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Part One: The Young Hero: Ruby Bridges


Opening Activity: Ask students to name some of their heroes. You may want to write down the names on chart paper.

Discussion: Guide a discussion about the meaning of “hero.” Help students to understand that heroes are not only superheroes, but everyday people who stand up for what is right or who help someone in need.

Classroom Activity:

  1. Introduce vocabulary items: hero, segregation, civil rights. Ask students to define these words. Clarify the meaning of these words.
  2. Read aloud the book The Story of Ruby Bridges written by Robert Coles and illustrated by George Ford. OR listen to the story read aloud. 
  3. Post photos around the room from Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges. Under each photo place a piece of paper with the words, “Ruby is a hero because…” Ask students to fill in words or phrases below the photo. Photos are on pages 17, 19, 23, 62.
  4. Ask students to work in pairs to create an idea web. They will place Ruby in the center and link her circle to other circles with examples of her heroic deeds. You may want to start a model entitled “Ruby the Hero,” with the class. Students may use the words and phrases from the photo activity to create their web.
  5. Ask students to use a Venn diagram to compare themselves to Ruby Bridges using the following categories: gender, age, school, heroic deeds.