Behind the Bricks

Grades 4-5

Reservations required for Behind the Bricks. Please call (415) 561-2829.
Fort Point with the Golden Gate Bridge above.
On this self-guided investigation, crafty time travelers discover everyday life in 1860s Fort Point. Students uncover the stories of soldiers, laundresses, stonemasons, and more. San Francisco has the only massive brick and granite seacoast fortification on the West Coast. At the height of the Gold Rush, Fort Point was built and garrisoned with soldiers ordered to protect the city, its harbor, and the maritime resources that sailed through it. Activities and observations help students uncover the daily lives of soldiers and the intricate work of stonemasons. Behind the Bricks will help your students understand how and why forts were built.

Behind the Bricks uses the Understanding by Design framework, incorporates Common Core Standards and Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies. Program Description.

To download the Behind the Bricks Understanding by Design grid, please click here.

Program Description

Behind the Bricks is framed by the Essential Question – “What stories do forts tell?”

Classroom preparation – lessons delivered by the teacher with resources provided by the park

Field session – the fort experience in which students investigate the fort and construct their own interpretation

Classroom Assessment – opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned through essays based on evidence gleaned from primary sources and the fort visit

National Park Service staff will greet you and your class when you arrive at Fort Point. Staff will present a brief introduction on the fort's place in San Francisco history. Please have your students prepared to work in small groups.


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