by Tina Nicholas HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT

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1 by Tina Nicholas HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT

2 Helen Keller s Special Friend by Tina Nicholas PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS: Cover Bettmann/Corbis; tp Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis; 3, 5 Bettmann/Corbis; 7 Hulton Archive/Getty Images; 9 Comstock/Corbis; 10 Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis; 11 Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images; 12 Bettmann/Corbis. Copyright by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner unless such copying is expressly permitted by federal copyright law. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be addressed to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School Publishers, Attn: Permissions, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida Printed in China ISBN-10: ISBN-13: If you have received these materials as examination copies free of charge, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School Publishers retains title to the materials and they may not be resold. Resale of examination copies is strictly prohibited. Possession of this publication in print format does not entitle users to convert this publication, or any portion of it, into electronic format.

3 Table of Contents Helen s Childhood 3 Annie Meets Helen 6 Helen and Annie Leave Alabama 8 At College 10 Helen Helps Other People 11 Helen and Annie Get Older 13 Helen on Her Own 14 Important Dates 14

4 Helen s Childhood Helen Keller was born in She was a beautiful, healthy baby. Her family did not think she would be different from any other baby born at that time. But when Helen was 19 months old, she got very sick. She suffered from a high fever. The doctors tried to help Helen. Finally, she got well. At first, she seemed fine. Then her parents saw that Helen had changed. Helen Keller got sick, and her life changed forever. 3

5 4 Helen s sickness made her deaf and blind. That meant she could not hear or see. Her mother found this out when she discovered that Helen did not notice people around her. By age six, Helen acted like a wild animal. She screamed and cried. She charged into people. She broke things. She ate with her hands. She grabbed food from everyone s plates. Helen s parents showed affection to Helen, but she exhausted them. Family members said the Kellers should send Helen to a place for children who were deaf and blind. Even though Helen was hard to live with, her parents knew she was very smart. She used touch and smell to identify people and things. Helen s parents looked everywhere for a doctor who could cure her. However, they found out that her blindness and deafness could not be made better.

6 Finally, the Kellers found someone who could help them. Their helper was Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Bell told Mr. and Mrs. Keller to write to a school in Boston, Massachusetts, called the Perkins Institution. A woman had gone to school there who was deaf and blind like Helen. Mrs. Keller wrote to the head of the school. He suggested Mrs. Keller have a woman named Annie Sullivan teach Helen. Soon, Annie Sullivan worked as Helen s tutor, or teacher. Helen Keller (left) sits with her tutor, Annie Sullivan. Alexander Graham Bell Alexander Graham Bell s mother and wife were both deaf. This made him very interested in teaching people who were deaf. He invented ways to teach speech to people who could not hear. 5

7 Annie Meets Helen Annie met Helen in Helen was almost seven years old. Soon Annie and Helen had a special bond. They became inseparable. They went everywhere together. This bond lasted until Annie died, almost fifty years later. Annie could not see well. This helped her understand Helen. She knew Helen was smart. She created a way to teach Helen words. She used her fingers to spell a word into Helen s hand. Then she made Helen touch the object she spelled. Helen learned to spell many words this way. But she did not know what the words meant. Helen s family thought the way Annie taught many of her lessons was harsh, or cruel. For this reason, they treated Annie as an intruder. Annie knew she had to be strict to help Helen. She asked Helen s father to let her and Helen live in a small house near the family s home. 6

8 Annie (right) and Helen were good friends, even when Helen grew up. Annie and Helen moved into the small enclosure. This kept them away from everyone else. Here, Helen learned more new words. However, she still did not understand the meanings of the words. Then, one day, everything changed. Annie held Helen s hand under running water. She spelled the word water. Helen understood that the letters w-a-t-e-r and the water itself were the same thing. 7

9 Helen and Annie Leave Alabama In 1888, Annie and Helen left Alabama. It was Helen s first trip away from home. She and Annie went to Boston to meet the students at the Perkins Institution. They stayed at Perkins for two years. At Perkins, Helen learned to understand what people said by putting her fingers over their lips while they talked. She also learned to read books using Braille. Helen starting writing stories and poems. People soon heard about how she used her hands to talk. Newspapers wrote stories about her, too. When Helen was 11 years old, one of her stories was printed in a magazine. Before long, Helen started to get paid for her writing. She became more famous. Perkins Institution A man named John Fisher started the Perkins Institution in It is now called the Perkins School for the Blind and is located in Watertown, Massachusetts. The library at Perkins has more than 50,000 recorded books and magazines as well as 16,000 Braille books! 8

10 Braille book dots Braille is a system of writing. It uses dots that stick up as symbols for letters. Blind people touch the dots with their fingers to read the page. Helen wanted a real education. She wanted to go to school. But no school would take a student who was deaf and blind. Then Annie found a new school in New York City. The school tried to teach deaf students to talk. Helen and Annie went to that school. While in New York City, Helen did many of the same things as other students at her school. She went to classes. She went on trips and explored the city. But in other ways, her life was different. Helen had become famous. She met many rich and famous people. 9

11 Helen was the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college. At College Annie wanted Helen to keep going to school. In 1900, Radcliffe College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, accepted Helen. She was the first deaf and blind person to go to college. College was very hard for Helen. Annie helped her every step of the way. In 1904, Helen graduated. Helen wanted to tell people what it was like to be deaf and blind. She wrote essays, or writings, to tell her story. These essays described how she used her senses to learn what went on around her. 10

12 Helen Helps Other People At that time, people didn t understand the feelings of deaf and blind people. Helen s essays helped people learn what life was like for them. In one essay, she explained how she could figure out a person s age by feeling how things shook when the person walked. People all over the world asked Helen to help them. She decided to be a public speaker for the blind. Annie was with Helen all the time. She helped Helen practice speaking. She helped Helen write her speeches. Together they went on speaking tours. Annie introduced Helen. Then Helen gave her speech. Helen Keller helped many people. 11

13 Helen was very scared when she gave her first speech. Soon, she was comfortable talking in public. People loved her. She used her speeches to give people hope. Although Helen was the main speaker, Annie was the chief person who helped her. Helen and Annie also worked to help other people. Helen wrote about the differences between the rich and the poor. She wrote about immigrants and their problems. She spoke against segregation, or the separation of black people and white people. She also worked with people who wanted women to have the right to vote. Many women worked hard to win the right to vote. In 1920, women finally won this right. 12

14 Helen and Annie Get Older Helen continued writing and speaking. She also worked for the American Foundation for the Blind. This organization gave information, books, and educational materials to blind people. Helen helped people learn more about this organization. Helen and Annie traveled all over the United States. They also went to Europe. They raised money for the Foundation for the Blind. They visited schools. Helen gave speeches. She even spoke to the United States Congress. She wanted them to create public libraries for blind people. During this time, Annie got very sick. She died in 1936 when she was 70 years old. She had been Helen s companion since Helen was six years old. 13

15 Helen on Her Own Helen continued traveling after Annie died. During World War II, she visited blind, deaf, and hurt soldiers in hospitals. She also continued to speak up for people who needed help. The story of her life became a famous play called The Miracle Worker. Annie Sullivan was not only Helen s teacher. She also opened up Helen s silent and dark world. She helped Helen communicate with others. She was also Helen s companion and friend. Annie taught Helen so much. She helped Helen teach the world. Important Dates 1880 Helen is born Annie Sullivan starts teaching Helen Helen and Annie go to Perkins Helen is the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college Helen starts to work with the American Foundation for the Blind Annie Sullivan dies at age s Helen travels around the world to help people Helen Keller dies at age 87. Body Text 14/19 Janson Text 14

16 Responding TARGET SKILL Compare and Contrast How were Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller similar and different? Compare and contrast the two women. Copy and complete the chart below. Annie Both Helen With her vision and hearing, Annie could help Helen communicate.?? Write About It Text to World Write an informative paragraph that describes a person whose life included a series of interesting events. Describe the interesting events in this person s life. Be sure to list the events in the order in which they happened. Use words like first, next, and last to make the order of events clear. 15

17 TARGET VOCABULARY affection bond charged chief companion enclosure exhausted inseparable intruder suffered TARGET SKILL Compare and Contrast Examine how details or ideas are alike or different. TARGET STRATEGY Analyze/Evaluate Think carefully about the text and form an opinion about it. GENRE Narrative Nonfiction gives factual information by telling a true story. 16

18 Level: S DRA: 40 Genre: Narrative Nonfiction Strategy: Analyze/Evaluate Skill: Compare and Contrast Word Count: 1, HOUGHTON MIFFLIN Online Leveled Books

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