Tonawanda News

The City

June 21, 2014

Living History on display at St. Francis

Middle school students at St. Francis show off global learning with talks, projects

Tonawanda News — How did the WWII Battle of the Bulge receive its name, or what year was the attack during the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, when 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed?

At the “Living History” presentations by members of the middle school class at St. Francis of Assisi School in the City of Tonawanda, answers to these and dozens of more history questions were offered by the students to teachers, family members and friends.

Each class chose topics related to what the social studies curriculum was for the year.

“The eighth-graders learned about modern history,” Principal Colleen Politowski explained. “Those years were dominated by wars and the students’ work reflects that study.”

Cade Mongiolo, an eighth-grader told about the incidents that led up to the Cuban Missile Crisis. His oral presentation and display board showed details of the Crisis and his knowledge of the topic.

Haley Nason, a seventh-grader, said her project, took her about two months to complete, called it “fun, but nerve-wracking.”

“Writing an essay, then giving an oral presentation and having a display board was in place of a final exam in English and social studies,” Nason said. “The essay which was five to seven pages, had to include research, quotes and references. It really gave us a chance to build our knowledge.”

Raymond Mezydlo said he found the Cold War topic interesting as there was no direct conflict, just a struggle between Russia and the United States to dominate the international world.

In addition to the presentations, the students dressed in clothing depicting their topics.

Jacob Neumeister, whose project focused on the attack during the Summer Olympics in 1972, dressed in black, his face covered, emulating the terrorists.

“I like sports and with the World Cup soccer going on, this was a good topic,” he explained. 

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