Anchor Standard #8 ASL Tense
Benchmark #2 Defining Tense in ASL

OBJECTIVE Explicitly identify all three time-categories and apply them to given scenarios.



Lesson Materials:

• LCD projector
• Sentence Examples
• Tense Category Sheets
• Tense Word Class Cards
• Scissors and paste


Lesson Procedure:

Benchmark #2 ASL Tense Concept Development

ASL Formative Assessment AS #8, Benchmark #2

In this activity, we are asking students to articulate the labels for each time category. Students will be given a blank Time Category Sheet and they will be asked to paste the appropriate labels in to the correct columns.

Once students have completed this part of the objective, check to ensure that all students have appropriately labeled their charts.

Now hand out the TENSE word class cards or tiles (they are turquoise). State that any sign that indicates information about when the predicate is occurring (either BEFORE NOW, NOW, or AFTER NOW) will be represented by these word class cards/tiles.

Next, show the following ASL sentences. Ask students to (1) identify the sign in the sentence that indicates tense, and (2) place the Tense word class card or tile in the appropriate category of the Tense Category Sheet they just created.

Do the first one together. Play sentence #1:


Rewind the sentence and prepare the class to identify the point in the video where the tense marker appears. Play the sentence a second time, advancing it slowly (use the arrow-forward key to control the pace. When the tense marker appears students should all be signing, “STOP!” out loud when FINISH is signed.

Then, ask students to identify the category to which this tense marker belongs by placing a Tense word class card on in the appropriate column on their category sheets. Walk around the room checking everyone’s answers and display the answer on the board.