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Kid's ASL sign for: bear

A large, heavy, mammal that walks on the soles of its feet, with thick fur and a very short tail.

Signing at age 4 in the video above.

drawing of bear

Storytelling

The Three Bears and the Goldilocks.

Juli at age 5 retells the story about the three bears in ASL from her memory and heart that she remembers it well from a long time ago.

Phonological acquisition

This video shows a time lapse of the phonological development from age 0 to three for the ASL word "bear".

This sign begins with the handshape "5", one of the unmarked handshapes. Eventually, she was able to control the fingers to form a "claw".

Proximalization: An infant develops a control (motor skill) of the joints from the shoulder to the elbow to the wrist and knuckles of the fingers.

In this process, you can see the child above signed in bigger movement patterns from the shoulder (the joints most proximal to the torso) and gradually to the wrist and knuckles (the joints most distal to the torso). It takes a long time to develop this ASL sign (BEAR) including crossing the arms.

Note: I had caught her crossing her arms (non-linguistically) a few times long before she could sign BEAR with the crossed arms.

Related signs: MUSIC (proximalization).