For Educators

Schedule a Field Trip

On-site Activities

The Museum: Walk through our exhibit hall containing hundreds of artifacts and the stories of the men who were stationed here during the Civil War and World War II. The Museum’s orientation film will provide a basic overview of the history of Fort Fisher during the Civil War. The fiber-optic map (10 Minutes) describes the action on January 15, 1865. A minimum of 30 minutes for the inside is recommended. All activities are suitable for all ages The film is 10 minutes long and a maximum of 50 people. The exhibit hall has no limit on participation.

Self-Guided Tour: You can walk the ¼ mile tour trail on your own while reading about the history of the site on wayside panel exhibits. The handicapped accessible trail winds around the remaining earthworks. 30 minutes, suitable for all ages, no limit on participation.

Basic tour: The general tour explaining the first and second battles at Fort Fisher, as well as a discussion of the importance of blockade running and the Wilmington port. 30 to 45 minutes, suitable for all ages, limit participation to 50 individuals or less.

Garrison Life and the School of the Soldier: Congratulations! You’ve just enlisted in the army! Now find out about life on garrison duty for the soldiers on both sides. As a part of the garrison you’ll be expected to learn the manual of arms, how to march and your uniform. 30 minutes, 3rd grade and up, maximum of 30 participants.

“Ready, Aim, Fire!”: Learn about Civil War small arms, including those brought in through the blockade, with a costumed interpreter. The demonstration will conclude with a firing of a reproduction 1853 Enfield Rifle. 15 minutes, 1st grade and up, maximum of 75 people (including chaperones).

“Cannoneers, Attention!”: Using the site’s reproduction 12-pound bronze Napoleon field piece, visitors will learn about Civil War artillery and have a chance to practice period field artillery drill under the command of a costumed interpreter. This is a non-firing program subject to weather conditions and to staffing availability. 30 minutes, 4th grade and up, maximum of 30 participants.

“Getting the Message Through”: Learn about how soldiers and sailors transmitted and received messages. This is a team exercise and there need to be two teams of two people each to use the “Wig-Wag” flag code. 30 minutes, 4th grade and up, maximum of 30 participants.

“Townball”: Learn about the game that was growing in popularity prior to the Civil War. Use the New York 1854, the Massachusetts 1857, or the NABBP 1857 rules and experience the origins of the game that became America's pastime - Baseball. 30 minutes, 4th grade and up, maximum of 25 participants to play a game.

Teacher Resources: Lesson Plans

Be the Historian: Group Assignment Sheet

Assignment: In a group of FOUR, create a historical narrative of Fort Fisher in the Civil War.  Utilize the provided information and things you learned on your field trip as source material.  Your narrative should compare and contrast at least TWO different perspectives.  Your group will present their project to the class.

A historical narrative is history written or presented like a story, with events typically told in chronological order.  Historical events are told through the first- or third-person perspective of one or more historical figures.  In your assignment, your historical figures may be fictional, but they should fit the historical context.

Your narrative should tell the audience:

  1. What happened at Fort Fisher in the Civil War,
  2. Why Fort Fisher was important,
  3. How different people experienced the events of the Civil War or what the Civil War meant to different people. 

Your narrative may take the following forms.  

  • 5-7 paragraph essay
  • 5-minute group presentation
  • 5-minute group skit
  • A poem, rap, or song
  • Artwork
  • An alternative project, approved by teacher.

Deadline: Your group will present your project in class on ________________

Be the Historian: Post-Field Trip Worksheet

This lesson plan serves as a culmination of lessons from the field trip to Fort Fisher and (if applicable) pre-visit Fort Fisher lessons.  At least one lesson plan or a field trip to Fort Fisher is recommended before students complete this lesson.

Recommended grade level: middle school or high school

Time required: 2-3 class sessions

Setting: classroom


  • Utilizing the knowledge gained from the field trip to Fort Fisher and (if applicable) pre-visit lessons, students work in groups to recap the importance of Fort Fisher in history and the experiences of those who lived, worked, and fought there during the Civil War.
  • Understand the value of diverse sources and perspectives in historical inquiry.
  • Work in a group to create a historical account of Fort Fisher.


  • Informational packet 
  • Students’ worksheet(s) from previous Fort Fisher lessons, if applicable.
  • Student assignment sheet


  • If you plan to have your students complete this lesson after their visit to Fort Fisher, you may advise them to take photographs on their phone and/or to take notes on things they may want to use in their report/project.
  • You may assign a cumulative project that fits your goals.  A group may collaborate on a traditional written essay or a class presentation.  Alternatively, groups may be creative in their historical account of Fort Fisher with a poem, song, skit, artwork, etc. 
  • This lesson will work best soon after the field trip to Fort Fisher so students have a fresh memory of the day’s events and lessons.  The informational packet provided with this lesson aims to remind students of what they learned on the field trip.
  • Students may need to finish the final project outside of class or over multiple class periods.  The latter is particularly true if groups will present in front of the class.
  • Revise the Student Assignment Sheet in accordance with the final project you wish students to produce.


  1. Warm up with a discussion about the field trip.  
    1. What did you enjoy about your time at Fort Fisher?
    2. What was most memorable?  
    3. Were you able to learn something new about the Civil War?
    4. If you could ask them, what do you think a [Confederate soldier, U.S. soldier, African American laborer, wife of a soldier, U.S. sailor, or U.S. Colored Troop soldier] might say about their experience at Fort Fisher in the Civil War?  
    5. What do you think that person would want you to know about their time at Fort Fisher? 
  2. Break students into groups and pass out the information packets and assignment sheet.
  3. Instruct students on the assignment:  With your group, write a historical narrative of Fort Fisher.  Specific instructions are on the assignment sheet.
    1. Alternatively, groups may create a skit, song, etc.
    2. Historical narrative – history written like a story, with events told in chronological order and through the perspective(s) of designated historical figures.
    3. Their chosen historical figure driving the narrative may be fictional, but should make sense in the historical context.
  4. Inform students that their final project should answer the following questions directly or indirectly: 
    1. What happened at Fort Fisher during the Civil War?
    2. Why was Fort Fisher important?
    3. What does Fort Fisher tell us about the Civil War? Or about humans in the 1860s?  
  5. Allow students 30+ minutes to collaborate and plan their group project. 
  6. In the final 5-10 minutes of class, ask students to divide out work in the group as necessary to finish their project.
  7. In the next class session, provide students time to regroup and finish their project.  Then, if desired, begin class presentations.
    1. Presentations may take more than one class period, depending on what groups are doing and the length requirement you assigned.
  8. Closure:  After all groups have turned in or presented their final project, you can have a classroom discussion.
    1. If [group 1’s narrative subject] and [group 2’s narrative subject] sat in a room together and talked about the Battle of Fort Fisher, what might they agree on?  Disagree on?  
    2. How has our state changed since the Civil War?  What problems still persist?  What positive legacies come from the Civil War?

North Carolina Standard Course of Study: This lesson meets the following standards for eighth grade.

Eighth Grade




Determine how the relationship between different regional, social, ethnic, and racial groups have contributed to the development of North Carolina and the nation.

Students explore perspectives from various racial, gender, and ethnic groups and their respective contributions to Fort Fisher’s history.


Compare access to democratic rights and freedoms of various indigenous, religious, racial, gender, ability and identity groups in North Carolina and the nation.

Students consider the experiences and perspectives of African Americans, American Indians, and white Southern women in their historical narrative assignment.


Distinguish the role women, indigenous groups, and racial minorities have played in contributing to the economic prosperity of North Carolina in terms of equality, equity, and mobility.

Students explore the centrality of slavery to North Carolina’s economy before and during the Civil War.


Explain the causes and effects of conflict in North Carolina and the nation.

Students explore the political, economic, and cultural reasons for the Civil War.  Further, students explore the causes and effect of conflict within Confederate North Carolina between enslavers, Confederate engineers, and American Indians with resistance to labor impressment and the Lowry War.


Explain how the experiences and achievements of women, minorities, indigenous, and marginalized groups have contributed to the development of North Carolina and the nation over time.

Students read about & reflect on USCTs and non-white laborers.


Off-site activities

Can’t get your group here to Fort Fisher? We can bring materials to you in the local area.