In honor of Women’s History Month, English Language Fellow Rebecca Martin taught a lesson on Helen Keller, a blind-deaf American who successfully overcame challenges in her life.
For the warm-up, Rebecca asked the Access students to imagine what it would be like to be blind and consider how it would affect their daily activities like dressing for school, eating breakfast, or brushing their teeth. If you were deaf, on the other hand, how would you be able to hear a joke your friend told you, or watch your favorite film.
After a short interview activity, Rebecca handed out a worksheet with the ASL (American Sign Language) alphabet. She taught the ASL alphabet to Access group; students then practiced finger-spelling things into each other’s hands, the way Annie Sullivan did with Helen Keller.
Students were given handouts practicing the Braille alphabet. Rebecca used the six-dot series to model a few simple words like “cat” and “van.” The Access students guessed the words right away, even before their teachers had time to guess. Students completed worksheets that allowed them to practice writing a few simple Braille letters that matched the photos on the worksheets.