Sign Language Dictionary

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Turtle in Sign Language

Learn how to sign turtle. They’re so cute!

1. Make a fist and extend your thumb straight out. Hold the hand at about chest height.
2. Take your other hand and cover the first, allowing the thumb on the first hand to stick out.
3. Wiggle the thumb up and down a couple of times.
4. This sign looks like a little turtle’s head (the thumb) sticking out of its shell (the second hand). Use this visual to help you remember the sign.

Teaching Tips:

  • Make a turtle shell out of a box. Let your child decorate it and then crawl underneath and pretend to be a turtle. Sign while you play.
  • Children’s Museums often provide preschool learning activities where they can observe real turtles. See if there is one in your area where you can visit some turtles. If no museum is available, perhaps try a local pet shop. Sign turtle while you observe him moving around in his shell – looking a lot like the sign!

Turtle! Your thumb is the turtle’s head and your other hand is the shell. Now make his head nod. Turtle!