Crossroads Website: The Snowy Day

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The Review

This is an impressive website with ASL translations of 11 widely known stories.  This particular one is a beloved classic by Ezra Jack Keats. The clip is split into a five-minute story translation and a three-minute  bilingual glossary.  What kept me engaged was the Deaf master storyteller Lisa Cochran.  She manages to keep up with the animated pictures on the left. There is an animation of Peter flipping his arms to make snow angels. Features like that kept me engaged while I watched Lisa’s flying hands along with the captions. The story is centered on Peter who explores the winter wonderland in one day

Throughout the story, Lisa makes the pictures come alive as she describes them. I also liked how the background picture occupies just a bit more than half the screen with Lisa standing on the right. Snow “falls” on her  while she  signs. This scene is very cohesive and has nice pacing. I felt neither rushed nor bored.

Finally, the glossary is divided into three areas: ASL on the left side (a full half of the screen) and the right side split in two - (the top right with the target word standing alone and the original sentence it came from  at the bottom).  Lisa fingerspells the words first and then signs them. The bottom-right section also has a picture accompanying the original sentence. For 18 words, each word lasts an average of seven to 10 seconds. A deaf child would probably find the glossary easy to learn.  

Crossroads is an organization with a mission to educate Deaf children as bilinguals (and in some instances tri-linguals) using ASL to scaffold English language learning.

(https://texasdeafed.org/students/asl-storytelling-library)

More Information

  • Website Address: https://texasdeafed.org/students/snowy-day
  • Publisher/Producer: Crossroads (Educational Resource Center on Deafness)
  • Signer: Lisa Cochran
  • Director: Sonia Bridges
  • Product: Website
  • Format/Type:  Fiction (picture book/video) based on a classic story.
  • Videotaped signers
  • Features
    • Subtitles (open subtitles in English or Spanish but can use ‘auto-generate’  for a wide  range of languages since this is a YouTube clip)
    • Audio: English voiceover by the original storyteller
    • Aided Comprehension Contents: Bilingual glossary (voiceover, subtitled glossary in English, and the original English sentence from the story with the glossary word highlighted  in purple). The signer signs the highlighted word.
    • Story in Spanish
    • Vocabulary words from the story