Ruby Bridges: A Simple Act of Courage Lesson Plans and Teaching Resources
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
On November 14, 1960, first-grade student Ruby Bridges became the first African American child to integrate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.
Teach your students about Ruby's important role in the civil rights movement with this extensive collection, including classroom-ready slide shows, interactive editions of Scholastic News, Common Core-aligned lesson plans, a student-created video, book lists, and more.
Resources to Use With Students
See how Ruby Bridges integrated an all-white elementary school, and discover what segregation and inequality looked like in the United States in the 1950s in these two slide shows — one for K–2 and another for grades 3–8 that takes a deeper look at the Civil Rights Movement. Teaching guides to use with the slide shows, which can be viewed full-screen, are linked to below.
In this interactive digital issue of Scholastic News for grades 1–2, read Ruby's story, watch a video, play a skills game, and much more!
Watch as students in the kindergarten and second and third grade classes at Del Sur Elementary in the Poway Unified School District, Calif., tell Ruby’s story — and imagine what might have happened had she not been so brave — in this video they wrote, directed, and performed.
Common Core Lesson Plans
Use the activities in these Common Core-aligned lesson plans as part of your instruction about the civil rights movement, Black History Month, or Women's History Month. The activities are aligned to the Common Core standards in English Language Arts, with a focus on core reading and writing skills.
Teach about Ruby Bridges with this Common Core lesson plan that includes text-based questions, vocabulary word wall, role play, worksheets, an extension activity, and more
This Common Core lesson plan includes vocabulary, writing response, text-based questions, graphic organizer, and much more
With the Common Core-aligned activities in this lesson plan, including expository and persuasive writing, vocabulary, and text-based questions, you can teach your students about Ruby's story and the civil rights movement in America.
Slide Show Teaching Guides
With historical images and information, these slideshows, which can be viewed or projected full-screen, describe the segregation and inequality that existed in America in the 1950s and 1960s and show how the Ruby Bridges story is woven into the overarching struggle for civil rights.
These teaching guides provide a script you can print out and use with your students, as well as facts, background information, and vocabulary words.
Pictures of Ruby Bridges and the civil rights movement help students learn about Ruby how her world was different than the one we live in today.
For older students, a deeper look at the civil rights movement and Ruby's role in it through images of pivotal moments and people in the struggle for civil rights
Read about Ruby Bridges, who was born in Mississippi in 1954, and became the center of a political storm of controversy when she was among the first black children to go to a previously all-white school in New Orleans. Includes four books for grades K-5.
Primary Sources From the Scholastic Archives
This November 30, 1960, article from Senior Scholastic magazine covers the story of school integration in New Orleans, La., in November of 1960 and provides background information about the related court cases.
In November 1960, four African-American girls integrated their public elementary schools. "School Problem," an article published by Junior Scholastic magazine in December 1960, covers this historic event and provides background information about "separate but equal" and segregation in the southern United States in the 1950s.