The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson

The Miracle Worker is a three-act play based on Annie Sullivan's heroic efforts to teach her new pupil, Helen Keller. After an illness renders baby Helen blind and deaf – and, therefore, mute, her desperate parents hire a young governess, Annie Sullivan. After several fierce battles with the little girl, Annie convinces the Kellers to give her two weeks alone with their child. In that time, she teaches Helen discipline and fingerspellings for words, and the true "miracle" begins.

Enrichment Activities

Ask the Expert
Urge students to think about the problems facing disabled individuals in their community, particularly those who are blind and deaf. Help identify local agencies or groups that might have information about the disabled. Then have students write interview questions that they would like to ask a guest speaker from one of these agencies.

The Challenge
Helen Keller faced a great challenge in her life. On this companion worksheet to The Miracle Worker, students write about a time in their life when they were challenged.

Concepts to Teach, and Writing Connections
Challenge students with discussion concepts and creative writing assignments.

In Someone Else's Shoes
Have students imagine that they have suddenly lost both their sight and hearing and to consider how this new challenge might affect their normal activities. Then have them record their ideas in a two-column chart, one column labeled "Activity," the other labeled "Ways to Adjust for Blindness/Deafness."

Project Ideas
A list of project ideas and curriculum connections to use while teaching the play.

Questions to Consider
Use these questions to either lead a discussion about The Miracle Worker or provide short essay question practice

Plays by William Gibson

The Body and the Wheel
The Butterfingers Angel
A Cry of Players
Dinny and the Witches
Goodly Creatures
Herod the Nut
I Lay in Zion
John and Abigail
Mary and Joseph
The Miracle Worker
Monday after the Miracle
The Slaughter of Twelve Hit Carols in a Pear Tree
Two for the Seesaw

English Teacher's Great Books Activities Kit
by Gary Robert Muschla

More than 180 reproducible student activities for teaching reading and writing skills, based on great literature that covers various genres, themes, and cultures.

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