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Alycia

I live in New York

I teach 3rd grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach 6th grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Beth

I live in Michigan

I teach 3rd grade

I am an enthusiastic teacher and techie, and a mom of three boys

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach 2nd grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

John

I live in New York

I teach writing for grades 5-8

I am a sharpener of minds who keeps students' thinking on point

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach 2nd and 3rd grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Meghan

I live in Alabama

I teach 3rd grade

I am an obsessive personality with a creative flair

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach 4th grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Shari

I live in Idaho

I teach kindergarten

I am a wife, mom, and home chef who loves cooking up ways to make learning fun in school

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5 technology

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Amanda

I live in Illinois

I teach 1st and 2nd grades

I am a jewelry-making, pet-loving, runner, crafter, and bilingual teacher

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach kindergerten

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Ruby Bridges for First Graders: Cross-Curricular Compassion

By Meghan Everette on February 13, 2014
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

Ruby Bridges is a brave role model for young children and adults everywhere. When looking for a way to introduce civil rights and Black History Month to my young first graders, she instantly came to mind. Because Ruby was just six years old when she entered Frantz Elementary in New Orleans, she is a figure my kids can identifyRuby Bridges collection page with.

I used Scholastic’s Ruby Bridges resources, along with the kindergarten to second grade lesson plan, and my own twists to create a cross-curricular lesson that fits Common Core State Standards, 21st-century skills, and civil rights history all into a few informative class sessions.

I watched a wonderful lesson by my coworker, Mrs. Winberg, and stole it to try with my class. When introducing civil rights she displays a "Colored People Upstairs" sign and asks her children to guess at the meaning. Her class, and mine, displayed wonderfully childlike and open-minded responses. Most students said there was a party for people who were painted different colors upstairs. We used this photo as a jumping off point, explaining what it really meant, and how some people were not treated fairly.

Ruby Bridges lesson plan page

Following that introduction, I used the Ruby Bridges lesson plan for younger gradesRuby Bridges slideshow. My students saw images of Ruby Bridges in school, escorted by U.S. Marshals, and they realized that Ruby was a real child, like them. Because of our close proximity to New Orleans, many students understood the area that Ruby grew up in. They could relate to her experiences, which is powerful for students.

After reading The Story of Ruby Bridges and Ruby Bridges Goes to School, students wrote letters to Ruby. This was our first letter-writing lesson, but the notes were heartfelt and showed understanding. Finally, students were given an option to create a summary of what they learned with the Educreations free app. It allows students to use photos as the background for their voice recordings. Some students even incorporated sound clips from a second device into their lessons. The lessons they created are shared in the classroom, so everyone can learn both summary techniques and iPad skills.

Students worked on history, writing, reading, and 21st-century skills in several succinct lessons. Perhaps the best lesson of all is that Ruby was treated unfairly, and we should celebrate our differences. It’s a lesson my young students take to heart.

A child's letter to Ruby BridgesWriting letters to Ruby

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