Lesson Plan

Cannons by the Numbers

Teacher working with students at cannon

NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade-Sixth Grade
Civil War, History, Mathematics, Military and Wartime History
30-45 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
in the park
National/State Standards:
Georgia Performance Standards/Common Core
Mathematics    MCC5.NBT.5, MCC5.NBT.6, MCC5.MD.1,MCC6.RP.1,MCC6.NS.2, MCC6.NS.3
Social Studies  SS5H1
English Language Arts  ELACC5RI1, ELACC5SL1, ELACC6RI1, ELACC6SL1
Civil War


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.



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.

Last updated: February 12, 2019