Ruby Bridges

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Ruby Bridges Movie Lesson Plan

Interpret, analyze, and apply ideas presented in a given excerpt from any political document or material (e.g., speech, essay, editorial, court case) (C-1B-H2)

Analyze discrepancies between American ideals and social or political realities of life (e.g., equal protection vs. Jim Crow laws) (C-1B-H4)

Analyze causes and effects in historical and contemporary U.S. events, using a variety of resources (H-1A-H6)

Movie: Ruby Bridges
Resources about school integration in the US during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Computer with Internet access.
Graphic organizers


1. Together as a class: Review yesterdays lesson on two important events: o In 1868, the 14th Amendment was ratified, giving citizenship to former slaves and guaranteeing them equal rights. It states: "No State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." o In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that segregation was legal and did not violate the 14th Amendment as long as separate facilities were equal. The decision endorses the law of "separate but equal."

2. In groups of two using the graphic organizer (Tictactoe or thematic web) to jot down important information: Next, have students read excerpts from the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. Excerpts are available online at

3. Next: Ask students to fill out a comparison/contrasting graphic organizer and use it to explain how Brown Vs Board affected the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling. (The decision stated that segregated schools are "inherently unequal" and violate the 14th Amendment. This ruling overturned the "separate but equal" ruling of Plessy.)

4. Introduction to the movie: Explain that while Brown v. Board of Education made segregated schools illegal, it was a long time before Southern schools were...
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