Read Aloud Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
Students review their observations and thinking about Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting, The Problem We all Live With, which was published in the January 14, 1964 issue of Look magazine. They listen to the read aloud Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges. This book is a first-hand retelling of the events in 1960 when Ruby was a first grader and the first African American girl to integrate an all-white school. In the book, she tells the story from her perspective. Students may view the movie, The Story of Ruby Bridges, and compare and contrast the two versions of the events.
Enduring Understandings/ Essential Questions:
- In the past, people have not always been treated equally.
- People, young and old, have helped to bring about change in our country.
- We can learn about the history of our country not only from people who study the events that took place in the past, but also from people who participated in these events.
- Why are some people treated differently than others?
- In what ways can people help to bring about change?
- How do we learn about events that happened in the past?
- Four Freedoms
- These activities will take approximately 2 weeks (30 minutes periods).
- Social Studies; Language Arts: Reading; Language Arts: Writing; Language Arts: Speaking and Listening
- Segregation; Equality; Primary source/Secondary source; Marshalls; United States; Brave; Civil Rights Movement
- Students will listen for information given explicitly in text.
- Students will make inferences supported by explicit information in text.
- Students will compare two sources of information, including details of literary elements as well as point of view.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of life during the 1950-1960’s including the story of Ruby Bridges.
Through My Eyes is a primary source. In this book, Ruby Bridges tells her own story about her experience attending a previously all-white school in the south. Norman Rockwell's painting, The Problem We All Live With, is based on Ruby’s experience as a first grader attending the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960. Photographs illustrate the story.
A Conversation with Ruby Bridges Hall
Norman Rockwell Museum
Ruby's Shoes/ Walk a Mile in the Shoes
- Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges, Scholastic Press, 1999.
- Post-it notes for recording facts, questions and thoughts.
- Display Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With. Give students an opportunity to revisit the things that they noticed and the inferences that they made. In addition, give them an opportunity to generate any questions that they have about the painting, the little girl, or the actual circumstances that are referenced.
Cover: Who do you think the girl on the cover might be? What might we learn from reading the story?
- Students read the Introduction through page 9. During the reading, students should use post-it notes to record information from the text, questions they have, and their thoughts about Ruby and her life.
- After reading the preface, have students turn and talk: What was important about this time period? Have students share their conversations before continuing to read.
- After reading page 6-9, Turn and Talk: How was Ruby’s childhood like yours? How was it different?
During the upcoming readings, offer opportunities for students to share their thoughts and ask questions. Clarify information that they may have questions about.
- Day 2: Read pages 10 -17 : One Year in an All-Black School
- Day 3: Read pages 18- 27: The First Day at William Frantz
- Day 4: Read pages 28- 35: Another First Grader
- Day 5: Read pages 36 - 45: We Are Not Alone
- Day 6: Read pages 46 - 55: I Draw Pictures for Dr. Coles
- Day 7: Read pages 56 - End of book: Let Me Bring You Up to Date
- John Steinbeck felt that Ruby was brave, and First Lady, author, and human rights activist, Eleanor Roosevelt, wrote to her saying that she was a good American. Do you think she was brave? Do you think she is a good American? Why?
Follow up activities:
- Create a character web that shows Ruby’s traits. How would you describe Ruby? Does she possess qualities you would want in a friend?
- Imagine Ruby’s first day at your school. What would her first day be like? Draw a picture illustrating her arrival at your school. Write a paragraph describing her day at your school. Write a journal page that she might have written.
- Write a letter to Ruby Bridges.
- The full movie, Ruby Bridges is available on You Tube at the link above. If appropriate for your students, view the movie and compare the book with the movie. How are the stories alike? In what ways do the two stories differ in their telling? Is important information the same?
- Did students use post-it notes to add to discussions they had with peers? During class sharing?
- Did all students participate in turn and talk/sharing?
- Did students give details that supported their responses?
- Did students build on each other's ideas?
- Did students give relevant details about the setting?
- Did they name relevant traits that describe Ruby?
- Did their responses during the story and follow-up activity reflect the character’s feelings?
- Did their responses reflect an understanding of how life has changed today in relation to Ruby’s experience as a first grader in a new school.
- Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
- Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
- Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
- Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
- Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
- Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
- Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
- Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
- Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
- Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
- Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
- Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
- Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
- Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 [link to="CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3"]here[/link] for specific expectations.)
- Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
- Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
- Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 4 Language standards 1 [link to="CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4"]here[/link] for specific expectations.)
- Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
- Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
- Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 5 Language standards 1 and 3 [link to="CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5"]here[/link] for specific expectations.)
- Identify the discplinary concepts and ideas associated with a supporting question that are open to interpretation.
- Explain how supporting questions help answer compelling questions in an inquiry.
- Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration the different opinions people have about how to answer the question.
- Compare life in specific historical time periods to today.
- Generate questions about individuals and groups who have shaped significant historical changes and continuities.
- Explain why individuals and groups during the same historical period differed in their perspectives.
- Describe how people's perspectives shaped historical sources they created.
- Summarize how different kinds of historical sources are used to explain events of the past.
- Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, structure, and context, to guide the selection.
- Use distinctions among fact and opinion to determine the credibility of multiple sources.
- Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data.
- Critique explanations.