“Can the blind teach the blind?” In 1887, Helen Keller’s father asked this question after learning about Anne Sullivan’s, Helen Keller’s teacher, partial blindness. It sounds impossible, but Helen Keller who was deaf and blind is still teaching us today.
During our Helen Keller unit, we wanted our students to truly understand why her story is still being told. So we mimicked an activity that Helen’s teacher taught her. The activity was to string various sized beads onto a string exactly as the example they were given. Our students were not given any directions other than allowing their sense of touch to guide them. If the beads dropped, they had to find it without any assistance. Okay…I may have moved a bead or two in their direction.
As students reflected on this activity, most of them said that they did not realize how hard it was to not be able to see and hear. Some said that “It was terrifying”. Most importantly, all students completed this activity with a sense of gratefulness and an appreciation of Helen Keller’s level of persistence that would continue to teach us in 2017.
Mr. Sharp – 8th ELA