Ruby Bridges changed the course of history for herself and millions of others. In the midst of the civil rights movement, Bridges stood up against discrimination and racism by being the first Black student at William Frantz Elementary School. She was greeted by angry crowds and shunned by the majority of her peers, but nevertheless, she persisted. 

Teach your class about Bridges’ story with The Story of Ruby Bridges (Grades PreK-3), which illustrates how she became a trailblazer and helped make education accessible to all. For a first-person perspective, give your students I Am Ruby Bridges (Grades 1-3) and Through My Eyes (Grades 5-7), written by Bridges herself. The books go into detail about November 14, 1960 — the day she was escorted by federal marshals to attend and integrate an all-white elementary school — and are filled with captivating illustrations and historic photographs. 

As part of your lesson plan, start a discussion about how Ruby Bridges’ bravery impacted education for generations to come. You can use these printables and this reading guide to spark conversation. You also can share this Ruby Bridges video with your students and reflect together.

Lessons about diversity and inclusion allow students to engage in meaningful conversations. Bridges has said that she likes to write children’s books because she believes the next generation holds the power to put an end to racism. “I felt like there was something I needed to do — speaking to kids and sharing my story with them and helping them understand racism has no place in the minds and hearts of children,” Bridges once said. 

Shop Ruby Bridges titles below to teach students important lessons about diversity, inclusion, and bravery. You can find all books and activities at The Teacher Store.

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