ALEX Lesson Plan

For the Love of Ruby

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Michele Downey
System: Piedmont City
School: Piedmont Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33910


For the Love of Ruby


After viewing various videos and images, the students will deepen their understandings of the desegregation movement and its continuing influence on today's society. The students will defend their opinions using an open-mic forum and will creatively demonstrate their understanding through writing poetry.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
17 ) Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue. [RI.6.7]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.6.17- Use information presented in different media or formats (e.g., video, print) to demonstrate understanding of a topic or issue.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
32 ) Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study. [SL.6.2]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.6.32- Ask a question or make an on-topic comment regarding a text read aloud or from other diverse forms of media.

Literacy Standards (6-12)
LIT2010 (2010)
Grade: 6-8
Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies
7 ) Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 6
United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
9 ) Critique major social and cultural changes in the United States since World War II.

•  Identifying key persons and events of the modern Civil Rights Movement
Examples: persons—Martin Luther King Jr.; Rosa Parks; Fred Shuttlesworth; John Lewis (Alabama)

events—Brown versus Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, student protests, Freedom Rides, Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March, political assassinations (Alabama)

•  Describing the changing role of women in United States' society and how it affected the family unit
Examples: women in the workplace, latchkey children

•  Recognizing the impact of music genres and artists on United States' culture since World War II
Examples: genres—protest songs; Motown, rock and roll, rap, folk, and country music

artists—Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Hank Williams (Alabama)

•  Identifying the impact of media, including newspapers, AM and FM radio, television, twenty-four hour sports and news programming, talk radio, and Internet social networking, on United States' culture since World War II

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.6.9- Define civil rights movement; identify key figures and events of the Civil Rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing; identify culturally influential music from the post-World War II world including, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

I can orally defend an opinion of a topic based on textual evidence and information in multimedia format.

I can show my understanding of Ruby Bridges, a Civil Rights icon, through creating a 5W poem which shows her challenges both then (1960s) and present day.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Cole (biography)

Image of the painting: The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell (Be careful with showing the image. Check with your administration before showing to students. You may find a copy without the offensive language or you may choose to Photoshop and remove.)

Posters for Gallery Walk

Technology Resources Needed:

Laptop, tablet, or another device with Internet access

Interactive White Board

Document Camera

Linoit (Free account/teacher provides URL to students)


Students should have knowledge of the modern Civil Rights Movement and it's contributors.

Students should have knowledge of segregation in schools and businesses during the 1960s.



Step 1: Engagement/Motivation Activity:  The teacher will show the Norman Rockwell image on the interactive whiteboard. The teacher will ask the students to look at the painting and to write their immediate feelings and reactions to the painting in less than five words. (You may want to remind the students to refrain from using the offensive language as one of their words or feelings.) The teacher will allow the students to share their reactions. The teacher will ask the students to predict what is happening in the painting.


Step 2: The teacher will accept responses and will tell the students that he/she will be reading a book that gives an example of the early integration of public schools in the 1960s. The teacher will show the students the key idea through the use of a linoit page with the word "desegregation" on a digital sticky note.  The teacher will begin to read aloud the biography of Ruby Bridges by Robert Cole. The teacher will project the illustrations using the document camera. After reading, the teacher will inform the students to create a digital sticky note on her linoit URL that describes the key idea and any feelings that they may have about the story. The teacher may read the stickies aloud to the class as the students post their feelings and definitions of the word "desegregation".

Step 3: The teacher will place four trait posters in four corners of the room. The teacher will inform the students that those words (Courageous, Determined, Confident, Proud) are all words that might describe Ruby. The students will walk around the room on a silent gallery walk for two minutes. The students must choose the word that best describes Ruby and the character trait that demonstrates why she should be considered as an important icon in the modern Civil Rights Movement. The teacher will give the students a mic and they will have an open discussion allowing each person to express the reason why they chose that word to best describe Ruby Bridges. The teacher will facilitate this discussion and will keep students on task.

Step 4 (Assessment): The students will watch the video of Ruby Bridges and President Obama.

The students will also watch Ruby's explanation of her school experience.


After watching, the students will create a 5W poem from the viewpoint of Ruby: Students may choose to write the poem from the 1960s viewpoint or the present day viewpoint. Students must use factual evidence in their poem and may want to search the internet for additional information about that event in history.

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

Rubric for 5W poem in attachments


Students can research other key persons of the modern civil rights movement such as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks and create a powerpoint containing the information they found.


A peer may assist students that need extra help while public speaking and while writing the 5W poem.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.