Helen Keller


Our Helen Keller lesson plan teaches students about the life and accomplishments of Helen Keller. Students learn about Keller’s early life and her lasting impact on the world.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to invite a blind person to speak to your class about his or her experience with blindness.

Buy Now For $1.95


What our Helen Keller lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Helen Keller introduces the life and historical significance of Helen Keller, including her accomplishments. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify Helen Keller and explain her significance in history. This lesson is for students in

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the green box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The supplies you will need for this lesson are colored pencils, construction paper, rulers, and the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One optional adjustment to the activity is to adjust the timeline to fit the grade level that you’re teaching. You can also use additional activities to enhance the lesson. As an additional activity, you can blindfold the students and forbid them from speaking for one class period to give them an idea of Helen Keller’s life. You could have students write a “two-person” act to show the training that Anne Sullivan did with Helen Keller. Another option is to invite a blind person to speak to your class about his or her experience with blindness. Finally, you can have students write an essay about a person who has inspired them.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Who is Helen Keller?

The Helen Keller lesson plan includes two pages of content. Almost everyone has five sense: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching. People use these senses throughout the day without thinking. However, what if you didn’t have two of those senses? Do you think that would be difficult?

Helen Keller, a woman who became an inspirational role model, lost both her hearing and her sight when she was 19 months old. She was born on June 27, 1880 in Alabama with her hearing and sight. When she was 19 months old, however, she contracted a serious fever that they called brain fever. We call this scarlet fever or meningitis today. This fever caused her to lose her sight and her hearing, making her both blind and deaf. She had also never learned to speak because she was so young.

When she was young, she had trouble communicating with other people, which was frustrating. She used motions to indicate what she wanted from her parents, though they didn’t always understand her. This would cause her to throw tantrums sometimes.

Her parents, named Arthur and Kate Keller, knew she needed help. They contacted an institute for people who are blind, and they suggested a woman named Anne Sullivan. They later called Anne a “miracle worker” for her work with Helen.

Anne Sullivan had been blind in the past, but regained her sight with surgery. This meant that she knew what being blind was like and could help Helen live a normal life. Anne became Helen’s teacher on March 3, 1887, when Helen was almost seven years old. She helped Helen for the next 50 years.

Learning Begins

Anne started by teaching Helen words using Helen’s sense of touch. She would, for example, put a doll in Helen’s hands and then spell out the word doll one letter at a time by tracing the letters in her palm. Helen would repeat this in Anne’s hand. Helen learned new words using only her sense of touch.

Anne also taught Helen how to read using a reading system for blind people called Braille. This system uses letters made from small bumps. Helen learned to read entire books this way. By age ten, Helen was reading and writing using a typewriter.

Helen didn’t learn to speak as a child, but wanted to learn. They brought in another teacher, Sarah Fuller, who used the vibrations on her lips to teach Helen to talk. Helen felt the sound vibrations and how the lips moved and mimicked it. She learned to speak in full sentences this way.

Helen, at age 16, started attending Radcliffe College in Massachusetts. Anne Sullivan went with her and helped her listen and hear the lectures by signing the words into her hand. Helen Keller graduated from college in 1904 with honors.

Helen Inspires Others

Helen’s ability to learn to communicate, read, and speak was inspiring to people all over the world. She wrote about her experience being deaf and blind while in college, and several magazines published these stories. They later turned these stories into several books, which made people interested in her life.

As she got older, Helen wanted to help other people. She joined the American Foundation for the Blind and traveled around the country giving speeches and raising money for the foundation. They used this money to help other blind people.

Helen also visited wounded soldiers during World War II, encouraging them to not give up. She worked hard for other people with disabilities, helping organizations raise money and bringing awareness for people with disabilities.

During her lifetime, Helen met several presidents, like Grover Cleveland, Lyndon Johnson, and more. She became friends with Mark Twain, the writer of Tom Sawyer, and Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone. She wrote a book titled Teacher in honor of Anne Sullivan. They released a movie about her life in 1962 called The Miracle Worker.

Helen Keller died at age 87, in her sleep.


The Helen Keller lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity worksheets, students will create a timeline of Helen Keller’s life using the provided dates and information. They will share their timeline with the class once it’s complete. They should be creative and create a title for their timeline as well.

Students can also work in pairs for this activity if you’d like them to.


The practice worksheet asks students to answer questions about the lesson material, such as “What are the five senses?” and “How long did Anne Sullivan help Helen Keller?”


For the homework assignment, students will read different Helen Keller quotes and, working with a parent or other adult, determine what each quote means.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Biography, Social Studies

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

Customer Reviews
5.0 Based on 7 Reviews
5 ★
4 ★
3 ★
2 ★
1 ★
Write a Review

Thank you for submitting a review!

Your input is very much appreciated. Share it with your friends so they can enjoy it too!

Filter Reviews:
United States United States

Helen Keller

Great information for our lesson and easy to use. We are thankful for Clarendon for all the helpful lessons.

Ruxandra R.

Helen Keller

Very useful for the classroom.



My daughter loved learning about Helen Keller. Great experience.

Lorraine W.


Super resources. I am looking forward to using them with the children. Thank you.

Alison L.

Fantastic Resource

As a curriculum coordinator, I am always seeking high quality, easy to follow resources that are also engaging for students. This resource was perfect for our unit on senses and Helen Keller. Thank you for your rich website!