As a first-grade teacher, I felt honored teaching Ruby Bridges to my students. Since the famous fact about Ruby Bridges happened when she was a first grade student, my students could make connections between her life and their own.
Children’s Books About Ruby Bridges
My favorite of the children’s books about Ruby Bridges is “The Story Of Ruby Bridges” by Robert Coles. I begin teaching Ruby Bridges with this book. I think the hardest part for me was always teaching about white adults who behaved so monstrously toward this little girl. And here I am, a white adult.
“The Story Of Ruby Bridges” handles the timeline for Ruby Bridges to begin to attend school, walking through the picket line, learning in a classroom by herself, to finally meeting friends very delicately. It’s a very well-written book. My students are captivated. You can get this book through the Amazon link here if you don’t have it yet.
The Timeline For Ruby Bridges To Attend School
After I read children’s books about Ruby Bridges to my students, we begin discussing what life was like for her when she was in first grade. We do this by making a timeline for Ruby Bridges and adding key points in her life.
The fact that within the timeline for Ruby Bridges to attend school has instances when students were not ALLOWED to attend their school baffles my students each year. Either by the color of their skin or by the choice of their parents, kids never think that students can not attend school. This is really eye-opening for them.
Many times when teaching Ruby Bridges to my students I’ll add another fact about Ruby Bridges to the timeline. She had to be escorted by marshalls through a mob of angry adults. As a six-year-old girl. I don’t mind telling you that I get choked up every time we add this to the timeline for Ruby Bridges. I tell them that I just cannot imagine standing outside a school behaving so badly.
Ruby Bridges Classroom Activities
After teaching Ruby Bridges, it’s time to introduce activities that my students can take home. I have mini books about Ruby Bridges’s experience that they can color, read, and take home. There are writing prompts right on Ruby’s lunchbox for them to make a connection from their own life experiences, and there are digital activities with a video and interactive slides for your students to use at their centers.
You can check out all these and more for Black History Month here and at literacystations.com.
Enjoy teaching Ruby Bridges to your students! It’s a difficult subject, but incredibly rewarding.