Sign Language Dictionary

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May I be excused?

May I Be Excused? in Sign Language

Learn how to sign may I be excused. It’s a great foundation for good table manners!

1. This is a three part sign. First sign “may” or “can”. This is done by making two fists and placing them knuckles facing out near the chest. Then move the fists forward in a small arc away from the body.
2. Next sign “I”. Simply place one pointer finger on the chest while tuck the remaining fingers on that hand into the palm.
3. Finally, for “be excused”, place one hand palm up in front of you. With the other hand, brush the fingertips across the first hand’s palm.
4. Associate each piece of this sign with the phrase it represents to help you remember the whole thing.

Teaching Tips:

  • Practice this sign before you actually need it! Set up a pretend meal with some stuffed animals and dolls. Practice signing “may I be excused” with your child as each furry friend or doll leaves the table. To extend the activity slightly, let your child be in charge and sign “yes” or “no” in response.
  • Activities for children that teach manners are very important. Have some fun with it and switch rolls though. Have a mix-up day that is not only fun, but models good behavior. Instead of your child asking to be excused, YOU ask you’re your child if you may be excused. They’ll love the silly mixed up day and you’ll get a chance to really teach good response and manners.

Transcript:
May I be excused? This is the sign ‘may’ or ‘can’ I (point to yourself) be excused (slide your hand across the other hand). May I be excused?