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An author, lecturer, and advocate of empowerment among the handicapped, Helen Keller was the first deafblind person to have earned a bachelor of arts degree.
See the fact file below for more information on the Helen Keller or alternatively, you can download our 17-page Helen Keller worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Helen Adams Keller was stricken by an illness that left her blind and deaf at age two. Beginning in 1887, it was Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan who helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate.
- She was the first of two daughters born to Arthur H. Keller, an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and Katherine Adams Keller. The family’s income came from the cotton plantation and later her father’s work as the editor of North Albanian newspaper.
- Born with her senses of sight and hearing, young Helen began speaking at 6 months old and started walking at the age of 1.
- However, Keller contracted an illness called “brain fever” by the family doctor. It produced a high body temperature in 1882. Some experts believe it might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. At 19 months old, Helen had lost both her sense of sight and hearing. Helen’s mother noticed the change with her daughter when she didn’t show any reaction when the dinner bell was rung, or when a hand was waved in front of her face.
- Young Helen grew up with their cook’s daughter, Martha Washington who had created a type of sign language with her. At the age of 7, Helen and Martha already invented more than 60 signs to communicate with one another.
- In 1886, Keller’s mother looked for answers and inspiration. She came across a travelogue by Charles Dickens, American Notes and read about the successful education of another deaf and blind child, Laura Bridgman, and soon dispatched Keller and her father to Baltimore, Maryland to see specialist Dr. J. Julian Chisholm. After examining Keller, Chisholm recommended Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, who was working with deaf children at the time.
- Michael Anagnos, suggested Helen work with one of the institute’s most recent graduates, Anne Sullivan. And so began a 49-year relationship between teacher and pupil.
KELLER AND SULLIVAN
- Sullivan went to Keller’s home in Alabama on March 3, 1887. She began by teaching Helen, who was six years old, fingerspelling, starting with the word “doll,” to help Keller understand the gift of a doll she had brought along. She also taught other words such as water, milk, teacher, and Helen.
- As Helen began to show tantrums, Sullivan requested from the family that they be isolated, so that Keller could concentrate only on Sullivan’s instruction. The two moved to a cottage on the plantation.
- Keller began speech classes at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston in 1890. She would toil for 25 years to learn to speak so that others could understand her. She attended the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York City from 1894 to 1896. There, she worked on improving her communication skills and studied regular academic subjects.
- By 1896, she attended the Cambridge School for Young Ladies, a preparatory school for women. Keller already mastered several methods of communication, including touch-lip reading, Braille, speech, typing and finger-spelling. Keller wrote her first book, The Story of My Life with the help of Sullivan and Sullivan’s future husband, John Macy.
- At the age of 24, she graduated, cum laude, from Radcliffe in 1904. After graduation, Keller became a member of the Socialist Party and by 1909 and 1921, she wrote several articles about socialism and supported Eugene Debs, a Socialist Party presidential candidate.
LATER LIFE AND DEATH
- At age 75, Keller embarked on a 40,000-mile, five-month trek across Asia. She delivered numerous speeches and appearances and brought inspiration and encouragement to millions of people.
- In 1961, Keller suffered a series of strokes and spent the remaining years of her life at her home in Connecticut.
- On June 1, 1968, few weeks before her 88th birthday, she died in her sleep.
- Helen Keller was invited to the White House by every US President starting with Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson.
- Her life inspired and educated many who see handicapped people differently. Keller manifested courage, perseverance, and intelligence throughout her life as manifested in her works and speeches.
Helen Keller Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Helen Keller across 17 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Helen Keller worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about an author, lecturer, and advocate of empowerment among the handicapped, Helen Keller who was the first deafblind person to have earned a bachelor of arts degree.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Helen Keller Facts
- Amazing Helen
- Adversity of Life
- Extraordinary People
- Character Reference
- First Words
- The Braille Alphabet
- My Teacher, My Hero
- Technology Today
- Speaking Keller
- The Miracle Worker
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.