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This lesson provided by:
Author:Taraethia Sullivan
System: Clarke County
School: Clarke County Board Of Education
Lesson Plan ID: 33232

All-American Diva, Ruby Bridges


In this lesson, students will discover the impact Ruby Bridges made in history when she became the first black child to attend a white school.  Your students will be sure to fall in love with the story Ruby has to tell and how this child's courage changed life in the United States. 

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

Content Standard(s):
ELA2015(1) 10. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text. [RI.1.1]
ELA2015(1) 11. Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. [RI.1.2]
ELA2015(1) 17. Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text (e.g., eating a balanced meal, obeying safety rules, engaging in recycling projects). [RI.1.8]
ELA2015(1) 27. With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed. [W.1.5]
ELA2015(1) 31. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. [SL.1.1]
ELA2015(1) 33. Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood. [SL.1.3]
SS2010(1) Living and Working Together in Family and Community and State4. Identify contributions of diverse significant figures that influenced the local community and state in the past and present. (Alabama)
SS2010(2) Living and Working Together in State and Nation2. Identify national historical figures and celebrations that exemplify fundamental democratic values, including equality, justice, and responsibility for the common good.
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to:

  • identify the author's purpose
  • understand key vocabulary terms associated with the story
  • describe the character
  • use a graphic organizer to recount one detail which states why the author wanted to inform the reader about Ruby
Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:


  • Scholastic's Let's Read About ...Ruby Bridges or any Biography Trade Book about Ruby Bridges.
  • Disney's Ruby Bridges Video
  • Vocabulary Cards to introduce the three words: Segregation, Marshal, Brave
  • Character Description Chart (chart paper)
  • Markers


  • Graphic Organizer with picture space and handwriting lines
  • Crayons/pencil
Technology Resources Needed:

Teacher should

  • be familiar with a student friendly definition of segregation, Marshal, and Brave
  • Have a sense of knowledge of the civil rights movement
  • Author's Purpose should have already been introduced as a literacy skill


1.  Turn and Talk (this practice should be established as a common classroom practice for speaking and listening standards)  If not, students will need to be paired off with a partner for discussion through out the lesson.

  • Turn and Talk Questions to Activate Prior Knowledge
  1. How would you feel if only the boys could have ice cream for snack today?
  2. How would you feel if only the girls could go to PE everyday?

2.  Before moving on to tell the objective for today's lesson, be sure to discuss responses from Turn and Talk questions. Make a connection from the responses to Ruby, our character for today's learning. Today, we will read a story about a special little girl. We will talk about why the author wrote this story. This is called the author's purpose for writing the words in a story. An author writes a story for three reasons, and we can think of a P.I.E. to remind us. The author writes to Persuade a reader of a topic, or to Inform the reader of a topic, or to Entertain a reader.

  • Student Engagement (this should be completed after turning and talking to a partner)

3.  During your partner talk, you stated that you would feel upset, angry, sad, or that it wasn't fair. Let's introduce a few words that will be important to know and remember as we read "Ruby Bridges."

1. Segregation- when black and white children cannot go places together (have a text connection conversation using this vocabulary word...What other stories can you remember where children or people were not allowed to do things together?)

2. Marshal- a policeman (ask students why would a marshal be a character in our story; show the cover of the trade book and ask the students to identify the marshal)

3. Brave- not scared of anything (ask students to think of a time they had to be brave)


Listen while students turn and talk 

Listen during student engagement responses



4.  Describing Character Chart (this chart can simply be a big sheet of butcher paper or a sheet of chart paper)

  • Student Engagement
  1. Listen to the read aloud in chunks...During this read- aloud time, the facilitator should do an impromptu visit to the literacy objective of this lesson- Author's Purpose. The students should understand the author wrote this story to Inform readers.

pages 1-6 pages 7-21 pages 22-30

  1. Think Pair Share strategy will be used to complete the character chart of Ruby. This practice will be used as the teacher desires during each chunking of the text.
  2. Record words to describe Ruby or any part of the story that the class considers important on class chart as the story is read aloud in chunks. This chart should be student generated, but the teacher may need to model to get students to responding. (examples: All-American Hero; kind; brave)
  • Assessment

Observe student discussions

Ensure accuracy of during discussion and provide immediate feedback when necessary



5.  Graphic Organizer

  • Student Engagement

6.  Students will draw a picture of Ruby Bridges and write one reason the author wanted to inform us about her. Students answers should come from adjectives used to complete the character chart posted in front of the room.


Collect the graphic organizers

Assess the author's purpose for writing the book

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. RubyBridgesGraphicOrganizer.docx
Assessment Strategies:

Before- The teacher will

  • Listen to student sentences and provide immediate feedback as needed

During- The teacher will

  • Observe student discussions
  • Ensure accuracy during student response

After- The teacher will

  • Use graphics organizers to assess the author's purpose for writing the read-aloud

Students can view the movie Disney's Ruby Bridges.


Students needing additional support:

Before: Take a picture walk of the book to use illustrations for oral comprehension development

After: Small group instruction using the story to clarify confusing parts.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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