Read Aloud: Ruby Bridges Goes to School By Ruby Bridges
Students will review their observations and thoughts about The Problem We all Live With. They will contribute to a K-W-L chart. The book, Ruby Bridges Goes to School will be read aloud. This book is a first-hand retelling of the events in 1960, when Ruby was a first grader in a previously all-white school. She tells the story from her perspective. Additional follow up activities are provided.
Enduring Understandings /Essential Questions:
- People have not always been treated equally.
- People of all ages, races, cultures, and walks of life have helped to bring about change in our country.
- We can learn about the history of our country not only from documents and historians - people who study the events that took place in the past - but also from the first-hand accounts of 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?
- Why are all accounts of a historical event not the same?
- The Problem We All Live With; Civil Rights Movement
- This activity could take one to two 30 minute periods, depending on follow-up activity chosen.
- Social Studies; Language Arts: Reading; Language Arts: Speaking and Listening; Language Arts: Writing
- Segregation; Equality; Primary source; Secondary source; Race; Marshalls; United States; Brave; Civil Rights Movement
- Students will understand that all people have the same rights although that was not always true throughout history.
- Students will be able to name some ways that people help to make changes in society.
- Students will use a first-hand source to learn about an event in the past.
- Students will read closely to determine what the text says explicitly. They will make logical inferences from it, citing evidence to support their thinking.
- Students will use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
- Students will participate in activities and discussion related to the story.
Ruby Bridges Goes to School is a primary source. In this book, Ruby Bridges tells her own story about her experience attending a previously all-white school in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 1960. Ruby tells her story in simple text that is easy for the youngest children to understand. Photographs illustrate the story.
- Optional: K-W-L chart paper and marker
- Ruby Goes to School by Ruby Bridges
- Paper for a follow-up activity that is appropriate for the grade level.
- Display The Problem We All Live With again. Give students an opportunity to revisit the things that they noticed and the inferences that they made. In addition, give them time to generate any questions that they have about the painting, the little girl or her story, the setting, etc.
- Begin to create a K-W-L chart based on what they know from looking at the illustration. Add their questions. This chart will be referred to again after reading this book and the book, The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles in the next activity.
- Read Ruby Bridges Goes to School by Ruby Bridges.
- Turn and Talk/Sharing points:
- Book cover: Who do you think the girl is on the cover? What might we learn from reading the story?
- Page 5: What does Ruby want us to know about the time and place depicted in this story? How is this the same or different from now?
- Page 10: What is changing? What do you think about these changes?
- Page 17: What was it like for Ruby in the new school? What might it have felt like to be Ruby going to this new school? Why?
- Page 20: How do you think Ruby feels about her new school now? Why?
- End of book: Why do you think John Steinbeck said that Ruby was brave and Eleanor Roosevelt, a First Lady, 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?
- Add new learnings from the text to the last column on the K-W-L chart.
- Additional Follow up activities:
- Draw a picture of Ruby Bridges going to school. Write words and phrases that tell about her.
- Imagine it was 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. How might you welcome her?
- If Ruby kept a journal or diary of her year in first grade, what might she say? Write a journal page that she might discuss what she experienced and felt.
- 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 in follow-up activities reflect the character’s feelings?
- Did their responses reflect an understanding of how life has changed today from the past in relation to Ruby’s experience as a first grader in a new school?
- Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
- Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
- Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
- Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 1 Language standards 1 and 3 [link to="CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1"]here[/link] for specific expectations.)
- Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
- Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
- Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
- Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 [link to="CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2"]here[/link] for specific expectations.)
- Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
- Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
- Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
- Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
- Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
- Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
- Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
- Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
- With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
- With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
- Identify facts and concepts associated with a supporting question.
- Make connections between supporting questions and compelling questions.
- Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions.
- Compare life in the past to life today.
- Generate questions about individuals and groups who have shaped a significant historical change.
- Compare perspectives of people in the past to those of people in the present.
- Compare different accounts of the same historical event.
- Identify different kinds of historical sources.
- Gather relevant information from one or two sources while using the origin and structure to guide the selection.
- Evaluate a source by distinguishing between fact and opinion.
- Construct explanations using correct sequence and relevant information.
- Ask and answer questions about explanations.