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The Miracle Worker Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'The Miracle Worker' is a play by William Gibson about Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this play.

The Miracle Worker

William Gibson's The Miracle Worker is a play about the true story of Helen Keller, a young girl who became deaf and blind due to illness, and Anne Sullivan, a woman who was hired to teacher her. The questions in this asset will guide classroom discussions about this play and help students further explore Keller and her struggles.

Act I

The questions in this section will help students understand the first act of the play, in which the Keller family, Annie Sullivan, and Helen's struggles are introduced.

  • Helen Keller was born in the late 1800s. How might her life have been different if she had the advantage of modern medicine?
  • What are some ways the playwright characterizes the members of the Keller family? Which adjectives would you use to describe each family member? What characteristics does Helen show as an infant that help her overcome obstacles?
  • How is Helen different from other children? What are some ways she reveals her potential? Compare Arthur's approach to parenting Helen to Kate's. What are the benefits and challenges of each of their approaches?
  • What challenges has Annie faced in her life? How do you think these challenges influence Annie in her approach to Helen? No one has ever taught a deaf-blind child before; why does Annie think she can do it? What are some things Annie does to make a connection with Helen? Why is this important?

Act II

This section contains questions from the second act of the play, in which Annie convinces the Kellers to allow her to move to the garden house with Helen to teach her discipline.

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