1 Less Worksheet Four 1st Grade

Part Part Whole 1st Grade – 2

Part Part Whole 1st Grade

Missing Addend 1st Grade

Addition Word Problems 1st Grade – 7

Addition Word Problems 1st Grade – 6

3 Digit Subtraction with Borrowing Worksheet Four 1st Grade

Subtraction Word Problems 1st Grade

Addition Word Problems 1st Grade – 5

2 Digit Addition Worksheets Four 1st Grade – 2

Addition Word Problems 1st Grade – 4

Addition Word Problems 1st Grade – 3

Addition Word Problems 1st Grade – 2

Addition Word Problems 1st Grade

Square Root Worksheet 2- 6th Grade

Square Root Worksheet 3- 6th Grade

Square Root Worksheet 4- 6th Grade

2 Digit Subtraction with Borrowing Worksheet Four 1st Grade – 2

Square Root– 1-30 Worksheets 5th Grade

2 Digit Addition Worksheet Three 1st Grade

Square Root– 1-20 Worksheets 5th Grade – 2

Square Root– 1-20 Worksheets 5th Grade

Square Root– 1-30 Worksheets 5th Grade-2

Square Root– 1-30 Worksheets 5th Grade 3

Counting Worksheets Kindergarten

Count and Match – Numbers 1-10 Kindergarten

Draw Hands on the Clock Worksheet Kindergarten 2

Draw Hands on the Clock Worksheet Kindergarten

Numbers in Words Matching Worksheet Kindergarten 4

Longest and Shortest Comparison Worksheet – Two Kindergarten 2

Longest and Shortest Comparison Worksheet – Two Kindergarten

Numbers in Words Matching Worksheet Kindergarten 3

Doubles Addition Picture Worksheet – Two Kindergarten

Doubles Plus One Picture Worksheet-Two Kindergarten

Counting Worksheet Preschool

Picture Addition Worksheet 1st Grade

Picture Subtraction Worksheet Two- 1st Grade

One More One Less Worksheet 1st Grade

Big Bigger Biggest Worksheet – One Kindergarten

Big Bigger Biggest Worksheet – Two Kindergarten

Count and Graph Picture Worksheet – Two Kindergarten 2

Count and Graph Picture Worksheet – Two Kindergarten

Color by Number Worksheet Preschool 22

Color by Number Worksheet Preschool 21