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Helen Keller meets Anne Sullivan March 3rd

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March 3rd 1887, Anne Sullivan began teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Keller, was uncontrollable when she met Sullivan. With patience and "touch teaching," Sullivan became Helen’s teacher. Keller thrived graduating from college and became an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, called "the miracle worker," remained Keller's interpreter and constant companion until Sullivan's death in 1936.

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Anne Sullivan, was born in 1866. As a child, an infection impaired her vision. She learned the manual alphabet at the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Over the years, Sullivan had several operations that improved her weakened eyesight.

Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880. As a baby, an illness, left Helen unable to see, hear or speak. Her parents sought the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor was considered an authority on the deaf. He suggested they contact the Perkins Institution, which is how Anne Sullivan became Helen Keller’s teacher.

On March 3rd 1887 Sullivan, arrived at the Keller estate. Sullivan began working to socialize Helen and teach her by spelling out words in Keller's hand. It took time and Helen was wild and difficult to control, the finger spelling meant nothing to Keller. The breakthrough occurred one day when Sullivan held one of Keller's hands under water from a pump and spelled out "w-a-t-e-r" in Keller's palm. From that moment Sullivan began to help Keller to learn how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan's assistance, Keller attended Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904.

Before Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, she became a public speaker and author. "The Story of My Life" was published in 1902. Helen was a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind as well as an advocate for racial and sexual equality. At age 87, she had become an inspiration to the world and helped to alter perceptions about the disabled.

There are many wonderful biographies on Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller:

· Helen Keller's Teacher (Scholastic Biography) Paperback by Margaret Davidson

· Helen Keller: From Tragedy to Triumph (The Childhood of Famous Americans Series) Paperback by Katharine Wilkie (Author) , Robert Doremus (Author)

· Helen And Teacher: The Story Of Helen Keller And Anne Sullivan Macy (Radcliffe Biography Series) Paperback

· by Joseph P. Lash (Author) , Trude Lash (Author)


Rhonda Cratty includes her experiences of 30 years of public school teaching, raising children of her own, and articles written for on-line and hard copy publications -within the pages of Learning at home. Learning at home can be purchased in print or eBook form through

For more information please see

Dr. Seuss history and work

John Ernst Steinbeck history and work

The Bridge of Deaths

Deborah Smith Ford from theater to books for children

Dr. Seuss quotes help to build fluency

Sunday, March 2 Dr. Seuss Birthday kicks off 2014 Read Across America

Somewhere Over the Rainbow a wonderful writing lesson

Parenting ideas in print or ebook format


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