Born in 1880 - Died in 1968
Helen Keller at the age of 19 months, (not quite 2 years old) was a happy,
healthy child. She was already saying a few words.
Then she had a high
fever which caused her to become deaf and blind. No longer could she see
nor hear. She felt lost. She would hang on to her mother's skirt to get
around. She would feel of people's hands to try to find out what they were
doing. She learned to do many things this way. She learned to milk a cow
and knead the bread dough.
She could recognize people by feeling of their faces or their clothes.
She made up signs with her hands so she could "talk" to her family. She
had 60 different signs. If she wanted bread, she pretended to be cutting a
loaf. If she wanted ice cream, she would hug her shoulders and shiver.
Helen was a very bright child. She became very frustrated because she couldn't talk. She became very
angry and began to throw temper tantrums.
The family knew they had to
do something to help her.
They found a teacher named Anne Sullivan. Miss Sullivan herself had been
blind, but had an operation and regained her sight. She understood
what Helen was feeling.
She taught Helen the signs for the letters of the alphabet. Then she
would "spell" the words in Helen's hand to communicate with her.
Helen and her teacher Anne Sullivan
One day Anne led Helen to the water pump and pumped water on her hand.
She spelled the letters W-A-T-E-R as the water ran over Helen's hand.
She did this over and over again. At last it dawned on Helen that the
word "water" meant the water which she felt pouring over her hand. This opened
up a whole new world for her. She ran everywhere asking Anne the name
of different things and Anne would spell the words in her hand. This
was the key which unlocked the world for her.
She eventually stopped having the tantrums. Anne taught her for years.
Helen learned to read Braille. This was a system of raised dots representing
letters. A blind person could read by feeling of the dots.
When she went to college, her teacher Anne went with her and tapped out
the words of the instructors into her student's hand.
Helen had an amazing memory, and she also had skills very few people
have ever been able to develop. She could put her fingers to a person's
lips and understand the words which were being spoken.
While she was in college she wrote her book called "The Story of My Life".
With the money she earned from the book she was able to buy a house.
She became famous and traveled around the world speaking to groups of
people. She met many important and well-known people as she traveled.
Helen Keller was successful because of her determination. However, many
people helped her. The most important person in her life was Anne Sullivan
who stayed with her for 50 years.
This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.
Other Activities View a slideshow about Helen Keller
Play an Online Game at Quia
From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster
(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)
...to prevent from achieving a goal...
: a fit of bad temper
... : to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is
satisfactorily received or understood ...
Usage: often capitalized
: a system of writing for the blind in which letters are represented by raised dots [named for Louis Braille who developed the system]
Research Links Helen Keller Archival Collection
American Foundation for the Blind
My Own Books
personalize an online story about Helen Keller
by inserting your name in the story
children can learn about Braille at AFB
Helen Keller Birthplace
biography with audio version (part 1)
biography with audio version (part 2)
Helen Keller (audio)
Engines of Our Ingenuity.
Helen Keller Lesson Plan
You must register to use any of the lessons. Limited free lessons.
A Poem by Helen Keller
English Lesson Plan on Helen Keller
The Story of My Life
online book by Helen Keller
There are many deafblind people in the world. There are 22,000 in Japan alone.
Satoru Fukushima who lives in Japan lost his right eye's sight at age three, then
left at age nine. He also lost hearing when he was 18 years old. He
became a professor at the University of Tokyo Highly-Advanced Science and
Technology Research Center.
He and his mother invented the way to communicate by using fingers, the
. It works like a Braille typewriter. His mother or an
interpreter hit Satoru's finger the same way as typewriting.
(We say "Thank you" to a friend "chitoron" in Japan for sending us this information.)
Press "Go" to search for books about
A LIBRARY OF
The Story of My Life
ONLINE BOOKS and BOOK PREVIEWS
Order the following books from Amazon.
by Helen Keller (public domain, 1921, full view)
The World I Live In
by Helen Keller(public domain, 1920, full view)
The Gordon Readers
By Emma K. Gordon (public domain, 1914, full view)
Johnson's Fourth Readers
By Henrietta H. Richardson, Nannie Clements, Louise Manly, Blanche Wynne Johnson,
Eugene Cunningham Branson (public domain, 1899, full view)
The Wide Awake Fourth Reader
By Clara Murray (public domain, 1913, full view)
By Elizabeth MacLeod, Andrej Krystoforski (selected pages)
By David A. Adler (selected pages)
Helen Keller, Photo-illustrated Biographies
By Muriel L. Dubois (selected pages)
To Love This Life: Quotations of Helen Keller
By Helen Keller (selected pages)
By Christy Devillier (selected pages)
Helen Keller: Out of a Dark and Silent World
By Sandra H. Shichtman (selected pages)
Helen Keller, In the Hands of a Child, Project Pack
(selected pages) Order here
Helen Keller, Courage in Darkness
By Emma Carlson Berne, Marie Hodge (selected pages)
Always Happy or the Story of Helen Keller
By Jennie Chappell (selected pages)
How I Would Help the World
By Helen Keller (review)
Helen Keller: rebellious spirit
By Laurie Lawlor (selected pages)
Helen Keller: Courageous Advocate
By Scott R. Welvaert, Cynthia Martin, Keith Tucker (selected pages)
Lives and Times Helen Keller
By Emma Lynch (selected pages)
Miss Spitfire: reaching Helen Keller
By Sarah Miller (selected pages)
A Picture Book of Helen Keller
By David A. Adler, John C. Wallner, Alexandra Wallner (selected pages)
By Jane Sutcliffe (selected pages)
Helen Keller, History Maker Bios
By Jane Sutcliffe (selected pages)
Credits and Solutions
Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
, and Corbis.com.
Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise
and Armored Penguin
* Word Match Solution
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