Students read and discuss Act I of The Miracle Worker.
After students read the first act of the play, invite them to discuss the conversation between Kate and Captain Keller in which the two debate contacting Dr. Chisholm. Talk about what Mr. Anagnos said -- that Dr. Chisholm couldn't help but that Dr. Bell had suggested that Helen needed a teacher. ("Dr. Bell" is Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone while trying to help deaf and hearing-impaired people.)
Challenge students to write the kind of business letter Captain Keller might have written to the Perkins Institution to ask for help finding a teacher. Students should describe Helen, explain what duties would be required of a teacher, and offer a salary. (Mr. Anagnos mentions Sullivan's salary in Act I.)
As a practical matter, provide the following information. The Kellers lived before people used rural street addresses. For an address, use Ivy Green, Tuscumbia, Alabama. The date would be in the spring of 1887.
Base assessment on the following criteria, which students should check before they hand in their letters. The finished letters should be neat and written in blue or black ink on unlined white paper or typed.
Carla Beard, Connersville High School, Connersville, Indiana
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