“HELEN KELLER UNIT
QUESTIONS”

1. America changed dramatically during Helen Keller's 87 years. Create a pictorial timeline illustrating the major events and changes that took place from 1880-1968. Be sure to show inventions, advances in transportation, changes in fashion, women's roles, and major wars. Of course, you may include other topics, if you wish.

Sources: Fabulous Century books; timelines from NCS Internet Database.

2. Tell your classmates about Annie Sullivan's life. Be sure to include relevant information about her childhood, her life with Helen, and her contributions to Helen's successes.

Sources: from NCS Internet Database “Annie Sullivan Biography” and “Annie Sullivan Remembered.”

3. Helen Keller's educational success, with the indispensable assistance of Annie Sullivan, was one of the most remarkable achievements of her notable life. Describe Helen's education from the time Annie began working with her in 1888 through Helen's graduation from Radcliffe in 1904. Be sure to describe Annie Sullivan's teaching methods and list the honorary degrees that Helen was awarded.

Sources: NCS Internet database: Helen Keller biography. Helen Keller in Wilson Biography (printed out & in folder)

4. Helen Keller was an early feminist and an activist in the struggle to gain voting rights for women. Briefly describe the American suffragist movement and Helen Keller's participation.

Sources: 2 Internet sites on suffragists. Helen and Teacher p.389-390, 432-433. Vertical File “The Great Suffrage Battle” “Women Organize”

5. Helen Keller traveled extensively on behalf of the blind, visiting 35 countries and five continents. On a large world map, show Helen's travel routes, the years of her trips, the method of travel, the primary reason and the sponsor for each major trip, and the kind of response Helen received abroad.

Sources: Helen and Teacher p.589-590, 592-595, 604-607, 610-612, 637, 642-647, 691-693, 695-696, 708-711, 723-725, 728-730, 734, 749-750, 755

6. More rewarding to Helen Keller than the numerous awards she received for her lifelong good works were the acquaintances she made with the leading personalities of her time. There were few world figures that she did not meet, including every President since Grover Cleveland. Helen especially admired and valued her relationship with Mark Twain and Eleanor Roosevelt. Describe Helen's friendship with these two unique Americans. Make a poster board that displays a list of the Presidents Helen met. Also include pictures of Helen with Eleanor Roosevelt and Mark Twain and excerpts from some of the more interesting letters from Helen's correspondence with them.

Sources: Eleanor Roosevelt: Helen and Teacher, 619, 687, picture 662-663. Mark Twain: Story of My Life 182; Helen and Teacher 357-360, picture177. NCS Internet Database: 2 correspondence sites and Presidents of the United States site.

7. Originally a pacifist (anti-war,) Helen Keller changed her views during World War II and began to look for a way to help the war effort. She soon found a role, visiting the sick and wounded soldiers filling American military hospitals. Briefly explain Helen's pacifist beliefs and what caused her to change her opinion about war. Describe Helen's effect on the wounded soldiers.

Sources: NCS Internet Database: “World Peace.” Helen and Teacher 659, 679-680, 683-685, pictures 659-660

8. Despite her limitations, Helen Keller was a great fan of the arts. Describe her love of music, art, sculpture and the theater. What methods did Helen use to experience the arts?

Sources: Story of My Life 106-108, 228 . Helen and Teacher 381, 570-571, 638, 676 –677, 693, 720-721, pictures 372, 664.

9. Helen Keller died in her sleep on June 1, 1968. She was 87 years old. Print out a copy of the funeral service for each of your classmates. Describe the service, including where it was held and where she was buried, who participated in the service and why, and what special arrangements were required for the large number of journalists attending.

Sources: Helen and Teacher p.774-775. NCS Internet Database: Helen Keller Funeral Service, Eulogy for HK's funeral, Press Release on HKs funeral, Life of Helen Keller (end of article); Sculpture and Carving at the National Cathedral p.17.

10. Although she was a warm and loving person who received marriage proposals and thought often about love and the proper relationship between husband and wife, Helen Keller never married. Describe for your classmates Helen's idea of the ideal marriage, the circumstances of her two marriage proposals, and why she remained single. Do you think Helen's decisions were correct? Did her family behave appropriately?

Sources: Helen and Teacher 278-279, 327-328, 440-449, 513.

 

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