the miracle worker by william gibson
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The Miracle Worker by William Gibson. A look at the life of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. How important are your words?. Activity One Draw a word from the container You are to act out this word without using any words Goal: illustrate the emotion so classmates can guess the emotion

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the miracle worker by william gibson

The Miracle Workerby William Gibson

A look at the life of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

how important are your words
How important are your words?
  • Activity One
    • Draw a word from the container
    • You are to act out this word without using any words
    • Goal: illustrate the emotion so classmates can guess the emotion
  • Activity Two (if time)
    • Get into groups of 3
    • Draw a word from the container
    • Get group members to guess your item
    • One member must close eyes, one member must plug ears, one member not use any words
activity 2 reflection
Activity 2 Reflection
  • What difficulties did you encounter in your group?
  • How did you overcome these?
  • Did all other members guess the object you were describing?
  • What role did your senses (or lack of senses) play in your attempt to describe the item
what is language
What is language?
  • Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following:
  • What words mean (e.g., "star" can refer to a bright object in the night sky or a celebrity)
  • How to make new words (e.g., friend, friendly, unfriendly)
  • How to put words together (e.g., "Peg walked to the new store" rather than "Peg walk store new")
  • What word combinations are best in what situations ("Would you mind moving your foot?" could quickly change to "Get off my foot, please!" if the first request did not produce results)
what is speech
What is speech?
  • Speech is the verbal means of communicating. Speech consists of the following:
  • Articulation
    • How speech sounds are made (e.g., children must learn how to produce the "r" sound in order to say "rabbit" instead of "wabbit").
  • Voice
    • Use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound (e.g., the voice can be abused from overuse or misuse and can lead to hoarseness or loss of voice).
  • Fluency
    • The rhythm of speech (e.g., hesitations or stuttering can affect fluency).
shared language
Shared Language
  • Language must be shared between more than one person to be considered a shared language
helen keller
Helen Keller
  • Helen Keller was born in a small town called Tuscumbia, Alabama, on an estate called Ivy Green.
  • Her birthday was June 27, 1880
  • silence fell on this house in February 1882 when 19-month-old Helen became extremely ill and lost her ability to hear and see.
Basic rules and lessons made no sense to her, and she was called a "wild child."
  • Then, in 1886, her mom heard about the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston from Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.
  • wrote to the head of the Perkins School to ask for a teacher for Helen and they sent their star student, Anne Sullivan.
  • The day she arrived—March 3, 1887—Helen\'s life changed.
anne sullivan
At the age of 14, she was sent to the Perkins School for the Blind to receive training to be a teacher for children who were blind. Anne Sullivan
it s a miracle
Anne had to figure out a way to make Helen understand words and their meaning.

She began to teach Helen letters, by signing them into her palm.

Then just one month later, everything clicked.

Anne held Helen\'s hand under a pump while signing W-A-T-E-R into her palm.

Helen\'s whole face lit up. The word came to life, in one moment. That day, she learned 30 words.

It’s a Miracle
the manual alphabet
Deafblind Manual

This is the alphabet Helen used

You Try

Activity 3

Get a partner


The Manual Alphabet
american sign language
American Sign Language
  • Download Poster
signing just isn t enough
She wanted to learn to write. In addition to learning to write in braille, Helen placed a ruler on the page as a guide and drew very square block letters. Signing Just Isn’t Enough
the perkins school for the blind
The Perkins School for the Blind
  • Helen attended school here in 1888 as a guest of the director of the school.
  • However, she was accused of plagiarism b/c a story she wrote sounded a lot like a story she had learned several years earlier.
  • Some people said Helen\'s writing was just too good for someone who couldn\'t see or hear nature with her own eyes and ears.
anne sullivan explains how helen learned to speak
Anne Sullivan explains how Helen learned to speak
  • Video clip
  • Read Article “Magic in Your Fingers”
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the country\'s leading advocate for people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Video clip of Helen testing a device that will help people who are deaf and blind communicate with those who can see and hear.
Helen Keller worked for the American Foundation for the Blind for more than 40 years.
  • Keller played a leading role in most of the significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century.
  • Throughout her lifetime (1880-1968) she worked unceasingly to improve the lives of people with disabilities.