Who Was Helen Keller?

Who Was Helen Keller?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.76

     challenging words:    inspiration, listed, hearing, pressed, schools, onto, eyesight, exactly, caption, loss, stayed, working, quickly, sounds, lived, inventor
     content words:    Eight-year-old Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan, When Helen Keller, Helen Keller, Alexander Graham Bell, Both Mr, White House, President Grover Cleveland, United States, Since Helen

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Who Was Helen Keller?
By Cindy Grigg

1     Caption: Eight-year-old Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan
2     What if you couldn't see or hear anything? What if you couldn't talk to your family? How could you let them know what you needed? When Helen Keller was a baby, this happened to her. She wasn't even two years old when she got very sick. She had a high fever. The fever made her lose her eyesight. She was blind. The fever made her deaf. She could not hear. She couldn't learn to talk because she couldn't hear herself speak or hear others speak to her. Today we have medicines that might have helped Helen. But when Helen got sick over one hundred years ago, there were no medicines that could help her.
3     Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880. In her first year and a half of life, she could see and hear. She was learning to talk. She was a happy and loved baby. Her family lived in a house that was built by her grandfather. When she was just 19 months old, Helen got very sick. She had a high fever. Her family thought that she might die. The fever went away. Her parents thought she was well again. Then her mother saw that Helen did not react to sounds. Helen could not see a lamp held in front of her face. Her parents realized that the fever had caused Helen to become deaf and blind.
4     Years went by. Helen grew. She still could not see or hear. She learned to show her parents some signs for things she needed. She had about sixty different signs for things like eat and drink. Helen was very smart. She wanted to tell her parents other things - things that she did not have any signs for. When this happened, Helen would get upset. She wanted something, but she did not know how to tell her mother what she wanted! She would throw things. She would hit people. Helen acted like a wild animal sometimes. Her mother knew that something must be done to help Helen.
5     When Helen was about six years old, her parents sent her from her home in Alabama to see a doctor in another state. The doctor told her family to contact Alexander Graham Bell. Mr. Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was working with deaf children at that time. Both Mr. Bell and his wife had hearing loss. Mr. Bell wanted to help Helen. He helped the family find a good teacher for Helen. The teacher's name was Anne Sullivan.

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