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The Miracle Worker
SUBJECTS — U.S.1865 - 1913; Biography/Keller;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Disabilities; Female Role Model;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility; Caring.
Age: 10+; Not Rated; Drama; 1962, 107 minutes; B & W.
This is a remarkable film about a most remarkable human being. The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to The Miracle Worker will enhance the experience of the film with poetry by Helen Keller and information about her development and achievements. The Learning Guide contains a description of how Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, played an important role in Helen Keller's life and how Keller and Bell became life-long friends. The Learning Guide will also describe the importance of symbolic communication.
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Kids respond to The Miracle Worker even though it's in black and white. Helen Keller's story is so inspirational that it transcends the medium. Anne Sullivan is the quintessential teacher.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below the first two sections of the Learning Guide to The Miracle Worker.
Description: At the age of six months, Helen Keller (1880 - 1968) suffered from a fever that left her blind, deaf and dumb. This film shows how, despite her disabilities, Helen Keller learned the meaning of symbolic language. With Anne Sullivan as her teacher, Helen Keller learned to read, write and speak. She graduated from Radcliffe College with honors in 1904 and became world famous for her triumph over her handicaps.
In The Miracle Worker, Anne Sullivan teaches Helen Keller the principal of symbolic communication, i.e., that shapes of the hand, when communicating in sign language, represent objects in the real world. The film is based on the Broadway play of the same name by William Gibson.
Benefits: The Miracle Worker will help introduce children to Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. Their story shows the strength and power of the human will and its ability to triumph over the most devastating disabilities. Helen Keller is one of the most remarkable people ever to have lived. She is a role model for a person who triumphs over profound disabilities. Anne Sullivan is a role model for a sensitive and innovative teacher. Without Sullivan, Keller would probably not have realized her great potential.
The film can also serve as a springboard for a discussion of the meaning and importance of symbolic language.
The Learning Guide to the film The Miracle Worker contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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