Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Seeing Integration From Different Viewpoints

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Karen Foster

Sedalia, Missouri


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Activate prior knowledge and analyze the topic of racial integration in the United States

  • Focus on key ideas during reading by marking important passages in a text

  • Improve their reading comprehension by participating in a postreading discussion

  • Interpret facts or events critically by viewing them from different perspectives

back to top


Session 1

1. Show students the cover of The Story of Ruby Bridges on an overhead transparency or a Smart Board. Ask students, "What do you think is happening in this picture? Why?" Using the overhead projector or the Smart Board, write down some of the students' answers so you can refer back to them later.

2. Distribute the Possible Sentences for The Story of Ruby Bridges handout so that each student has a copy. Read it chorally and then have students complete the four sentences in the "Before reading" section of the handout. Using a transparency on the overhead projector or the Smart Board, write some of the students' sentences so you can refer back to them later.

During Reading (25 minutes)

3. Have students read The Story of Ruby Bridges aloud in groups of three to five. They should then locate the answers that complete the four sentences in the Possible Sentences handout and mark their place in the text with sticky notes.

Postreading (15 minutes)

4. When students have finished reading the text about Ruby Bridges, have them complete the four sentences in the "After reading" section of the Possible Sentences handout. Have students read aloud sentences from the text to confirm each answer. Write some of the students' sentences on the "After reading" line using the overhead projector or the Smart Board and look for changes from the "Before Reading" responses.

5. Lead a discussion to promote students' comprehension of the story. Some questions you might ask include:
  • How do you think Ruby felt as she walked through the angry mob every day?

  • Do you think Ruby's parents were afraid for her safety? Their safety? The safety of their home and possessions?

  • How do you think Ruby felt in the classroom all by herself? Why?

  • Why do you think Miss Hurley accepted Ruby?

  • What kind of student was Ruby? How do you know?

  • If you were a parent of a child attending Franz Elementary School, would you have kept your child home from school? Why?

  • Would our school be different if the Supreme Court had not decided that racially separate schools were not educationally equal? How so?
6. Collect the Possible Sentences handout at the end of the session.

back to top


Session 2

1. Display the chart you created that describes the different types of glasses and distribute the Description of Decision Lenses handout to students. Review the characteristics of each pair of glasses, making sure that students understand them.

2. Tell students you will now look at an example of how these glasses might apply in a specific situation. Show students the Teacher's Model of Five Decision Lenses on an overhead transparency or a Smart Board while students review paper handouts. Read and discuss the different comments and how they relate to the type of glasses each person is wearing. You might leave this up for students to see while they are completing their group activity.

3. Divide the class into the five assigned groups and tell them which student is the leader. Distribute a copy of the Group Jobs for Five Decision Lenses and the Group Chart for Five Decision Lenses to each group leader. Using the transparencies you created or a Smart Board, review the jobs and give students a few minutes to divide the jobs in their groups. Then go over the Group Chart for Five Decision Lenses. You might ask students to help you fill in one of the boxes on the chart to demonstrate how they are expected to do so.

4. Using the transparency you created or a Smart Board, review the Group Assessment Rubric and tell students they will fill these out when they have completed the activity they are about to do. Explain that you will also use this rubric to assess their work as a group.

5. Tell students they will now use the Five Decision Lenses method while they think about what happened in The Story of Ruby Bridges. They should consider the US Supreme Court's decision that ordered school desegregation from different viewpoints and determine the effect of the decision on society in the 1960s and today.

Each group will wear one pair of glasses at a time. While they are wearing a pair of glasses, they should react to the Supreme Court decision using the perspective of that pair of glasses. As they wear the glasses, they can speak from the point of view of students today or from the point of view of people whose opinions might be appropriate to that perspective. For example, while wearing the yellow glasses, they might speak as Ruby Bridges. Other characters and groups to consider include Ruby Bridges' parents, Miss Hurley, the white students who stayed home, the white children in the other wing of the building, the parents of the white children, the federal marshals, the Supreme Court judges, the New Orleans judge, and future generations of children of all ethnic groups.

6. About every eight minutes, ask students to rotate their glasses, until every group has considered the story from every point of view ("lens") and made written responses on the Group Chart for Five Decision Lenses. The chart should contain quotes from the group and should indicate whether the quote represents a specific character's point of view.

It is very important that each student experience every perspective. All students in a group should wear the same kind of glasses at a time and each group should wear every color of glasses before the activity is complete.

7. Have members of each group assess their performance using the Group Assessment Rubric.

8. Bring the class back together to discuss their Group Charts. You might make a blank chart on chart paper or a transparency that you fill in using responses from the different groups to create a class chart. Students should be able explain why they responded the way they did when wearing a pair of glasses and should share why they thought certain characters would respond in certain ways. Ask students how it felt to react in ways that were different from their own perspectives.

back to top



back to top



  • Informally assess prior knowledge of racial integration in the 1960s by the predicted answers to the introductory question and the "Before reading" answers to the Possible Sentences for The Story of Ruby Bridges.

  • As students are reading, informally assess active learning by seeing where students place sticky notes to find Possible Sentences responses.

  • Compare the "Before reading" and "After reading" Possible Sentences responses to see how well students understood the story.

  • Observe and assess student participation in their groups, how well they are able to complete their assigned jobs, and their responses and participation during the whole-class discussion of how they filled in their Group Chart for Five Decision Lenses.

  • Use the Group Assessment Rubric to assign grades for the writing on the Group Chart for Five Decision Lenses. All students in the same group should receive the same grade.

back to top