Virtual English and Humanities - Virtual Camps - McDonogh School

Virtual English and Humanities

Brain Games (Grade 3-7)

Ages: Entering Grade 3-7
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (1 hour break for lunch)
Dates: Session I: June 22-26; Session II: June 29-July 3;; Session III: July 6-10. (additional weeks may be added if there is interest)
Tuition: $500 per session
Technical Requirements: Computer/tablet/iPhone/Android with camera, a printer, WiFi, Zoom. Devices will not be needed for the entire camp day.. A schedule will be provided.
Required Materials: A list of needed items (mostly common household items) will be provided.
Instructor: Marie Allee

Learning is the real treasure. In this escape room-themed camp, Campers solve mysteries and find hidden artifacts in a competition to find buried treasure and to earn real prizes. To escape, and to find the treasure, they need to learn! Campers will pursue fun learning challenges, that vary by camp week in activities such as engineering, science, photography, and cooking to unlock additional clues. Each week features new mysteries, puzzles, and adventures!

Each week has its own theme: 

Session I: Escape from the Smithsonian
Session II: The Sword of Agamemnon
Session III: Escape from Mt. Everest

Younger campers may need some brief parental assistance with some activities.

The Hero Within: How Stories Unlock Our Inner Strength (Grade 5-8) - CLOSED


 Entering Grade 5-8
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Dates: Two-week course - July 6-17
Tuition: $400
Technical Requirements: Computer, WiFi, Zoom, GoogleDocs
Required Materials: The Hero's Guidebook: Creating Your Own Hero's Journey by Zachary Hamby, (Creative. English Teacher Press, 2019) ISBN: 978-0982704974; A blank journal
Instructor: Anne-Marie Botek

What makes someone a hero? Being born with magical abilities? Being bitten by a radioactive insect? Being from another planet entirely? In this course you will read stories about heroes - both real-life and fictional - and use the lessons you learn to discover and write about your own inner hero.

Using Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" model of examining narratives, students will explore the cycle of adventure, challenge, and rebirth that all heroes experience. They will engage with a variety of writing types, including poetry, short story, and memoir, to discover how the Hero's Journey has played a role in their own personal lives. By examining the individual values that they hold and investigating the sources of those values, students will develop a final creative writing project that documents the "origin story" of their own inner hero.

Imagining with Words: A Poetry Writing Course (Grade 7-12)

Ages: Entering Grade 7-12
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Dates: June 22-July 3 (additional weeks may be added if there is interest)
Tuition: $400
Technical Requirements: Computer, WiFi, Google Docs, Zoom
Required Materials: Singing School by Robert Pinsky (Norton, 2013), ISBN: 978-0-393-34897-2
Instructor: Kevin Costa

We understand ourselves and our world when we write creatively. When we imagine with words, we make sense of our feelings, our relationships, our truths. In this course, students will write and read poetry in order to discover and to express themselves. Why poetry? A "poem," says Mary Oliver, "is not a discussion, not a lecture, but an instance--and instance of attention, of noticing something in the world." Together--in lively, vibrant discussions and critique--we will see if these words are true.

By the end of this course, students will have read a handful of great poems from Robert Pinsky's book, Singing School, and will have written and revised a small number of original poems, which we'll publish in an online book and which we'll share in a poetry reading with an invited audience.

Let's Debate! Camp (Grade 4-9)

Ages: Entering Grade 4-9
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Dates: July 13 -July 17
Tuition: $300
Technical Requirements: Computer, WiFi, Zoom, GoogleDocs

Let's debate online together! Each day, we will gather to learn how to make better arguments, use stronger evidence, and think about silly and serious problems. We will practice partner debates, public speaking, congressional-style debate, and much more! If you'd like to strengthen your voice and your mind with a community of thoughtful, fun people, Let's Debate Camp is for you!

Students will develop speeches, legislative bills, and other materials in preparation for speech and debate opportunities in class.

Let's Make a Comic! (Grade 4-5)

Ages: Entering Grade 4-5
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Dates: June 22-June 26
Tuition: $100
Technical Requirements: Computer, WiFi, Google Docs, Zoom
Instructor: Matthew C. Winner

Love comics? Read them constantly? Ever think about writing one yourself? Let's explore the graphic novel format and learn how paneled art can be an exciting way to engage readers and tell your story. Plus, who doesn't want to have a comic of their own, right?

Participants will study comics with Mr. Winner, a graphic novel author. We will explore the graphic novel format and how it differs from other storytelling formats. Participants will produce an original comic by the end of the session after learning how to panel story beats and balance storytelling through dialogue, narration, and art. We will work synchronously so that feedback can be shared in real time, though participants will have the opportunity to work independently and bring back work to share for feedback while we are meeting.

Let's Make a Podcast! (Grade 4-5)

Ages: Entering Grade 4-5
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Dates: June 22-June 26
Tuition: $100
Technical Requirements: Computer, WiFi, Google Docs, Zoom
Instructor: Matthew C. Winner

What inspires authors to write and illustrators to create? Where do bookmakers find their ideas and what does it take to bring an idea from the storyboard to the page? How can your questions bring out insights that others might not have heard before? You've got big questions about books. Let's talk to bookmakers to uncover truths, secrets, and insights. We'll learn about podcasting in the process and you'll walk away with the skills to start your own podcast and the questions to drive you forward.

Students will learn the tools and mechanics of podcasting from a teacher with over 7 years (and 600 episodes) of experience. We will interview 2 different authors or illustrators over the week and the episodes will air on the Children's Book Podcast where the whole world can listen! New interviews each week so it's always a good time to sign up! (Attendance at multiple sessions welcomed.)

Philosophy for Fun (Grade 8-12)

Ages: Entering Grade 8-12
Hours: Wednesdays,  2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Dates: Two-week sessions; Session I: July 1, 8; Session II: July 15, 22 (More sessions can be added if there is interest)
Tuition: $60 per session
Technical Requirements: Computer, WiFi, Zoom
Instructor: Ned Courtemanche with Avinash Thakkar and Luke Wagner 

Assumptions—from peripheral to deeply fundamental—provide the foundations for the way we view this world and experience our lives. By and large, these assumptions are hidden beneath the surface and are taken for granted by the majority of humankind, but not all. Those who are generally referred to as philosophers have always been interested in these below-the-surface realities and have attempted to either question them or understand them from various viewpoints. Socrates, who is known as the father of Western Philosophy, led the way in this effort, and have been followed by numerous others – some who are popular and others less so. 

What these philosophers studied, written down and left behind are not artifacts of the past that are meant to be kept in museums; instead, they are intended to help enlighten our ideas and thought processes, as well as our learning and investigations. 

If so, how can you and I approach philosophical investigations in an unintimidating manner? That is the fundamental question that serves as the starting point of this seminar so that you could reevaluate the way in which you view this world, come to know the assumptions that guide your daily lives, and pay attention to the notions that underlie your thoughts and actions. 

At the end of the seminar, students will be asked to participate in a Socratic Symposium. They will conduct preliminary research on a philosopher of their choice. Then, during the symposium, students will reenact their philosopher and will answer questions based on their philosopher's views. Creativity is high encouraged; thus, throughout the program, students will participate in innovative virtual activities to further enhance their experience in the course and better prepare them for the final project.

So You Want to Write a Novel?: Crafting Long-Form Fiction (Grade 9-12)

Ages: Entering Grade 9-12
Hours: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Dates: July 13 -July 24
Tuition: $400
Technical Requirements: Computer, WiFi, Zoom, GoogleDocs
Required Materials: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You'll Ever Need by Jessica Brody (2013) ISBN-13: 978-0399579745
Instructor: Dana Lotito

There is nothing quite as thrilling and fulfilling as diving into the world of a novel. Novels can act as a lengthy escape, quest, or discovery of characters but also ourselves. But how do authors create this magic? Contrary to what some may believe, authors rarely just sit down and wait for inspiration to strike. In this pre-college writing course, students serious about craft will engage with writing prompts to spark their creativity, will study form and writing craft, and will wrestle with revision. Students will discuss their ideas and work with one another and the instructor in small workshops during the morning and spend afternoons writing their outline and crafting their first chapter(s). We will utilize a "Save the Cat! Writes a Novel" as well as other online resources to engage with areas such as structure (plot), conflict, character, world-building, and scene-writing.

By the end of this course, students will have completed a novel outline and a revised first chapter which will demonstrate their understanding of how a novel is crafted. Thus, they will leave with a project to continue for the rest of the summer.

2020 Summer Fun Awaits