Ruby Bridges

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10361

Has anyone teased you, or threatened you, or not allowed you to go somewhere because of how you look? Discrimination is a terrible thing, but a 6-year-old girl once stood tall and made a difference!


People and Their Environment, United States

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Look at this sign. What do you think it means?

segregation sign, 1943

Image by Esther Bubley, via Wikimedia Commons and cropped, is in the public domain and available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division, ID cph.3b22541.

There was a time in the United States's history when African Americans were called “colored” and were not allowed to use many public places that white people were allowed.

The sign above told African Americans to wait for the bus at this Greyhound station in Georgia in the back away from white passengers. Watch Explaining Segregation To Her Kids | This Day Forward | msnbc to learn more about segregation:


  • After watching the video, how does segregation make you feel?
  • How would you feel if you were told you couldn’t go to a place you wanted because of the color of your skin?

In this lesson, you are going to learn about a very brave girl who helped make it possible for African Americans to be respected in a previously white school. Her name is Ruby Bridges. You can learn more about Ruby Bridges by reading and watching Ruby Bridges Goes to School, read by Meagan Heath (below). When you have finished, define the words "brave," "segregation," "integration," and "guards" in your own words, and explain in your notebook or journal how these words apply to Ruby. Take notes on all the information on the rights of the African Americans and the white population. Share the ones you remember with your teacher, then move on to Ruby's full biography at Ruby Bridges,

Ruby Bridges Goes to School:


Ruby Bridges is still alive (2017); she is 62 years old. That means she is probably as old as your grandparents.

  • Depending on where they lived, can you imagine that when your grandparents were kids, there was segregation?

You can ask your grandparents if they saw segregation when they were kids.

Now, move on to the Got It? section to study Ruby's life more closely.

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