World Languages
Material Type:
Assessment, Teaching/Learning Strategy
High School
Lesson Plan
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:
Text/HTML, Video

Lesson Plan - Daily ASL Journals (Activate)

Lesson Plan - Daily ASL Journals (Activate)


(Lesson Plan Image Source: Allison Terry)

This is a lesson plan designed to be used by World Language - ASL teachers to formally assess students expression. It is highly adaptable and is aligned with Utah State World Langauge Core Standards.

While this is called a lesson plan, it is really more of an ongoing assessment plan utilizing Apple Pages to create a Digital Daily ASL Journal that contains daily video logs (vlogs) based on a prompt given by the teacher. Students record their responses to the teacher prompt and submit these at the end of a unit for evaluation and to help the teacher determin what needs to be retaught before the final summative assessment for the unit.

STANDARDS ALIGNMENT: NL.IC.3 I can answer a few simple questions.


This lesson is a repeating lesson that students will use daily, in class. It will be used synchronously, and in person. (Lesson plan image source: Allison Terry)

They will need to make it up if absent. Make ups will need to be done in my classroom, with me. This is to encourage attendance and is a school wide initiative for next year.

The lesson will be to respond to a teacher given prompt (in ASL) that changes daily and is always related to the learning from the previous day’s lesson. The prompt will need to be carefully crafted to elicit the detailed response desired from students.

As the bell rings each day, the teacher will have everyone log in to their device and open their digital Daily ASL Journal (a Pages template). Students will need to copy the template page (first page after the cover) every day to create a new journal response. They may reformat this page or make additions to it to match thier personality, time permitting. The teacher will give two minutes for students to get logged in and duplicate the template page before giving the prompt for the day. The teacher will repeat the prompt up to 3 times, if needed. Students will then have 2-5 minutes, depending on the language level, to record their response to the prompt, put it in their digital journal, and save it.

Background for Teachers

To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of what vocabulary and grammar were taught the day before, as well as what foundational linguistic knowledge the students should already have from pevious lessons and units. You will also need to know what concepts students do not yet know so you do not give a prompt they are not yet prepared to respond to approriately.


Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will be able to respond in ASL to a daily teacher prompt which is also given in ASL on the content from last class period.

Success Criteria:

  • Students will record a video of their ASL response to the teacher prompt related to what we learned in class last time; this prompt will include apprioriate, varied, and correctly produced vocabulary and will utilize appropriate grammar principles as learned in previous lessons.

Example Unit

Transportation and Housing

Prompt: YOU ARRIVE-AT SCHOOL HOW? (The all caps indicates that this is a sentence that would be signed and not spoken.)

Learning intentions:

  • Students will be able to discuss transportation to and from school.

Success criteria:

  • Student will record a short video response to the teacher's prompt using appropriate transportation vocabulary choices for thier situation and will use the correct sentence structure of object-subject-verb.

The learning intentions and succes outcomes will be similar to that above, but will need to be updated daily depending on the level, unit topic, and grammar being assessed.


Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Step 2 Planning Instruction

Prior to this lesson, students will need to:

1) know the vocabulary that was taught during the previous day's lesson and be able to correctly pronounce that vocabulary, and

2) know the correct grammar structure to use when talking about the topic of this unit, and may need

3) understand how culture impacts the response that is expected from the student.

Continuing with the transportation and how do you get to school unit example from above, students would need to know at least the following vocabulary:


They would also need to know how to apply  the following grammar principle:


There is no culture content they need to know to be successful with this task.


Strategies for diverse learners

Students who don't like to record themselves or who struggle with technology can present live to me.

Students who

Step 3 - Instruction

Step 3 Instruction

The idea for this lesson came from the Apple Teacher portfolio : Integration : Activate section. They had a digital journal idea that was really interesting to me because I have been looking for an easy and clean way for all my students to journal using video and this Apple Pages template lets them do just that.

Many of the instructional proceedures have been included in previous sections, but I'll outline it all here:

We will build a daily routine that includes the following:

When students come into the room, they open and log into their devices and then immediately open up the Digital Daily ASL Journal and create a new page. If they have time, they can personalize this page with color and shapes and anything else they want to. The page must have a placeholder for the video they will record of themselves respoonding to the daily prompt and a place for the date. These two items must be prominent so I don't have to go looking for them when it comes time to submit them for grading. the template for this digital journal is attached.

Every day, as soon as the bell rings, the teacher has two minutes to take roll, and the students have that same amount of time to create thier new page from the template. You (the teacher) have to have taught them how to insert a new template page into their digital journal and practiced that skill with them a few times.

Once that two minutes is up, the teacher needs to stand at the front of the room and sign the prompt for the day. This should be something that is planned ahead of time and is strongly related to the new content students learned in the previous class. It should be crafted to be comprehensible for the student without being to hard or too easy. It should be designed to elicit the kind of response the teacher hopes to draw out of the student and should, therefore, not be a question that can be answered with a yes or a no. The teacher should repeat the prompt up to 3 times, as needed.

Once the teacher has signed the prompt, students may begin working on recording thier response to it. The teacher will need to have taught students how to record that video and save it to thier device using PhotoBooth, and who them how to access it from Pages to insert it into the page for the day. Students will get quite quick at this once they have done it a few times.

If there is extra time while other finish, students may add embelishments or personalization to their journal page.

Once the allotted time has elapsed, the teacher needs to direct students to finish and save their journal, and then go on to the next task on thier device or close their machine to prepare for direct instruction.

Grading can hapen daily or not, that is up to the instructor to decide based on their needs.

Step 4 - Assessments

Step 4 Assessments

The journal entries themselves are an assessment of mastry and competence. At the end of the unit or the year, they will serve as a reflective tool for students to go back through and see how much they have learned.

For me, the daily journal entries will be submitted at the end of each unit as part of a mastery check before the final assessment. They could be submitted more or less often than that.

I will not watch or grade each one, but I will choose 1-3 days from each student to watch, depending on which level and the length of each unit. Which days I choose will be based on what the prompt was and how closely it aligns with the standards that will be assessed on the unit final. This way, I hope to catch what I need to reteach before we get to the final assessment for the unit.

The entries chosen for grading will be evaluated using the attached rubric. The rubric should be reviewed with students at the very beginning of the year so they know what they will be graded on and can ask questions if they have them.

I will also keep a list of the content concepts from each unit handy as I evaluate the entries and mark which concepts students are struggling with so I can identify which sections to re-teach just before the final assessment.

In the previously mentioned housing and transportation unit, that list would look like this:

Object-Subject-Verb sentence structure

Housing vocabulary: HOUSE, DORM, #APT, fs-CONDO, LIVE, FROM

Transportation vocabulary: #BUS, #CAR, CAR, TRAIN, BIKE, WALK,COME-TO, ARRIVE

Directional vocabulary: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST

Question vocabulary: WHERE, HOW, WHO

Pronoun vocabulary: I/ME, MY, MINE, YOU, YOUR, YOURS

Real-world orientation

I would put a tally mark next to each item when I notice a student make an error and then review or reteach those in order of what was missed the most. AND I would not the error on the student's rubric. The rubric could be on paper, but I would use it in our LMS so it directly imports to our SIS.