Signed English Scavenger Hunt

Signed English Scavenger Hunt

We hope you are enjoying The Signed English Downtown Scavenger Hunt!

If you scanned this QR code because you were wondering what it is, click here to download a .pdf of the Scavenger Hunt and try to find the first clue!

If you are in the middle of the Scavenger Hunt and you are lost, check out the map below for clue!


Signed languages are natural languages where people rely on sight and touch rather than hearing to communicate. They are used predominantly by people who are deaf or have impaired hearing. Visible cues from the hands, eyes, facial expressions, and movements take the place of spoken words to allow for communication. Similar to the many different spoken languages found around the world, there are over 300 manual languages employed by people in different areas, with many more smaller dialects and sub categories for increased diversity. Some languages, like the signed English language you will be learning in this scavenger hunt, use separate hand movements for each letter of the alphabet that can be used in series to spell specific words. Other sign languages, like American Sign Language or Auslan Sign Language (used predominantly in Australia) have movements for whole words or phrases.


  • While sign language is used mostly by those with hearing impairments, it can be useful in a variety of other situations. In the 1970s, a gorilla named Koko was taught basic sign language and was seen to have the conversational capacity of a small child
  • While spoken and signed languages have many similarities, they do not mirror one another. There are grammar rules in sign language like eyebrow movements, eye movements and where the sign occurs in relation to the body that do not occur with spoken languages. And, just like spoken languages, the use of incorrect grammar will cause confusion
  • Instead of signing out each individual letter in a person’s name, they often take on a unique sign that they use to introduce themselves to others. These are called ‘name signs’ and can be compared to a nickname

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