On November 14, 1960, Ruby Bridges first took the courageous walk to her new school. I wonder if that six-year-old girl had any idea of the historical importance of her actions that day?
Over the past fifty-two years, our country has continually changed and grown, but we still face issues of rights and problems with bullying. Much can still be learned from a brave girl’s actions and the legacy Ruby Bridges Hall continues to leave today. Your students can learn more about her life and involvements here and in the following books:
Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges, by Ruby Bridges
The True Story Of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles
. . .
Last spring, some 4th graders at a local elementary school were inspired by Ruby Bridges’ life and decided to write letters to thank her for her courage. Read more about their story here and see some of their letters here, here, and here.
What would you say to Ruby if you wrote her a letter?
- Create a timeline of Ruby’s life. Check out the following timelines for inspiration or to check the accuracy of your own: brief visual timeline and a detailed timeline.
- Listen to an interview with Ruby Bridges Hall (PBS, 1997) and then view a print of Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting “The Problem We All Live With.” What details did the artist use to show fear of the new law? What details did the artist use to illustrate bravery? Draw/paint your own picture to illustrate how you stand up for what you believe.
- Write a letter to someone who has inspired you.
- Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement with the following texts:
A Taste of Colored Water, by Matt Faulkner
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney
The Other Side, by Jacqueline Woodson
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport
- lesson plans from Teacher Link (2nd/3rd grade)
- “Connecting with Ruby Bridges” from Scholastic (6th-8th grade)
- Vocabulary intro for The True Story of Ruby Bridges (K-3rd grade)
- Ruby Bridges ThinkQuest