Teacher working with students at cannon
NPS Photo


In this teacher-led activity, students will stop at several locations in Fort Pulaski featuring cannons or equipment used with cannons. Students will learn about the weight, range and usage of cannons while solving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.


At the end of this activity, students will be able to:
1) Correctly answer the math questions integrated into the activity.
2) Understand the importance of cannons in the battle for Fort Pulaski.
3) Appreciate the challenges required to move, load and fire cannons in the Civil War.  


The battle for Fort Pulaski in 1862 involved many different types of cannons. The Union Army had an overwhelming superiority in the quality of its cannons-they fired farther, more accurately, and with more power. Despite valiant efforts by the Confederate troops inside the fort, they could not match the better Northern technology. The fort's powder magazine, which was crammed with gunpowder, was threatened by Union cannon fire. Fearing a deadly and catastrophic explosion, the Confederates surrendered the fort in less than two days.


Print the lesson plan and student worksheets from the pdf file on the park website and bring it to the park with you.

Once you arrive at the park, bring your students inside the fort to the large, grassy parade ground.

The lesson begins at the large, black cannon to your left as you enter the fort.

The lesson plan includes a fort map to guide you through the activity.

Work with your students to complete the worksheet.


The teacher can review the student worksheets to assess their success in solving the math problems.

Park Connections

The lesson plan is designed to take place on site, using tangible park resources.


Barrel—the cannon’s long tube that fired the cannon ball.
Carriage—the wheels and wooden structure that supported the barrel.
Magazine—the strongly built room designed to hold gunpowder and ammunition.