ASL Literature

"ASL is visual literature, meaning stories are preserved and passed down from generation to generation by the act of signed storytelling instead of spoken or written down.  ASL is not a written language but this is not an uncommon occurrence in the world.  Languages that do not have a written form produce a specific type of literature called “oral literature.”  This is true of ASL, the tradition of passing on stories in the Deaf community relies on the act of live storytelling.  ASL was originally captured on film in 1913 by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).  ASL literature is currently being preserved by video recordings in order to preserve the creativity and beauty of the language. 

Literature is an important and treasured part of any culture.  For Deaf people, this part of Deaf culture helps to explain the Deaf identity, beliefs and the ways of life for Deaf people.  It is embraced, enjoyed and shared by the Deaf community and those who support the values and beliefs of Deaf people.  ASL storytelling is an amazing art and so much fun to watch."

ASL Literature Includes:

(1) ABC Stories                  
(2) Number Stories
(3) Handshape Stories
(4) Classifier Stories
(5) Jokes, Humor, Puns
(6) Poetry
(7) Folktales

Check out a classifier story from our previous lesson here.

Lesson Home

ABC & Number