Lesson Plan: The Ruby Bridges Story

Archive Program of Ruby Bridges

Television programming from 1999 features the story of Ruby Bridges.

Description

In this lesson, students will hear from a primary source, Ruby Bridges, as she spoke with elementary school students about her experiences as the first black student in an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960. She talked about segregation at that time and the reaction among other children and families in the school and community.

Procedures

  • SET-UP:

    This lesson offers several options for you to use with your students whether you are teaching in class, using a hybrid model, or engaging through distance learning. It can be completed in steps as a class or students can move at their own pace and complete the activities independently.

    You can post links to the videos in the lesson along with the related handouts and engage in discussion to share responses on a discussion board or learning management system.

    You can also save and share the following Google resources for students to use with this lesson.

    Vocabulary Chart: The Ruby Bridges Story (Google Doc)

    Note-taking Chart: The Ruby Bridges Story (Google Doc)

    Choice Board with Activities: The Ruby Bridges Story (Google Slides)

    In Google, choose "File" then "Make a Copy" to get your own copy. You can make any needed adjustments in the instructions such as which activities students need to complete, when it is due, etc. and then make it available to them via Google.

  • INTRODUCTION:

    As a class, view the following two video clips to provide an overview of the Ruby Bridges story. Use the accompanying questions to engage in class discussion and provide a foundation for the additional video clips.

    Video Clip 1: Archive Program of Ruby Bridges (1:30)

    Television programming from 1999 features the story of Ruby Bridges.

    Video Clip 2: Ruby Bridges Impact (1:36)

    Archival television programming that discusses the story of Ruby Bridges is shown. It includes remarks from her teacher Barbara Henry, Dr. Robert Coles and Ruby Bridges.

    • Compare the current and former experiences for students at William Frantz Elementary School that are depicted in the television program.

    • How does her teacher describe Ruby?

    • Describe Dr. Robert Coles' perspective on Ruby's experience.

    • What was Ruby's role when she went back to the school as an adult?

    • Following this discussion, have students share what they know about character traits. You can use this list as an example to get the conversation started: Sample Character Traits (Read Write Think)
  • EXPLORATION:

    Have students view the following video clips. They can watch each video independently or view a video with a partner. Students should take notes on the handout and be prepared to talk about Ruby's education experiences and the character traits she showed throughout that time.

    Video Clip 3: Ruby Bridges Education Experience (6:29)

    Ruby Bridges talked about her school experience as a child and the process she went through prior to attending William Frantz Elementary School during the desegregation of schools in New Orleans in 1960.

    Video Clip 4: Ruby Bridges: First Day of School in New Orleans (4:03) Ruby Bridges described her first day at William Frantz Elementary School.

    Video Clip 5: Ruby Bridges: Second Day of School in New Orleans (3:00) Ruby Bridges described her first day at William Frantz Elementary School.

    Video Clip 6: Ruby Bridges: School and the Public (4:03)

    Ruby Bridges talked about her experiences in her first year at William Frantz Elementary School and public reaction.

  • CONCLUSION:

    Once students have viewed the collection of videos, have them share what they learned. As a class, brainstorm a list of character traits Ruby Bridges exhibited throughout her experiences.

  • ACTIVITY:

    Have students choose one trait from the list and write how Ruby demonstrated that trait in her life.

  • EXTENSION ACTIVITY:

    • Have students compare their school experiences with what Ruby endured. This can be done as an essay, through a song, a two voice poem (Read Write Think) or another method they prefer.

Additional Resources

Vocabulary

  • Boycott
  • Civil Rights
  • Escorted
  • Integrate
  • National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People
  • Racist
  • Segregate

Topics

Civil Rights & Civil LibertiesState HistoryU.S. History

Grades

Middle SchoolHigh School