Taking A Stand For Equality

Briefly introduce Ruby Bridges to the students as one who was viewed by many as having differences from others. Focus children's attention on Ruby's courage and strength as you read Ruby Bridges Goes To School: My True Story. 


1.IT-E.2. Respond appropriately to questions based on facts in text heard or read.

1.LT-U.2. Sequence a series of events in a literary selection heard or read.

WRITING W.1.2: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

RI.1.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently. 


Bridges, Ruby “Ruby Bridges Goes To School: My True Story” (New York, NY: Cartwheel Books, 2009).

Warm Up

1. Intrduce vocabulary: equality, patient, courageous, hopeful, peaceful

2. Have students watch and discuss the Rosa Parks Montgomery Boycott Clip:

3. Think, Pair, Share. Individually, have students think of the many differences they note among their classmates. For example, eye color, hair color, languages spoken, having the ability to roll their tongue, etc. In pairs, have the children share the differences they thought of. As a class, students will list all of the differences they came up with. The students will then chart these differences. While charting these differences, the teacher will point out that there are numerous differences among the class and that each difference makes us unique from everyone else.

4. Guided Discussion: Discuss the differences charted from the think pair-share activity. Define the term equality and ask children if these differences make one person better than another. Provide children with hypothetical situations in which some of the class members were given certain privileges that other students could not participate in because they were different. For example, only girls were allowed to eat their lunch in the cafeteria while the boys had to eat their lunch outside (no matter what the weather was like). Or, children who were left handed had to attend a different school from those right-handed children. Ask students how they would feel if they couldn't do everything that other children could do just because they were different in some way. Emphasize that although we may be very different from one another, we are all equal and that we each deserve the same opportunities and privileges. Reinforce what the meaning of equality is.

5. Story Map: Have students complete a story map identifying the characters, seting, probem, solution in addition to the plot. 


1. Pre-write questions on the board:
Who was Ruby Bridges?
What made Ruby so different from everyone else?
How would you feel if you were Ruby?
What would you do if you were Ruby in that situation?
In what ways has Ruby's strength and courage affected your lives?

2. Briefly introduce Ruby Bridges to the students as one who was viewed by many as having differences from others. Focus children's attention on Ruby's courage and strength as you read Ruby Bridges Goes To School: My True Story.

3. Divide the class into 4 or 5 groups. Each group will discuss one of the five questions on the board, making sure each member understands both the question and the answer. Each group member will then be given the opportunity to orally share what they have discussed as a group.

4. Corners-Game: Have the following 4 words taped up in the 4 corners of your classroom: patient/ courageous/ hopeful / peaceful

Call students attention to the following statement: "The word that best describes Ruby Bridges is..." Ask students to decide which word they agree with most and ask them to stand in that corner. Make sure that the children know what each of the words mean before you expect them to successfully accomplish this activity. As a group, students should discuss their reasons behind choosing their word and then explain it to the rest of the class. Students will then write a letter telling Ruby Bridges why they think what she did was important (the address to Ruby Bridges Foundation is located at the back of The Story of Ruby Bridges).



Write the following questions on the board. Have the students pick one question and answer it thoroughly in their Reading Response Journal.

-"What is one thing you would change in Ruby Bridges life? Why?"
-"If you could chose one of the qualities of Ruby Bridges for yourself, what would you chose and why?"
-"If there was a child who was different form everyone else and wasn't allowed in our school because of that difference, would you do anything to help that child? Why or why not?"
-"If you were Ruby Bridges would you have continues going to school or would you have stayed home where you were safe?"
-"Are you proud of who you are and what differences you may have?"

Have students share out.

Closure and Reflection

To go along with the theme of difference, children and their families will be given the opportunity to recognize and celebrate their differences (which many include a tradition, family vacation, or a special occasion). At the end of the week, culminating our discussion on differences, each child and his/her family will have the opportunity to share a difference unique to their family. Conclude with a discussion celebrating our differences.