Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Powell Middle School students revel in red, white, blue week

SPRING HILL — It was an interesting way to put things.

As part of Celebrate Freedom Week, Powell Middle School social studies students learned about the constitutional amendments through song — done to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The First Amendment — freedom of religion, speech and the press — was interpreted as "and just say any crazy thing you like" (think "and a partridge in a pear tree"). The second, the right to peaceful assembly, became "assemble and be nice" (two turtle doves). The right to bear arms was reworded "Here is my gun. Freeze" (three French hens). And the fifth became "Don't rat on yourself" (think "five golden rings").

Department head Kathie Marcucci, who teaches seventh-grade civics and eighth-grade United States history, led the weeklong effort by Powell's eight social studies teachers. It culminated with a giant flag, made by the school's nearly 1,000 students holding red, white and blue papers (sixth-grade world history teacher Robert Demaris' idea) outdoors on the athletic field.

During a seventh-grade class period, as Marcucci's students were writing letters to soldiers, some of them shared their thoughts on why they had to learn about the Constitution, what they learned, what had been going on during the week and why they were writing to soldiers.

The first thing that came to Jalenee Alcaide, 12, was the song, but she added, students need to study these things "because we need to know what got us our freedoms and who's helping us keep them safe," she said.

Matt Berry, 12, was impressed by the way the giant flag was going to be photographed.

"The firefighters are going to go up in their bucket thingy," he said, "and they're going to raise it very, very high, and he's going to take a picture."

Said Stacy Challis, 12: "We're learning about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Today we're going to write letters to soldiers. I'm going to say 'thank you' because of what they do; they're risking their lives to help us."

Marcucci explained that studying these documents is part of the seventh- and eighth-grade standards and said the Florida Legislature has designated the last week of September as Celebrate Freedom Week.

Katherine Cales, 13, said she and her classmates should study these things, "because (President) Obama once had people go out on the street and survey them about what they know, and hardly anybody knew anything, so we have to take civics."

This will help her later, she explained: "In the future, when we're voting for a new president, I'll know my politics and who to vote for."

Elly Carnes, 13, agreed that civics is important.

"At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Marcucci said most adults don't know their civics," she said. "You need to learn how we got our freedom and stuff."

Besides Marcucci and Demaris, the Powell social studies teachers include: Jessica Buse, seventh-grade civics; Keith Carsillo, eighth-grade U.S. history; Pete Crawford, seventh-grade civics; Jesse Mockler, sixth-grade world history; T.J. Roberts, eighth-grade U.S. history; and Brandy Sladek, eighth-grade U.S. history.

Powell Middle School students revel in red, white, blue week 10/03/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans

    Blogs

    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?

    Blogs

    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo

    Nation

    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies

    News

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win

    Colleges

    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.