The Bridge Home Teaching Ideas

The Bridge Home Teaching Activities

Are you looking for a great novel to read with your students? The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman is a great choice.  

With its empowering story, positive message, and captivating plot, The Bridge Home is a perfect classroom read-aloud or book club novel.


Imagine two young girls, 11 and 12 years old, alone in a city of over 7 million. Factor in that one of the girls has a developmental disability. The girls have no money. Returning home is not an option as their father has become physically abusive. This is the premise of The Bridge Home. 

Viji and Rukku walk the city looking for a safe place to sleep. They come across a stray dog that immediately loves Rukku. Viji, Rukku, and the dog – they name Kutti – find an old abandoned bridge to spend the night. There they meet two boys, Arul and Muthu, already living under the bridge. The boys share their home with the girls and Kutti. The group soon become fast friends, a family unit.

Arul shows Viji how to scavenge the trash heaps for glass and metal to sell. Rukku sits in the shade and makes beaded necklaces while the others scavenge. One day Rukku learns that people are willing to pay for her necklaces, so she too can make money to support the group. Time goes by as the group lives happily under the bridge.

T-R-O-U-B-L-E The waste mart man takes an interest in Rukku. He comes to their bridge trying to kidnap her. The children are able to escape, but their home is no longer safe. Now, where will they live? The rainy season is coming. The meager income is lost with the waste mart man now an enemy.

Read The Bridge Home to learn how this group survives – or do they?

Activities to Do with The Bridge Home

Do you want to give The Bridge Home a try? Below are some activities including free printables to enhance your novel study.

Video Preview

Links to Teaching Resources on the Web

Author’s Website

Discussion Guide from Random House

True or False Fact Cards

Free activity to use with The Bridge Home

In this handout are fact cards about several topics found in the novel The Bridge Home including recycling, teenage runaways, and India. Some of the statements on the cards are TRUE while others are FALSE. A list of activities for using the cards is also provided.

The Bridge Home Novel Study Resources

Get a free sample of The Bridge Home Novel Study

Grab a free sample of The Bridge Home Novel Study. This download includes the printable version for Chapters 1-4.

Click here to get your free book unit sample.

Several versions of The Bridge Home Novel Study are available.

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman Activities
Does your school limit printable copies? Don’t worry! Boom Learning is a great digital option. This resource includes chapter quizzes for every two chapters, two vocabulary checks, identifying types of figurative phrases found in the novel, and lessons on point of view and character. 

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman Activities

Purchase the full novel study With the full version, you will receive not only the Boom Learning Decks but activities for Google Slides. Boom Learning is used for multiple-choice, short answer, and matching questions. Google Slides contain open-ended questions such as the constructed response questions.  In addition to digital files, the full printable resource is also included with the full novel study.

If you don’t need digital options, a printable-only version is also available.

I hope your students enjoy The Bridge Home as much as my students!


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