Grades 1-3, Horace T. Ward: Footsoldier for Equal Justice

Events in the Life of Horace T. Ward 
By watching a section of the documentary the students will learn who Horace T. Ward is and the significance of his role in Black History. The lesson provides students hands-on application with the use of maps, co-operative group work and role-play.

Primary Learning Outcomes (Teachers’ Questions for Students)
Who is Horace T. Ward and what were the major events in his life? What was the chronological order of these events? Which geographic area did these events take place in? How was Horace Ward’s life different from our lives now?

Additional Learning Outcomes (Teachers’ Questions for Students)
What is segregation? What is the civil rights movement?

Assessed Georgia Performance Standards

Grade 1 -3: Social Studies

U.S.Geography – Student will find where Georgia is located on a map of the U.S. , and where Lagrange, Athens and the student’s own home are located on a map of Georgia .

U. S. History – Student will identify who Horace Ward is and the major events of his life from the film. Student will place events in chronological order. Student will identify 3-5 ways that Ward’s life as a boy was different from theirs. (clothes, food, shelter, transportation)

Civics/Government – Students will define segregation and the civil rights movement in the context of U.S. history. Students will describe the relationship between Horace Ward and the civil rights movement.

Procedures/Activities – (web resources included in each step for procedures/activities)

  ** Teachers please note : Due to difference in grade and academic levels, please review all suggested procedures/activities and decide which ones are appropriate for your class.

Session 1: Duration: 1 hour

Step 1 : Create KWL Chart with class about civil rights. Create a “What I know” column, and a “What I want to know” column and a “What I learned” column. Lead a class discussion and write down students’ answers to the first two questions. This should be kept to return to at the end of the final lesson when students can discuss what they have learned.

Step 2: Read aloud. Choose one book about civil rights and read it to the children or have the children take turns reading it.

Suggested Book List (PDF)


Session 2: Duration: 1 hour

Step 1 : Review concepts of civil rights and segregation. A good tool for review is Brainpop:

A few options are Civil rights, Martin Luther King, Jr ., Brown vs. B.O.E ., or Malcolm X

Step 2 : To expand the students’ understanding of the concept of segregation, randomly distribute a large sticker to half of the students for them to place on their clothes. Ask all the students who have a sticker to go to one side of the room, and those without to go to the other side. Ask the students how they feel about being divided into these groups. Does it change how they feel about themselves or each other?

Step 3 : With students still divided, give those without stickers one cookie each (or whatever object is appropriate to the class). Ask the class again how they feel about their groups and whether their feelings have now changed.

Step 4 : Bring the class back together and lead a discussion on segregation and its role in the history of the U.S. , particularly the South.

*Resources for teacher: for brief overview of segregation in the southern United States look at the following websites


Session 3: Duration: 1 ½ hours

Step 1 : Start the session with the Morning Letter in order to introduce Horace T. Ward.

Morning Letter (PDF)

Step 2 : Students will watch the documentary on Horace T. Ward: Foot Soldier for Justice Part 1 . The entire documentary is 60 minutes. If the teacher would like to show only 30 minutes and focus more specifically on Horace T. Ward, without including the broader context and concepts, the recommended segment is from 07:33 to 35:19.

Step 3 : Have the students divide into groups of two or three and write down five to ten facts (depending on grade level) that they learned about Horace T. Ward. (Prominent facts to look for are: Ward was born in LaGrange, Georgia, he wanted to be a lawyer, he was in a band in high school, he went to Morehouse College, he tried to get admitted to UGA Law School, he got his law degree from Northwestern Law School in Chicago, he came back to Georgia and helped to desegregate UGA as a lawyer, etc)

Step 4 : Bring the class back together and have each group share the facts that they identified. Make a list of facts on the blackboard.

Step 5 : To ensure that everyone understands the meaning of chronological order, write down three everyday events on the blackboard (such as go to school, eat lunch, go home, go to bed) and have the students place them in chronological order.

Step 6 : Have the class participate in putting the facts about Horace T. Ward already listed on the blackboard in chronological order.


Session 4: Duration: 1 ½ hour

Step 1 : Review what has been learned about civil rights, segregation and Horace T. Ward. Another Brainpop can be used for review:

Step 2 : In order for students to conceptualize where this story took place, provide students with maps of the U.S. and Georgia and have them identify and mark Georgia, LaGrange, Athens and their own hometown. A good resource for maps is:

These maps can be colored in and drawn on.

Step 3 : Lead a class discussion and have students identify 3-5 differences in the way that Ward lived in the 1930s and 40s compared to how students live now. (clothes, school, transportation, segregation, access to resources, etc.) A good tool for this exercise would be a T-chart to list “then” and “now” or a VENN diagram which shows similarities and differences.

Step 4 : Have each student write a short paragraph stating who Horace Ward is and how he fought for his civil rights during segregation.

Step 5 : To bring the lesson to a close, bring out the KWL Chart that was started at the beginning of the lesson and have students list what they learned, as well as check the “What I want to know” column to make sure all their questions have been answered.

Materials and Equipment

  1. Horace T. Ward: Foot Soldier for Justice Part 1 DVD
  2. Access to the internet
  3. TV or projection screen
  4. DVD player
  5. Blank paper (1 sheet for each student)
  6. Pencil (1 for each student)
  7. Blackboard and chalk (or suitable substitute)
  8. Maps of the U.S. and Georgia (1 for each student)
  9. Large bright sticker (1 for half of the students)
  10. Cookie (or whatever object is deemed appropriate for class) (1 for half of the students or 1 each if you want to give one to every student after the demonstration is over).

Standards (Local and/or National)

Georgia Performance Standards – Core Social Studies Skills based on

Total Duration

5 hours


1. Evaluate students’ accuracy on placing events in chronological order based on group work and class participation.

2. Evaluate students’ accuracy on finding different locations on maps based on each student’s marked maps.

3. Evaluate students’ ability to analyze differences between time periods and ways of life based on class participation.

4. Evaluate students’ understanding of segregation and civil rights and how Horace Ward relates to both of these concepts based on class participation and a written paragraph.


” A Letter to Horace Ward”. Instruct students to imagine how they would feel if they could not attend school because of the color of their skin. Have them express how this would make them feel in a letter addressed to Mr. Ward.