• Miracle Worker Vocabulary Act I

    Part I: Using Prior Knowledge and Contextual Clues:

    Below are the sentences in which the vocabulary words appear in the text. Read the sentence. Use any clues you can find in the sentence combined with your prior knowledge, and write what you think the underlined words mean on the lines provided.


    1.      They have been through a long vigil and it shows in their tired bearing and disarranged clothing.


    2.      A benign visitor in a hat, Aunt Ev, is putting the finishing touches on a big shapeless doll made out of towels.

    3.      An indolent young man, James Keller, is at the window watching the children.

    4.      Why, this very famous oculist in Baltimore I wrote you about, what was his name?

    5.      You be quiet! I'm badgered enough around here by females without your impudence.

    6.      Another kind of silence now, while Kate takes pins and buttons from the sewing basket and attaches them to the doll as eyes. Keller stands, caught, and watches morosely.

    7.      All are in commotion, the baby screams, but Helen unperturbed is laying her doll in its place.

    8.      She cannot continue until she finds a woebegone joke.

    9.      Kate is studying her face, and Annie returns the gaze; this is a mutual appraisal, southern gentlewoman and working-class Irish girl, and Annie is not quite comfortable under it.

    10.  Annie regards her stonily, but Helen after a scowling moment tugs at her hand again, imperious.

    Act I Matching: Determining the Meaning: Match the vocabulary words to their dictionary definitions.

    1.      Vigil

    2.      Benign

    3.      Indolent

    4.      Oculist

    5.      Impudence

    6.      Morosely

    7.      Unperturbed

    8.      Woebegone

    9.      Appraisal

    10.  Imperious


    a.       Evaluation

    b.      Favorable; pleasant

    c.       Confused; bewildered

    d.      Eye doctor

    e.       Miserable

    f.       Boldly

    g.       Idle; inactive

    h.      Sullenly; gloomily

    i.        Unbothered; calm

    j.        A watch; a session of observance

    Miracle Worker Vocabulary Act II

    1.      Obstinate. Could any of them compare even in that with old Stonewall? If he’d been there we would still have Vicksburg.

    2.      For this tyrant? The whole house turns on her whims, is there anything she wants she doesn’t get?

    3.      Annie closes the door on James, locks it, removes the key, and turns with her back against the door to stare ominously at Helen, kicking on the floor.

    4.      Helen writhes out of her chair, runs to the front door, and tugs and kicks at it.


    5.      The pain brings Annie to her knees, and Helen pummels her; they roll under the table and the lights commence to dim out on them.


    6.      Kate catches Annie’s eyes on her, smiles a wry gesture. Helen moves on to James’ plate, the male talk continuing, James deferential Keller overriding.


    7.      Everything. The food she eats, the clothes she wears, fresh air, yes the air she breathes, whatever her body needs is a primer, to teach her out of.


    8.      I grew up in such an asylum. The state’s almshouse.


    9.      Annie now drags the box of toys into the center, props up the doll conspicuously on top; with the people melted away, except for James, all is again still.


    10.  She lays it on her shoulder, and begins rocking with it, patting its diminutive behind; she talks the lullaby to it, humorously at first.

    Act II Matching:

    11.  deferential a. very small, miniature

    12.  obstinate b. manual, handbook

    13.  tyrant c. clearly, obviously

    14.  ominously d. poorhouse

    15.  writhes e. thrashes, beats

    16.  pummels f. stubborn, headstrong

    17.  primer g. twists from pain

    18.  almshouse h. darkly, gloomily

    19.  conspicuously i. harsh, cruel ruler

    20.  diminutive j. respectful, obedient


    Miracle Worker Vocabulary Act III

    1.      It’s true. The two weeks have been normal, quiet, all you say. But not short. Interminable.

    2.      Annie, haggard, at the table, is writing a letter, her face is almost in contact with the stationary.

    3.      Annie twinkles at Kate with mock devoutness.

    4.      Annie ( withering): Cleaner.

    5.      She makes letters with her fingers, shows them to Belle, waits with her palm, then manipulates the dog’s claws.

    6.      The remaining suggestion of garden house is gone now, and the water pump is unobstructed.

    7.      She tries to disengage Helen’s hand; Kate lays hers on Annie’s.

    8.      Helen begins to fight and kick, clutching to the tablecloth, and uttering laments.

    9.      It’s not unnatural, most of us take some aversion to our teachers, and occasionally another hand can smooth things out.

    10.  He is starting after Annie when James, on his feet with shaky resolve, interposes his chair between him and Keller’s path.

    Act III Matching:

    11.  Interminable _____maneuvers, moves

    12.  Haggard _____unending, ceaseless

    13.  Devoutness _____care, worn, drawn

    14.  Withering _____godliness, piety

    15.  Manipulates _____shrinking, shriveling

    16.  Unobstructed _____intervenes, interferes

    17.  Disengage ____in open view

    18.  Aversion ____release, undo

    19.  Laments ____distaste, dislike

    20.  Interposes _____moans and wails