The Helen Keller Story.  Catherine Owens Peare

Thomas Y. Crowell, Inc., 1959; Awarded 1962.

Synopsis: A serious fever destroys Helen Keller's sight and hearing during her second winter. When Helen is six, Miss Annie Sullivan, from the Perkins Institute for the Blind, becomes her teacher. After months with little success, Annie finally teaches Helen to communicate through language, and Helen becomes an eager learner. After graduating from Radcliff College with honors, Helen devotes herself to working with and for the blind and deaf. This well-written biography tells the story of a remarkable woman who overcame her physical handicaps to achieve more than she herself ever dreamed of.

Themes: Keller, Helen--Biography; Physically handicapped; Blind-Deaf-Mute; Perseverance.

Author information: Something About the Author, volume 9; More Junior Authors, 1963.

Discussion Questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. Did you think Annie Sullivan was a good teacher for Helen? Why or why not?
2. What did you think was the most exciting part of the book? Why?
3. What quality of Helen's impressed you the most? Why?

Activities:
1. What is it? Have the group find partners. Half the group is blindfolded; the other half gives their partner a variety of cut fruits and vegetables. Those blindfolded, touch, smell, then taste each piece. They then try to guess what the food is. Change roles, so that the other half of the group is blindfolded (their samples should be different from those given to the first group, and should be out of sight until used.)  Standard 3, Benchmark 2
2. Contour drawing. Each person is given paper and a pencil. They may look at the paper only to put their pencil in the place they wish to start. Ask them to hold their other hand out to the side, then draw their own hand without looking at the paper. Now try to draw an object or another person in the same manner. This can be made even more difficult, by blind-folding the drawer and having them sketch an object or another person’s hand simply by feeling it.  Standard 3, Benchmark 2
3. Charades. Write various actions on slips of paper, fold, and put into a large container.  Have the children take turns drawing out a slip of paper and trying to get the rest of the group to guess what the action is. The rule is no talking allowed.  Standard 3, Benchmark 4