Thursday, June 11, 2009

Meet Helen Keller

By Taylor G.
(Helen and Anne Sullivan)

Helen Keller is most known for being blind and deaf, yet she was very smart and didn’t let her disabilities get in her way. She was born in the small farm town of Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880. When she was 19 months old, she was struck with a high fever and was extremely ill. She lost both her sight and hearing abilities. In her early life, she acted like a wild animal because nobody taught her discipline or manners. On March 3, 1887, her parents hired Anne Sullivan to teach Helen. Anne saw that Helen was very smart and a quick learner. She learned manual sign language in two weeks and soon was learning 30 words a day! In the fall of 1889, Helen went to The Perkins School for the Blind. Anne never left her side. Whenever someone talked, Anne translated for Helen. For example, if somebody said “Hello” to Helen, Anne would write it into Helen’s palm of her hand.

In 1892, Helen learned to talk! She traveled to many places and met many famous people such as Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Woodrow Wilson, and Mark Twain. She was becoming famous herself. Helen was never afraid to do anything and never let her disabilities get in the way. She went snow sledding, horseback riding, ran into a wave at the beach, and even learned to ride a bicycle.

In 1893, she decided she wanted to go to Radcliffe College. Her father had died and people raised money for her schooling. She had to go to a few other schools to prepare for Radcliffe. One school wanted to keep her for five years and tried to trick her mom to get guardianship of her instead of Anne. The school did this because Helen was famous and they wanted the money. Anne told Helen’s mother the true story, and they left that school. In 1900, Helen and Anne went to Radcliffe College. In 1902, Helen wrote her first book called, “The Story of My Life”. In 1904, Helen was the first blind and deaf person to receive a college degree. She graduated with honors.

In her adulthood, Helen wanted to help others with disabilities. In 1905, Miss Keller started a career traveling, speaking and writing. In April of 1930, Anne became sick and couldn’t travel with Helen anymore. A woman named Polly Thompson took Anne’s place. Helen loved animals, especially dogs. In fact, the first Akita dog in the United States was sent to Helen from Japan in 1938. In January 1943, she visited disabled soldiers in the U.S. and in September 1964, President L. Johnson gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was given the title of “America’s First Lady of Courage.” She eventually visited 39 countries and met 12 U.S. presidents. She even won an Oscar for the documentary about her life called, “Helen Keller in Her Story.” On June 1, 1968, sadly, Helen Keller died in her sleep at age 87.

I think that Helen Keller taught the world if you have a disability, don’t let it get in your way!

Here is a link to the Helen Keller Kids Museum Online.

Below is a presentation of my sculpture.

What did you learn that you did not know about Helen Keller?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Terri and Gordon EdenJune 13, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    What a fabulous report, very interesting and love the model of Helen. We never knew Helen went to Radcliffe College, or had an Akita dog.

  2. Dear Taylor G.,

    Nice biography! I loved your vocabulary, and your usage of wording. I was especially impressed with your doll. it looked like your whole project took a lot of effort. I also have a question. If you were to do a biography on anyone else, who would it be?

    Nice job again,

  3. Dear Taylor G.
    You've done an impressive job bringing the amazing story of Helen Keller to life. Helen is truly awe inspiring to go from her world of silent darkness to make so very much of her life. And you certainly can't mention Helen Keller without acknowledging the talents and efforts of Anne Sullivan. Helen's gifts may have been lost to the world if not for her great teacher and friend,Anne. I didn't realize Helen was as well traveled as she was or that she was alive during my lifetime. Thank you for such an informative report. Mrs. Kumar

  4. Dear Taylor G.,

    Thank you for a great blog post! Not only was your report well written, but your sculpture presentation was excellent, too.

    I really enjoyed the hyperlink you included. The time line of her life and the photos really helped tell Helen's story. I noticed there was a photo of Helen and Henry Ford! I wonder if Emily saw it because she did her biography report on Mr. Ford.

    I wonder, too, if James saw your hyperlink. There was a mention of Braille books and even a Braille typewriter than Helen used.

    You have become an excellent writer, and Helen would be proud of your work!

    Mrs. Yollis

  5. Dear James,

    Thanks for the wonderful comment. You asked, if I were to do a biography on someone else, who would it be? If I could do another biography, I would like to do it on Amelia Earhart. She is very interesting to me.

    Thanks again,

    Taylor G.

  6. Dear Mrs.Yollis,
    Can you please put up information about how old was Helen Keller when she won the Oscar award.

    Thank You

  7. I am also do a project on helen keller and i would like to say you did a outstanding job good job kiddo


* * *
Getting feedback is important to our writers. Let us know what you liked or what you learned.

Steps to Comment:

1. Write your comment in the box below. Be sure that you have proofread it for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Students should have a parent check it!

2. Choose an identity. (If you have a gmail account, use it. If not, choose name/url. You can leave the url blank if you do not have a blog.)

3. Click "Publish your Comment". You may preview your comment before publishing if you'd like.

Important: All comments MUST be approved by me.
:-) Mrs. Yollis