IntroductionFamous PeopleResearch Project Art Project

Project Instructions - I


Teacher Introduction

The introduction to this project models the research process the students will conduct. Gather the students in a group discussion area.

I have a card in my hand for each of us, on each card is the name of an accomplished person. Some people's names you may know, some are names that are new to you. Each of these people had something about them that made their lives different from most people.

We've been talking a lot about Dr. King and the events in his life, what did he accomplish?
What did he overcome?
What did he do that made him so well respected?
How did he become successful?
What was his special struggle?

Record the responses on board, at this time some classes get into a discussion about prejudice. Explain that some people do not like other people because of something they can or cannot do, where they are from, how they speak, believe, how much money they have, what color their skin is, etc.

My card says Helen Keller.
Has anyone ever heard anything about her?
(Record on board the things the class thinks they know about Helen Keller)
Here's what I found out about her.

Helen Keller was a very famous lady who wrote12 books, gave many speeches, traveled all over the world, met twelve US Presidents, could read French, German, Greek, and Latin, and was an activist for equality between all races and all men and women. In one book she wrote, "My sympathies are with all those who struggle for justice."

And here's the most interesting thing I learned. She had a very high fever at age 2. When it went down she was blind and deaf, she couldn't see or hear. Close your eyes, now gently stick your fingers in your ears. Stay this way for as long as you can, let's see who can sit this way the longest. I'll be timing you.
(Time and record the time on the board)
Wow, one of us made it ____ minutes with out seeing or hearing. Imagine if you opened your eyes and couldn't see, you took your fingers out of your ears but couldn't hear. Imagine waking up each morning without seeing or hearing, how would you know you were awake?

Well, Helen Keller learned to talk with her hands from a special teacher named Anne Sullivan. It took her around 3 years. Does anyone know sign language? She learned to read by touching her fingers to a special book written in Braille, does anyone know anything about Braille? Helen Keller became such a good reader that she went to college at Radcliffe, which was the women's part of Harvard. She began to learn to speak by touching her teacher Anne's lips, she became such an interesting person to listen to that she had a job speaking in a show and her speeches helped to raise money for the American Foundation for the Blind, a group that helped blind people. That's the person on my name card, are you ready for your card?


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