Grade Levels: K-3
This lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-3, is built around the BrainPOP Jr. topic Ruby Bridges. Students will learn the story of this little girl who bravely stood up for her rights. They will apply what they learned to write a speech honoring Ruby Bridges.

Students will:

  1. Discuss school segregation.
  2. Watch a movie about Ruby Bridges.
  3. Construct a concept map about Ruby Bridges.
  4. Write and present a speech.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP Jr.
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Ruby Bridges Background


segregation integrate protest racism


Preview the movie Ruby Bridges to plan for any adaptations. Review Ruby Bridges Background.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Write “segregation” on a whiteboard or other display. Ask students to share what they know or think they know about segregation. If they need prompting, explain segregation is when people are separated based on race, culture, religion, or other reason. Explain that less than 100 years ago, segregation was part of life in the United States. All kinds of places were segregated including schools, restaurants, buses, movie theaters, and more.
  2. Explain that today they will learn all about a girl named Ruby Bridges who was the first African-American student to desegregate an all-white school in New Orleans. Read aloud the Ruby Bridges Background to the class.
  3. Now watch the BrainPOP movie Ruby Bridges on the whiteboard as a whole class. Pause as needed to explain concepts and vocabulary.
  4. Next, open Make-a-Map from the Ruby Bridges topic page and choose or create a spider map template. Type Ruby Bridges in the center. Tell students you will watch the movie as a class again, this time taking notes about what made Ruby Bridges an activist and a hero, or anything she did that was brave in some way. Show students how you can add text, images, or clips from the movie to the spider map. When complete, leave it open and on display on the whiteboard.
  5. Remind students that the movie began with Annie talking about naming the school library in honor of Ruby Bridges. Have students write and present a speech for the library dedication explaining why it’s being named in honor of Ruby Bridges. Tell students to use the notes from the concept map in their speeches.
  6. Circulate as students write their speeches, helping as needed.
  7. Encourage pairs to review and edit each other’s speeches. Allow time for this process and for revisions.
  8. Finally, have students present their speeches to the class.
Filed as:  Ruby Bridges