2021 Summer Specialty Courses - Exclusively Online
Inspire Creativity, Spark Imagination, Ignite Literary Appetites, and that's Just the Beginning!
Our Online Summer Specialty Courses are back. Try something new, and grow skills with us as you add diversity to your summer program.
Choice, Flexibility, & Excitement
Specialty Courses will include a budget-friendly menu of à la carte course choices. You can add these optional Specialty Courses to your Great Books Online or Writer’s Workshop Online sessions or purchase them separately for extra fun and excitement each week.
Specialty Courses this Summer
From Writing Essentials to Debate, Ethics, and beyond - a broad selection of courses will be available weekly for summer 2021. Courses will run Monday through Friday for 90 minutes daily at 1pm or 3pm Eastern on select weeks. Specialty Courses are just $275 for the first course and $225 for each additional course you add.
The choice is yours. You can even create your own custom summer program by choosing one or two of these courses any week -- or every week!
All courses below are listed in Eastern time (New York) and open to all time zones! Find the time and date that works best for you!
- 1:00 PM Eastern = 10:00 AM Pacific = 6:00 PM London
- 3:00 PM Eastern = Noon Pacific = 8:00 PM London
- 8:30 PM Eastern = 5:30 PM Pacific = 8:30 AM Beijing
Specialty Courses by Week
Week of August 8
- 8:30 PM - Essential Elements of Writing, Grades 6-9: Learn to master the mechanics, grammar, conventions, editing, and more to build your expository and persuasive, evidence-based writing skills. In this clinic, students will learn the basic elements of grammar and style, and put that knowledge into practice. Sessions will focus on the building blocks of good writing and the process of editing and revision. Students will gain confidence and fluency in grammar and writing structure and will ultimately be challenged to produce a final project.
Week of August 15
- 8:30 PM - Bringing Magic into the Real World, Grades 9-12: Are we only allowed to write magic into a fantasy story? Through this writing course, students will create a short story that is sprinkled with magical elements, but not focused on them. We will draw from the writing styles of Richard Brautigan and Haruki Murakami.
- 8:30 PM - Super Hero 101, Grades 6-9: Create your own superhero origin story! What powers will your hero hold? Did they gain them from a radioactive spider? Were they born from mythical gods? Or perhaps they simply engineered their powers themselves? Explore ancient and modern superhero mythology to build your own unique superhero story.
Specialty Courses by Type
- Debate I - There has never been a more important time to make sure you are able to make your voice be heard. Learn how to give spectacular speeches and to structure your ideas into clear arguments. Build the skills for debating and confidence in presentation, considering multiple perspectives, and giving thoughtful on-the-spot responses.
- Debate II - For those who have already gone through our introductory course or those who have pre-existing experience of debating (of any format), this intermediate debating course will offer direct head-to-head debating on a variety of contemporary issues. .
- Philosophy – Across multiple philosophy courses this summer, we will embark on a study of the most influential works of philosophy. In our Philosophy of Politics class, we'll look at the works of Plato, John Locke, Karl Marx, and Hannah Arendt. From the foundations of political philosophy in Ancient Greece, to the challenges posed by the rise of 20th century autocrats, we will engage with utopian visions of ideal government, established systems of power, and the social developments that unsettle and occasionally topple them. The course will conclude with an exercise where each student will propose their own form of government based on the texts we engage with. More exciting philosophy courses to be announced!
- Ethics – Explore the works of David Hume, a leading philosopher of the rational Enlightenment, and twentieth century philosopher Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe who expands and re-evaluates many Enlightenment ideas, including those put forth by Hume. In the context of a nuanced, ever-more-modern world, how do we conceptualize the nature of reality.? What is the means by which we sense the world around us, the ways in which we can say we “know” something, and the ethical code by which we act and are judged? How do we apply these principles to artificial intelligence? Do the ideas of Hume and Anscombe hold their own to this day or must we revise them to fit our own time?
- Micro Mystery: Forensic Science and Mystery Writing – Create a mini-mystery using real detective skills! Dive into learning forensic science techniques and apply your learning to create your own unique mystery short story. Where will the clues lead? How will they stack up to reveal the truth behind the mystery? The plot thickens!
- Public Speaking – For many, speaking in front of a large crowd both digitally and in-person can be intimidating. To become more confident and proficient, we need to practice getting comfortable with this uncomfortable situation. Learn how to plan and deliver a compelling speech and how to think on your feet to deliver powerful and persuasive extemporaneous speeches too.
- Science Fiction Theater - Can "strange new worlds and new civilizations" be created without the special effects of film? Of course! All you need is a story to tell and writers and performers to tell it. We will read and discuss plays with SF themes such as AI, cloning, and apocalypse/dystopia; using these texts as inspiration, we will create our own short performance pieces.
- Superhero 101: Exploring our Modern Mythology - Create your own superhero origin story! Explore ancient and modern superhero mythology to build your own unique superhero story. Bitten by a spider? Shaped out of mud? The result of a top secret experimental program? How will you gain your powers and what will you do with them?
- Criticism 101: Writing about Film & TV – With social media anyone can share their opinion about that movie they just saw. But if your interest in media is matched by your love for writing, you might be a critic in the making. We will explore the role of the media critic, read a variety of different styles of criticism, and create our own media studies magazine with original reviews.
- Writing Essentials - Learn the basic elements of grammar and style, and put that knowledge into practice. Sessions will utilize engaging prompts to add fun while focusing on the building blocks of good writing and the process of editing and revision. Students will gain confidence and fluency in grammar and writing structure and will ultimately be challenged to produce a polished essay on a topic of their choice.
- Micro Mystery: Forensic Science and Mystery Writing - Create a mini-mystery using real detective skills! Learn and apply forensic science techniques while creating your own unique mystery short story.
And more to be announced...
Get More Info!
Stay in touch as new classes are announced. Request information via phone, text, email, or jumping on our website for a live chat. We're here to help!