On-line homework assignments will be assigned on Tuesdays and will be due the following Tuesday.  Students will have one week to finish their homework assignments.  Homework can be accessed from any device that is connected to the Internet, i.e. cell phone, tablet, computer, etc. 

***NOTE***The reading selections can also be found on this web page if you have trouble accessing them through the Skyward page. 

"Poppies in the Wheat" 
A Town Meeting
 will be due TUESDAY, December 12, 2017!!

Poppies in the Wheat

by Helen Fiske Jackson (“H. H.”)


Along Ancona’s ˡ hills the shimmering heat,

A tropic tide of air, with ebb and flow

Bathes all the fields of wheat until they glow

Like flashing seas of green, which toss and beat

5        Around the vines.  The poppies lithe and fleet

Seem running, fiery torchmen, to and fro

To mark the shore.  The farmer does not know

That they are there.  He walks with heavy feet,

Counting the bread and wine by autumn’s gain,

10      But I,  --  I smile to think that days remain

Perhaps to me in which, though bread be sweet

No more, and red wine warm my blood in vain,

I shall be glad remembering how the fleet,

Lithe poppies ran like torchmen with the wheat.

ˡ Ancona – a town in central Italy

A Town Meeting



MAYOR, mayor of Hartley Township

MR. HARDY, citizen of Hartley Township

MRS. KLOCKNER, citizen of Hartley Township

Scene 1

SETTING:  The people of Hartley Township, assembled for a small-town meeting, sit in rows of benches or folding chairs surrounding a small raised area with a podium.  The mayor, a young man looking rather inexperienced, stands at the podium, gavel poised. 

1)        MAYOR:  (banging gavel) Hello, everyone!  How’s it going – I mean, I now call this meeting of Hartley Township to order.  (He glances at his notes.)  I’m happy to say there’s only one simple question on our agenda.  We’ll hear public opinion and then vote.  The question is, uh – (he looks as his notes again) – oh, yes, shall we add a tax to pay for our sidewalks to be shoveled after the snow?  (He clears his throat.)  The, uh, floor is now open for comments.

(From the very back row on one side of the room, Mr. Hardy, a burly middle-aged man, stands and speaks matter-of-factly.)

MR. HARDY:  I don’t know why we’re even discussing this.  A little snow on the sidewalk is nothing to worry about; anyone could walk through that.  And if there’s a blizzard, I can shovel my own sidewalks, thank you very much.  (He puts his hands on his hips, stands tall, and looks impressively around the room.Why should I pay an extra tax for something I could do myself?

(There are some murmurs of agreement from the people on the benches, but on the other side of the room, Mrs. Klockner stands up.  She is a crotchety elderly lady with a cane that she brandishes at people for emphasis, though she speaks in a quavery voice.)

MRS. KLOCKNER:  (waving her cane toward Mr. HardyBill, you’ve never thought of anyone but yourself, even when I was your teacher in kindergarten and you were the only one not to share your snack!  (Mr. Hardy, embarrassed, shrinks a little, and Mrs. Klockner addresses the group.Plenty of us are in a pickle when the sidewalks are filled with snow.  I can hardly get around even when there’s no snow, and now you’re asking me to skip through the snowdrifts?  The least you could do is make sure an old lady doesn’t break her ankle on the sidewalk!

(There are more murmurs of agreement, and the townspeople begin arguing among themselves.  As the volume swells, the mayor, who has been looking increasingly distressed at this unexpected disagreement, raises the gavel again.)

MAYOR:  (banging the gavel) Calm down, everyone!  Let’s be rational.  (He is ignored, and changes tactics.)  Cookies, everyone!  Let’s take a break and you’ll find refreshments in the back!  (aside) And I’m going to go outside for some fresh air. 

Scene 2

SETTINGThe mayor stands alone outside the town hall, pacing in great frustration.

5)        MAYOR:  “Run for mayor,” they said.  “It’s an easy job,” they said.  “In this town, everyone gets along.”  Well, they didn’t mention this!  Who knew such nice people could get to upset?  I’ve only lived here a few months; how could I possibly resolve a dispute between a grown man and his former kindergarten teacher?  They’ve known each other maybe longer than I’ve even been alive!  How did I walk into such a circus?  (He stops pacing, and stands still with resolve.)  But they elected me mayor, and mayor I’m going to be; someone’s got to impose order here.  If they won’t pay the tax for someone to shovel snow, well, they’ll just have to help each other out for free!  I’ll make a new town ordinance.  By law, Mr. Hardy will have to shovel Mrs. Klockner’s sidewalks, whether he want to or not!  I may never get elected again – (he shudders) – but it’s the only fair way.

(As the mayor turns to go back inside, Mr. Hardy and Mrs. Klockner come out of the town hall door, arm in arm.)

MR. HARDY:  (to the mayor) You’re running a beautiful meeting in there – the most civil one we’ve had in years!

(The mayor looks at them in astonishment.)

MRS. KLOCKNER:  (patting the mayor’s arm) Oh, don’t worry, dear, we’ve settled the snow question.  Bill, here, has agreed to shovel my sidewalks for free!  And we’ve worked it out so anyone else who needs help shoveling just has to ask.  (She laughs as the mayor shakes his head in bewilderment.)  Oh, a little shouting never hurt anyone.  That’s how it’s done in a small town, dear; you’ll get used to it soon enough.  Now come back inside and have some cookies.

(They walk through the door back into the town hall.)

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