Module B – Lessons 61 to 70

Click here for Lesson 61
Click here for Lesson 62
Click here for Lesson 63
Click here for Lesson 64
Click here for Lesson 65
Click here for Lesson 66
Click here for Lesson 67
Click here for Lesson 68
Click here for Lesson 69
Click here for Lesson 70

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

The Five Senses

Lesson 61 – Part One

NEW WORDS: alarms, automatically, blink, bruises, busy, closely, colored, colorful, controls, corners, ducts, easier, eyeballs, eyebrows, eyelashes, eyelids, flowing, friend’s, greenish, gumball, gumballs, gummy, hairs, happens, inch, iris, irises, marble, means, moist, normal, perfume, poked, protect, protected, protecting, pupil, pupils, release, room’s, seconds, senses, sockets, surrounds, tear, tubes, ways

My Senses Are Amazing
My senses are amazing.
They help me do so much.
My eyes can see, my ears can hear.
My skin and hands can touch.

My senses are amazing.
They make me happy, too.
My tongue can taste the food I eat.
My nose can smell perfume.

My senses are amazing.
They keep me safe from harm.
My nose smells smoke, my skin feels heat.
My ears hear fire alarms.

My senses are amazing.
And now you know them well.
Let’s say all five together now.
Sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell.


The Sense of Sight
People say this sometimes. Have you ever heard it? “Look before you leap!” It means, “be careful.” Think things through before you act. It’s a well-known saying. It makes a lot of sense. Think about it! How might we use our eyes? What do we do before we walk, run, or leap? We look at the ground in front of us! Would we move forward with our eyes closed? Of course not. It would be dangerous. We might trip or fall. That would hurt! Our sense of sight keeps us safe.

Your eyes help protect you. And they protect your body. You won’t bump into things. So, you won’t get bruises. And, you won’t fall. Don’t you look both ways before you cross the street? Surely you do. So, your eyes are busy protecting you. But what’s protecting your eyes? Now read this closely. You’ll learn how body parts work to keep your eyes safe.

This can be hard to see in a mirror. But your eyes are round, like balls. That’s why they’re called eyeballs. They’re as big and round as a normal-sized gumball. Or a marble. They’re each about an inch wide. But they aren’t hard like gumballs. They’re actually squishy! A lot like gummy bears! They’re set into holes in your head. Those are called eye sockets. This way, they won’t get dirty. And they won’t get poked.


What are your eyelids? They’re little pieces of skin. They come down. They cover your eyeballs. That’s when you close your eyes or blink. And you don’t think about this. Your eyes blink automatically. They blink every few seconds. That keeps your eyeballs moist. And you have long hairs on your eyelids. They’re called eyelashes. They help brush away dirt. Then the dirt won’t get in your eyes. And you have eyebrows. They’re hairs above your eyes. They’re important, too. They keep water and sweat from flowing down into your eyeballs.

Tears are important. They protect your eyes, too. But you don’t have to cry. Tears can come without crying! You have tiny tear ducts. (Ducts are like tubes.) They’re in the corners of your eyes. They release the tears. They keep your eyes moist. Have you ever gotten something in your eye? Maybe dust or sand? Maybe small bugs? Tears wash these things out of your eyes.

So, now see what you know about eyes. You have eyelids and eyelashes. You have eyebrows, tear ducts, and eye sockets. All these body parts help you. They work hard to protect your eyes from getting hurt from the outside.


But eyes need to be protected from the inside, too. You’re in luck. Two inside parts of the eye do that. One is the iris. One is the pupil.

Look at your friend’s eye. See the little black dot? It’s right in the middle? It looks like a dot. But it’s a tiny, covered hole. That’s the pupil. And that’s where the light comes into the eye.

Look at your friend’s eyes again. Look around the pupil. Which color do you see? There is a colorful ring there. It surrounds the pupil. It’s the iris. Different people have different-colored irises. There are three most common colors. They’re brown, blue, and green. But there are lots of other shades. You can have gray, or light or dark brown. You can have greenish-blue eyes.

The iris lets light into the pupil. But it controls how much. This is a big deal. You don’t want TOO much light. That can hurt your eyes. Turn down the room’s lights. What happens? Each iris opens up. Your black pupils get bigger. This lets in more light. That makes it easier to see. What about being in the sunlight? Your irises close up around the pupil. Your pupils are now small. So, less light comes in. It doesn’t matter what color your irises are. They have a big job. That’s to control how much light gets into the pupils.


Aren’t eyes cool? Be glad they have all their parts. That’s to keep them safe. They’re always working hard. They help you see the world around you. You can do your part, too! Don’t put things in your eyes that might harm them. Even your fingers! You protect your eyes. Then your eyes do their best to protect you! And listen for this saying. “Look before you leap.” Tell your eyes a quiet, “thank-you.” They just helped to keep you safe!


Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

The Five Senses

Lesson 62 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Australia, brain, buildings, copied, covering, door’s, ear, eardrums, earmuffs, echo, figures, frequent, goofy, invisible, listening, lowered, muffled, noises, objects, outdoors, parent, photo, plugs, protects, safety, stereo, surrounding, travels, vibrate, vibrations, volume, whisper

The Sense of Hearing
Do you like rhymes? Try this. “Without ears, no one hears!” Sorry, that was goofy. Your ears take in sounds around you. You might be awake. You could be asleep. You’re talking. You’re listening. You’re walking. You’re swimming. Your ears are at work! Cover your ears. What about now? You’ll still hear sound. Try it! This is not like your eyes. You can close them. Then you can’t see. But you can’t “close your ears!” You can’t turn them off. They hear sound all the time. Listen. Check out how you hear sounds. They get around objects. They come through objects. (Think about a closed door.) Sounds find their way into your ears.

How does sound get in your ear? It travels through the air. It’s called “sound waves.” It’s like waves in the sea. Sound waves move across a space. As they do, they move up and down. And they make noise as they move. But it’s not like waves in the sea. You can see those. Sound waves are invisible. You can’t see them. But they’re all around you. They zoom through the air. They bounce off things. They travel through objects.


What if the door’s closed in your room? Can you hear sounds from the hall? Of course you can. The sound waves come right through the door or wall. Can you hear me talk if you cover your ears with your hands? You can. But the sounds might be lowered. They might be muffled. Sounds lose strength when they pass through things.

Can sound waves pass through everything? No, they can’t. Sometimes, they bounce off of things. Things like mountains or buildings. Have you ever heard an echo? That’s when you hear a sound that you made “come back at you.” It has bounced back off of something.

Look at this photo. It’s a place called Echo Point. It’s in the Blue Mountains of Australia. Someone can give a loud shout from this cliff. The sound waves from their voice head out. They bounce off of the surrounding cliffs. Wait a second or two. Then you hear your voice echo clearly. It feels like someone else was standing on the opposite cliff. And they copied everything you said!


So, sound waves come into your ear? What do they do, then? They bounce off your “eardrums.” They’re inside your ears. They’re kind of like real drums. They get bumped by sound waves. Then, they vibrate back and forth. These vibrations travel inside your ear. Then they head to your brain. Your brain figures out what sound made the vibrations. Your brain helps you describe the sound. Is it loud or quiet? Is it high or low? Your brain helps you “make sense of the sound.” 

There’s a frequent way we describe a sound. That’s how loud or quiet it is. This is called the “volume.” (Think about “turning up the volume.” That could be on your radio or stereo.) There’s another way to describe a quiet sound. That’s to say it’s a soft sound. A whisper is a soft sound. You’ve heard a fire alarm in your school. Was it loud or soft? You WANT it to be really loud. That way, people can’t ignore it. It’s loud sound makes you want to run away from it. So, you run outdoors to safety.


You’ve heard a really loud noise. What do you want to do, then? You might throw your hands up to cover your ears. Your brain tells you to do that. Loud noise hurts! Covering them protects them. It keeps your eardrums safe from sound waves that might hurt them. And, you can use ear plugs or earmuffs. Those are good for ear safety. So, protect your ears from loud noises. And oh, NEVER put anything in your ears! Only a parent or doctor should do that. There’s only one thing YOU put in your ears. And that’s sound waves!

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

The Five Senses


Lesson 63 – Part Three

NEW WORDS: allergies, buttery, catches, chocolate, creatures, dangers, extra, further, hitting, hover, huh, humans, identify, inhale, inhales, liking, message, microscope, microscopic, mucus, nostrils, odor, odors, openings, popcorn, receptors, scent, scents, sniffing, snot, stuffy, telling, theater, tissue, traps

The Sense of Smell
Take a deep breath. You “inhale” when you do that. That’s fancy for “breathe in.” Think about each time you inhale. A lot more than air goes up your nose. What else comes into your nose? Thousands of tiny little “molecules.” Molecules are VERY small. They’re WAY too small to see. They’re called odor molecules. (“Odor” is a fancy word for “smell.”) Together, they make up what we call “scents.” The man in this picture inhales. The odor molecules go up his nose. Then he smells the scent of coffee.

Molecules are microscopic. You can’t see them with your eyes. You need a microscope. But they’re everywhere. They’re floating in the air right around you. There are millions of them! Think about things that have a scent. Flowers. Food. Old garbage. They hover around things that have a scent. And what’s the inside of your nose doing? It’s like a big, damp cave. It catches and keeps odor molecules.


You might sniff a flower. Odor molecules rush in. They come through your “nostrils.” These are the two openings in your nose. They go high up inside your nose. They finally reach “smell receptors.” These tell your brain about the molecules you just sniffed. And your brain sends a message back. It tells you the scent you smelled. “That’s a sweet-smelling flower.”

How many kinds of smells and odors are there? Humans can identify between 4,000 and 10,000! Think about that. We can tell the difference between that many smells!

We’re lucky to be able to do that. Of course, no one likes a bad smell! But how about other creatures? Some animals have a better sense of smell than humans. How many of you have a dog? Dogs have 25 times more smell receptors than humans!

Dogs have to sniff really hard. This gets the odor molecules all the way up their nose. There, they meet their smell receptors. Think about a dog walking with its nose to the ground. You can hear it sniffing. People sniff, too. You do it when you want to figure out where a smell is coming from. Or you might want to find out what a smell means. Let’s all inhale and sniff, now.


Did any of you have trouble sniffing? If so, maybe it’s because your nose is stuffed up. What’s a stuffy nose? It means that your nostrils are full of “mucus.” (You might giggle at this. “Mucus” means “snot.” Gross, huh?) You always have some mucus in your nose. There’s also some in other parts of your head. But what happens when you’re sick with a cold? What if you have allergies? Your body makes even more mucus.

Mucus is very important. There can be dirt floating around in the air you breathe. Mucus traps a lot of that dirt. So, it keeps it from going further into your body. If you’re sick, you have extra mucus. It can stuff up your nose. Or it can cause it to run. How does the extra mucus help you? Odor molecules can’t go as high into your nose. Now, they can’t reach the smell receptors. The odor molecules are blocked. They’re stopped by the mucus. For sure, a stuffed-up nose is no fun. And you can’t smell things as well. But now you know there’s a good side to it. You just have to deal with it. It’s time to grab a tissue and blow your nose!


Your sense of smell helps protect you. Think about smoke molecules. They go up your nose to your smell receptors. Your brain knows there’s a fire somewhere. So, you’ll know what to do. You need to get away from the fire? What if you’re not sure you smell smoke? Maybe you only think you do? Be careful! It’s smart to leave the area. Then have a grown-up check to see if there is a fire. Better safe than sorry!

So, your sense of smell can tell you about bad things or dangers. But it can be a lot of fun to sniff. Lots of things smell great. How about chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven? Or buttery popcorn at a movie theater? Think about liking a smell. Try to remember this. Odor molecules are hitting your smell receptors. They’re telling your brain something nice. “Wow, that smells great!”

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

The Five Senses


Lesson 64 – Part Four

NEW WORDS: babies, bitter, chicken’s, desserts, detect, favorite, flavorful, fond, fried, fruits, juices, lemons, melted, melts, moves, neighbor, noses, notices, occur, pickles, pinching, popular, pretzels, pucker, saliva, sizes, squint, tongues, types, weakest

The Sense of Taste
See the boy in this picture? He’s happy. He’s about to taste something yummy and sweet. He knows it ahead of time! But guess what he needs so he can taste it? Just a few bumps on his tongue! Taste is the weakest of the five senses. So, it gets help from another sense. That helps you enjoy the foods you eat. Can you guess which sense is? Keep reading. You’ll find out what sense works with taste. Together, that’s what helps you enjoy the foods you eat.

What’s the first thing you do when you eat food? You open your mouth. You take a bite. You start to chew it. You grind it up with your teeth. You have wet “saliva” (“spit”) inside your mouth. It melts or breaks up the chewed-up food. That makes it easy to swallow. The melted food then moves across your tongue. Then it goes down your throat. And it catches on little bumps on your tongue.


Turn to a neighbor. Look at each other’s tongues. You’ll see the bumps. They’re all over. Those tiny bumps have taste buds in them. They come in all shapes and sizes. They tell your brain that something tastes good or bad. There are over 10,000 taste buds in your mouth!

Certain spots on your tongue have special taste buds. They detect four types of tastes. These are: sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. Fruits and desserts taste sweet. They contain sugar. Most people like sweet tastes. Even babies smile when they taste sugar. Pretzels taste salty. A little salt can make foods more flavorful. Bitter tastes don’t occur as often. Coffee is a good example of a bitter taste. On your first try you may not like it. And with no cream and sugar, you may hate it!

Most people aren’t fond of sour tastes. But some sour things are popular. Lemons and pickles taste sour. Let’s say you eat a sour candy. What kind of face do you make? Most people pucker up. They suck in their lips like fish. Then they squint their eyes. And they wrinkle their noses!


This is also important! Know this about taste and taste buds. Maybe something doesn’t taste as good as your favorite food. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. It might be healthy for you! Taste buds can be trained. You can learn to like lots of different tastes. Some tastes seem strange or bad at first. But your taste buds get used to them. Before you know it, you’ve learned to like those tastes.

You have five senses. They are sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Taste helps you enjoy your food. Smell helps you enjoy your food, too. Your senses of taste and smell work together. They help you figure out what your food tastes like. Let’s take a nice piece of fried chicken. You bring it up to your mouth to eat. You start smelling it before you take a bite. You keep smelling it as you chew! By themselves, your taste buds might not tell it’s chicken. They can just tell that it’s a little salty. And that it’s not sweet, sour, or bitter. But your nose sniffs in the chicken’s odor molecules. It sends the brain even more details. It notices tastes from the oil, the meat, and the juices!


This boy doesn’t like his medicine. Do this the next time you have to taste something you don’t like. Try to hold your nose. See how well you can still taste it. What you’ve put in your mouth moves across your taste buds. But the taste won’t be as strong if you are pinching your nose. That’s because you’ve closed off your nostrils. You’ve blocked the odor molecules. They can’t reach the smell receptors. You need the extra help from your sense of smell. Without smell, you can’t taste things as well.

Think about what happens when you have a cold. Your food doesn’t taste as good as normal. That’s because your nose is blocked. It’s filled with mucus. So, your sense of smell can’t help your sense of taste. What if your nose is REALLY stuffed up? You may not be able to taste your food at all!

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

The Five Senses


Lesson 65 – Part Five 

NEW WORDS: areas, body’s, bottoms, bumpy, burned, clothing, complex, contains, dull, endings, excited, feelings, fingertip, fingertips, hurting, injury, itch, itches, itchy, likely, memory, messages, needles, nerve, nerves, partly, paying, react, rough, sensation, sensitive, snowball, texture, thanks, throughout, ticklish, warning, web, wires

The Sense of Touch
You can feel things. That’s the sense of touch. You use it all the time. It happens whether you know it or not. You’re using your sense of touch right now. Your body knows you’re sitting on something hard or soft. Your body knows if you’re cold or warm.

Remember this. Every sense has its own body part. You see with your eyes. You hear with your ears. You smell with your nose. You taste with your tongue. But what do you use for the sense of touch? Did you guess hands or fingers. You’d be partly right. Your hands are what you use most to touch things. But you can touch with every part of your body! You heard it right. Every body part that has skin has the sense of touch.

You’ve jumped into a cold pool on a hot day. You hit the water. Splash! Right then, you get a cool, shivery feeling. It’s all over your body. The skin on your back, legs, and arms is all touching the water.


How is your skin able to feel? It contains nerves. Nerves are like tiny wires. They’re running through your whole body. They carry messages to your brain. Think about when you get close to a fire. The nerves send a message to the brain. “Something feels hot.” Think about making a snowball. But you don’t have gloves on. The nerves send a message. “Something feels cold.”

You can feel with every part of your body. But some body parts have more nerves than other parts. The nerves are right beneath the skin. So, you feel more with those parts. We call those parts “more sensitive.” Your fingertips are very sensitive. That makes them good for feeling things. Each fingertip has about 100 nerve endings. And you likely have some ticklish spots. Are the bottoms of your feet ticklish? Those are also sensitive areas.

Your sense of touch can feel the “texture” of things. Texture can mean soft and hard, wet and dry. It can mean smooth, bumpy, and rough. A feather is soft, but a rock is hard. What about knives and needles and scissors? What word do we use to describe their feel? Sharp. And what if something isn’t sharp? We say it’s dull, or smooth.


Your sense of touch helps to protect you. It helps to keep you safe and healthy. Thanks to your amazing brain. Thanks to the complex web of nerves throughout your body. Your body has learned to react to certain types of feelings. Think about touching something that was too hot. You’ll remember and will never do that again. That’s because it hurt! You have a memory of the burning sensation you felt. This helps to protect you from hurting yourself again. Humans’ sense of touch has protected them for a very long time. Think about when they first discovered fire. They had to learn not to get burned. A bad burn can be very dangerous!

Sometimes you’re ready to go outside and play. But then someone calls you back inside. They say, “Put on a coat!” Would you go outside in the snow wearing only a T-shirt? Then all the nerve endings under your skin would become excited. They’d be quite sensitive. You’d feel cold. You’d need to put on extra clothing. A coat and hat and mittens would keep you warm. That way, your skin doesn’t feel so cold.


Nobody likes to get a mosquito bite. You feel an itch when you’re bitten. The nerves in your skin make you feel itchy. Think about when you feel pain. Maybe it’s from a bee sting, or an injury. This is your body’s way of warning you. “Be more careful next time,” your brain tells you!

How many things can you feel right now? How many things are you touching? “Touch” is a lot like your other senses. Your sense of touch is always ready to work. And you probably don’t even think about most of the things you touch or feel during the day. But your nerves are paying attention. And they’ll let you know if something hurts, tickles, or itches.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

The Five Senses

Lesson 66 – Part Six 

NEW WORDS: Braille, Presidents, Ray’s, Sundays, ability, accomplish, blackberries, blindness, challenge, completely, concerts, countryside, develop, disability, disease, exploring, eyesight, happier, independently, jukebox, lessons, letters, local, musician, nearly, opportunity, pebbles, piano, pitched, player, powerful, ray, recognize, records, remarkable, restaurant, saxophone, sighted, singer, soaked, songwriter, sounded, spite, sponges, streams, succeed, succeeded, successful, sway, tapped, teachers, terrible, totally, writing

Ray Charles
Ray Charles was world-famous. He was a piano player, singer, and songwriter. People all over the world recognize his face. And they love the wonderful songs he wrote. He was a remarkable musician. But there’s something more amazing. He became a musician after he became totally blind.

Ray Charles was born with normal eyesight. He grew up playing and doing all the things other kids did. He liked exploring the countryside with his brother. He pitched pebbles into streams. He picked juicy blackberries. But he loved music more than anything else. He loved to sing in church on Sundays. He also liked going to a local restaurant. There, they had a jukebox. That’s a big machine that plays music. Ray would listen to the jukebox for hours on end.


But things changed when Ray was six years old. He became very sick. He had a terrible eye disease. His mother took him to a doctor. He told her that the disease would cause Ray to lose his sight. He would become blind. By age seven, Ray was totally blind. What’s it like to be completely blind? You see no colors, no shapes, no light — nothing. Turn out the lights. Shut your eyes. That’s what the world looked like to Ray.

His mother wanted him to be successful in life. His blindness would be a challenge. She sent him to a special school. It was for blind children. Ray worked hard to learn and succeed in school. The teachers showed him ways he could learn to live independently. This would be without much help from others. He could be successful, even with his blindness.

It might surprise you to know this. Blind people can do most of the things that sighted people can do. How do they accomplish this? They learn to use their other senses really well. And it helps more if they go to a school for blind students. Blind people learn to read with their fingers. They use a kind of writing called Braille. There are raised dots on a page. These dots represent letters and words. One can read by feeling the dots with their fingers.


Ray’s favorite part of school was music lessons. His other senses helped him become a remarkable musician. Ray once told someone this. “My eyes are my disability. But my ears are my opportunity.” He succeeded in spite of his blindness. Mr. Charles felt lucky that he was able to hear!

Ray used his senses of hearing and touch. By doing that, he learned to play the piano. There are eighty-eight keys on a piano. Each key, when tapped, makes a different sound. For most people, it takes a long time to learn to play the piano well. But Ray learned to play the piano quickly. He also learned to play the saxophone and other instruments.


His love of music was stronger than his blindness. He once told someone this. “My ears were sponges. They soaked it all up.” He meant that his ears were able to hear a new song just once. Then he would be able to remember it. He could play it the same way he had heard it just once! His strong sense of hearing helped him develop a powerful ability. He heard which notes sounded good together. In school, he learned to write his own songs. School was nearly over for him. He knew then that he wanted to be a musician.

Over the years, Ray became world famous. He made many records of his songs. He gave concerts all over the world. He even met a few Presidents of the U.S! He almost always had a wide smile on his face. He looked happy when he played. He would stomp his feet to the beat of the music. He would sway back and forth. It was like the music was throughout his body. Nothing made Ray Charles happier than playing music. He once said this. “Music to me is part of me. I look at music the same as I look at my blood and my breath. It’s something I have to have.”

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

The Five Senses


Lesson 67 – Part Seven

NEW WORDS: Anne, Anne’s, Helen, Helen’s, Keller, Ms., Sullivan, amazed, anger, behaving, books, bury, challenges, college, communicate, communication, confusing, connections, darkness, deaf, deafness, determined, dinnertime, discouraged, else’s, everyone’s, frightening, frustration, fumbled, grades, graduated, groped, guide, happen, hired, imagine, impaired, learning, literally, memories, overcame, parents, person, person’s, pointed, remembered, remembers, sensations, signing, silence, speeches, spelled, supported, teaching, toys, uses, writer

Helen Keller
Close your eyes. You’re sitting in a dark room. There are no windows. Earmuffs are covering your ears. You can’t hear a thing. You can’t see. You can’t hear anything or anyone. You can’t talk, either. Now imagine this. You’ve got to stand up and move around this dark and silent room. You can use only your hands and feet to guide you. How would you feel if you had to stay in this room? You’d likely feel startled and frightened by everything, and everyone, who touched you. You’d probably feel sorry for yourself. You’d feel quite frustrated. Maybe even discouraged. You couldn’t tell anyone what you were thinking. And you couldn’t tell them what you needed.

Well, this can happen to some people. That’s what life was like for a girl named Helen Keller. She was born a long time ago. It was over 150 years ago. When she was a baby, she caught a bad disease. It made her lose both her eyesight and her hearing. Helen Keller was blind and deaf. She was like this for the rest of her life. She had to live in a world of total darkness and silence.


Life was hard for Helen as she grew up. She was frustrated and angry a lot. And she was not just blind and deaf. She was not able to talk or communicate with other people, either. She felt sorry for herself. She was often mean to others. Some children tried to play with her. Helen might break their toys. One time she locked her mother in a room. Her mom couldn’t get out. Things were rough at dinnertime. Helen walked around the table sniffing everyone’s food. She might smell something she liked on someone else’s plate. Then she would grab it and gobble it up!

Helen felt her way through the world. She groped and fumbled through the silent darkness. Her senses of touch, smell, and taste were her only connections to the outside world. As a grown-up, she remembered those days. Here’s what she said. “I literally thought with my body.” The only memories she had from those years were sensations. She remembers what she did when she was really upset. She used to run outside. She would bury her hot face in the cool leaves and grass. She let her sense of smell guide her. She would make her way through the garden. She could smell, and then find, the roses and violets that calmed her down.


Helen’s mom and dad loved her very much. But she could not understand the world around her. So, she seemed disobedient and hard to control. Things changed when she was six. Her parents hired a special teacher. Her name was Anne Sullivan. She was to take care of Helen at home. Anne came to stay with the family. She knew that Helen was behaving badly out of frustration and anger. But she knew that Helen could break out of her dark world. She would have to learn to communicate with others. But how would she do this? Anne knew Helen would need to learn a lot of words.

Anne knew that Helen had never learned what a word was. That’s because Helen couldn’t hear or talk. She started teaching Helen words. She did this by using her finger. She would “write and spell” them on the palm of Helen’s hand. Helen might splash her hand with water. Sullivan would take Helen’s other hand. Then she spelled out the letters in the word water. “W-A-T-E-R.” Then Helen pointed to herself. Anne spelled out the letters in the word Helen. “H-E-L-E-N.”


To Helen, learning from Anne was a great thing for her. It was like being born a second time. Suddenly, the world was not such a confusing, frightening place. Helen Keller later said this. “I had been a little ghost in a no-world. Now I knew my name. I was a person. I could understand people. I could make them understand me.”

Helen finally had a way to tell people what she was thinking. When she wanted to speak to Anne, she wrote words on Anne’s hand. But it took a long time to spell out a whole sentence. Later, Anne taught Helen sign language. She was then able to communicate more easily.

Sign language is a special kind of language. A person uses only their hands and fingers. They make signs for letters and words. People use sign language to speak to deaf people. Today, we call deafness “being hearing-impaired.” For Helen, though, there was an extra challenge. Not being able to see made signing communication harder. She had to feel the other person’s hand. That was while they were making the signs. Only then could she know what they were saying.


Helen truly loved learning. So, Anne knew that she would love reading. Helen left home. She went to a special school for blind children. Anne went with her. Helen learned to read books in Braille. That’s the special kind of print that uses raised dots on the page. Helen was able to read the words. She felt them with her fingertips. At school, she made a lot of friends. And, she got good grades. She was determined to succeed. Anne really supported her. Helen graduated from both high school and college!

Later in her life, Helen became a famous writer and speaker. In her books and speeches, she told the remarkable story of her life. People were impressed that Ms. Keller never gave up. They were amazed that she overcame the challenges of being both deaf and blind.


Lesson 68 – Stories Misc

NEW WORDS: Abe, Florida, Florida’s, Kentucky, Louisville, added, alligator, alligators, background, beast’s, bush’s, cardinals, cawed, cell, chose, closer, clubs, confusion, crazy, curve, curved, escapes, fairway, flapped, flee, gator, gator’s, gators, hardest, knelt, mascot, massive, par, players, practice, pro, razor, rustled, stalked, sudden, swoosh, tee, thing’s, twelfth, warmed, wildcat

What A Golf Round!
It was a great day for a golf round. The sky was blue. It was warm. The breeze was light. Abe had played the first nine holes. His score was good. He was now on the twelfth hole. It was a tough one! There were a lot of sand traps.

Abe liked to play alone. That way he could go slow. He could practice his swing a lot. He did this before he’d hit the ball. No one was there to rush him. But today was not a good day to be alone! He was about to find out why!

He was on the tee. He had to think hard. How should he play this hole? It was the hardest hole on the course! It was a long par five. It had a big curve to the right at 230-yards out. There was a big sand trap on the left side. That was at the 200-yard mark. A wide creek lined the right side of the hole. It went all the way to the green.

Should he hit with a wood? Not smart! The fairway was not that wide. The rough on each side was deep. So Abe chose his 2-iron. His odds were better with that club. He often hit it straight.


He warmed up. He took three practice swings. Then, “SWOOSH!” He hit the ball hard. But, OH, NO! The ball was high in the air. But it had curved to the right. “No, no, no!  Not there!” he cried. “Darn it! I hate it when I slice a shot!” The ball dropped right into the creek. “SPLASH!” This was at 190-yards out.

He was SO mad. That was a bad swing. Now he’d get a poor score on this hole. Oh well, you can’t stay mad long with golf. You have to put your chin up. Then you try to fix the mess that you put yourself into.

He walked to the creek. He found the ball. He used a club to pull the ball close to water’s edge. He knelt to pick it up. But he heard a loud sound. It was in a big bush. It was right next to the creek. There was a lot of movement. The bush’s leaves rustled.

All of a sudden, SURPRISE! A head popped out from the bush. WHAT? NO WAY!!  It had a long snout. It had big, evil eyes. And it had HUGE, SHARP TEETH! And it began to move toward Abe!


Abe was in shock. Was he going crazy? It was! But it just could not be! But it was. Abe was being stalked by an ALLIGATOR!!

It opened its mouth wide. It showed off its razor sharp teeth. It came all the way out from the bush. Now Abe could see its size. It was six feet long! In his mind, he talked to himself. “If I don’t flee, FAST, I’ll be this gator’s lunch!”

Abe dropped his clubs. He ran like the wind. But that darned beast could move fast! It came after him. It would not stop or slow down. And it was getting closer. Abe looked back when he had run 100 yards. The gator was now just ten feet from him. He did not know what else he could do! And he was out of breath!

LUCK! Only luck could save him. That mean gator was about to make Abe into a snack. But then the luck came.

A lot of crows were up in the sky. They saw the scene below them. We cannot know “crow talk.” But we do know that crows are VERY smart. So, they came as a team to help poor Abe.


They all flew down, like the speed of light. There were ten of them. And they were massive crows! They flapped and flapped their wings at the gator’s head. That gator had to stop its chase. It could not see! It tried to bite them. But the crows were way too fast for him. And they cawed loudly. It added to the beast’s confusion.

Abe ran fast. He was free from the danger. He was now a long way from that wild scene. Just then, he saw two golf players. They were on the path, on a golf cart. Abe waved his arms. He called out, “HELP! HELP!”

They picked him up. He was now safe on the cart. They all drove down to the scene.  They helped the brave crows. They chased the gator back into the woods.

Of course, they had to shut down the course. No more play for the rest of that day! The golf pro called for help. A bunch of men went into the woods to hunt the gator down.


Abe got home. That’s when it hit him. He yelled this to his mom. “This is Kentucky. There are no alligators in this State! It’s too far north. It’s too cold. They can’t live here. How could there have been a gator in the woods?”

Well, he found out how the next day. The morning paper came. There was a big story on the front page. It read, “Alligator Escapes Louisville Zoo! Brave Young Man Runs From It To Safety.”

And right there was a picture of Abe. Right on the front page! There he was! It was a shot of him. The gator and the crows were in the background. Abe hadn’t known this. One of the men on the golf cart had a camera on his cell phone. He got a good shot of Abe.

Well, one thing’s for sure. If there’s one college that Abe will NEVER go to, it’s Florida. Why? Just like Louisville chose the mascotCARDINALS,” Florida’s mascot is the “GATORS.” NO THANKS! And Abe would much rather be a Kentucky “WILDCAT!”


Lesson 69 – Inf./Deriv. Builder

NEW WORDS: Beth’s, Bo’s, Charles’s, Chip’s, Drew’s, Sue’s, Thor’s, abler, answering, bars, basement, baths, begins, blackest, boarded, booking, bosses, bounces, bowed, bravest, breaded, breads, breaking, breezed, breezing, browner, buffet, busting, busts, bys, canned, carved, catnaps, checkers, cheery, chilling, chipper, chooses, choosing, chore, cleaners, clowned, clucks, coldly, coloring, costing, could’ves, crashed, creaks, creamers, curbs, curse, damper, dances, dashing, deepest, dentist, desks, dinners, docks, dragging, drawers, drawings, dreamers, dries, drilled, drowning, drownings, dryers, ducked, eyed, flocks, grandma’s, hair’s, pork, shirt’s, should’ves, storm, tennis, tooth, tux, twin, vanilla, would’ves

Dad loves catnaps.

Mom boarded the plane.

That was my last chore.

That joke busts me up!

That was a chilling film.

Firemen are busting down the door.

The storm hurt the docks.

My dog hates baths.

How’s the breaded pork chop?

Beth’s in there.

Clean out the drawers.

Line up the desks.

Thor’s the bravest superhero.

The dentist drilled my tooth.

Say your good-bys.

Won’t that be costing too much?

My hair’s browner than yours.

It’s the blackest night in months.

The buffet has lots of breads.

The waves are breaking hard.


That shirt’s at the cleaners.

Dad carved the ham.

He clucks like a chicken.

That’s a curse word!

Our bosses are nice.

Our floor creaks badly.

We lost, so, Coach talked about our would’ves, could’ves, and should’ves.

Drew’s my twin brother.

Those two are dreamers.

I love your drawings!

Our school has 3 dances a year.

The singer bowed to the crowd.

His speech is dragging on.

I bet Mom chooses vanilla.

Chip’s home!

That’s Charles’s dog.

Bo’s my uncle.

I sold 5 clothes dryers today.

They clowned around too much.


It’s damper in the basement.

She bounces the ball well.

Are these canned pears?

I like our church dinners.

Flocks of birds are breezing by.

She eyed me coldly.

She loves candy bars.

He’s in a chipper mood.

I need food coloring.

That was a cheery “hello.”

I need two coffee creamers.

Grandma’s drowning us with love.

She breezed through the test.

He kept driving on the curbs.

That’s a dashing tux!

The pond is deepest here.

I’m answering the phone.

I’m booking our trip.

I’ll wear it when it dries out.

I ducked when the bird flew at me.


Let’s play checkers.

I’m choosing to start a diet.

You got the answers right!

We’ve had no drownings in 10 years.

Sue’s abler at tennis than Jane.

He’s covering up a crime.

We crashed Bob’s party.

Gran loves babies.

It begins in an hour.


Lesson 70 – Inf./Deriv. Builder

NEW WORDS: Brad’s, Fido’s, Rover, Tanya, Todd’s, actor, actors, agreeing, bands, batting, bays, bean, beeps, bending, bibs, biscuit, blasts, boarding, booed, bows, bratty, bravely, braver, breaths, breezes, brownest, bunches, bunching, burner, caged, caked, calming, calmly, caps, cares, causing, chaps, chilled, chins, chomped, classy, clucked, clues, cooed, cooing, cooker, cooks, coolers, crabby, cracker, creams, crunched, crunching, darting, dashes, deeper, don’ts, dos, dozing, drizzles, drooling, dropper, droppings, drowns, drummed, dryer, drying, duckies, dumbest, dumped, dusters, junk, meatloaf, pointy, towel’s, umpire

The cat is dozing.

The dove cooed.

Salt chaps my lips.

Brad’s my cousin.

Is that a dove cooing?

She’s a classy lady.

Fido’s crunching on a bone.

I dumped that into the trash.

Are those rabbit droppings?

She sat down calmly.

I want the brownest jacket.

Bob creams Bill in tennis.

Give me some clues.

There are light breezes outside.

He cares about his baby sister.

Bring the coolers over here.

It’s loud when a rocket blasts off.

I hate playing ball when it drizzles.

Mom’s in a crabby mood.

The new kid is bratty.


I ate the last baked bean.

We sail into bays that are deep.

Rover chomped on his dog biscuit.

The crowd booed the umpire.

No one’s braver than Tanya.

Get the clothes out of the dryer.

The hen clucked loudly.

The lines to the ride are bunching up.

I’m agreeing with you this time.

All of these bands are great.

Did I turn off the oven burner?

He’s calming down now.

My flower bloomed.

Ted finally chilled out.

I need the eye dropper.

Their chins are pointy.

Bending that will make it break.

Todd’s a good actor.

Put the caps on your toothpaste.

I want an animal cracker.


She bravely jumped off the high dive.

I bought a new rice cooker.

Fireflies are darting around the yard.

Take some deep breaths.

I’ll be batting third.

Dad drowns donuts in his coffee.

Mom beeps at other cars a lot.

Have you learned the dos and don’ts about this?

The baby likes rubber duckies.

When will we be boarding the train?

The water’s deeper over there.

Pete drummed a loud beat.

Sis is in two clubs at school.

She has pretty bows in her hair.

I crunched on my popcorn.

That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard.

The baby will drool on you.

Those dusters need washing.

I hope Mom cooks meatloaf.

Will snow be causing school to close?


Good actors can fake-cry.

I’m drooling to have some cake.

She runs the 100- and 200- yard dashes.

Our house has bunches of junk.

None of the bibs are washed.

The towel’s drying out.

You have mud caked on your shoes!

I feel sorry for a caged pet.

Click on this link to move forward to Module B, Lessons 71 – 80



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