Activity: Ask students to share an example of when a friend has helped them. Discuss what it means to be a good friend.
Discussion: Reflecting on Ruby’s story, ask students to think of examples of friends who supported Ruby. Examples may include her teacher, Mrs. Henry, people who sent letters, and her neighbors on France Street. You may want to use photos and quotes from The Story of Ruby Bridgesand Through My Eyesto support the discussion.
Create: Write the following quotes from Through My Eyeson the board. Ask students to choose a quote and draw a picture to illustrate the ideas.
- “When we left school that first day, the crowd outside was even bigger and louder than it had been in the morning. There were reporters and film cameras and people everywhere.”
- “My father heard about the trouble at school. That night when he came home from work, he said I was his ‘brave little Ruby.’”
- “I will always remember how our neighbors on France Street helped us through the winter. They came by all the time to see how we were doing. They were nervous about the racial tension in the city, but they also wanted to support us.”
- “Being Mrs. Henry’s only student wasn’t a chore. It was fun and felt sort of special. She was more like my best friend than just an ordinary teacher. She was a loving person, and I knew she cared about me.”
- Have students dramatize the story of Ruby Bridges with one student narrating and others pantomiming.
- Ask students to write about themselves doing a heroic deed or helping a friend. Ask the students to draw an accompanying picture.
- Watch the film Ruby Bridges: A Real American Hero,(ca. 90min) produced by Disney in 1998.