Writing is something that many people struggle with. But if you learn the right skills, writing is actually very formulaic. If you are interested in improving the structure and quality of your writing, then this is the course for you. We will apply these techniques to cover historical events, current world news, and even anything of the students’ choice. We will go through the basic structure of analytical essays and paragraphs, teach you how to write at a level that will impress your high school teachers, and shed light on various techniques and questions you can ask yourself when at a loss for what to say.
Why does the Mona Lisa smile like that? Was Vincent Van Gogh a genius, or just crazy? Can a blank sheet of paper be art? In this course, we will tackle all these questions and more. This class is a tour of every artistic breakthrough from a hundred years ago to today, from Pablo Picasso’s crazy Cubist portraits to Andy Warhol’s Pop Art soup cans. Along the way, this class will take you through all the major art movements from Post Impressionism (back when art was a painting of apples and oranges) all the way to the Conceptual Art of today (when a t-shirt with a slogan can be part of a museum exhibition). This course will offer students a comprehensive review of art history up to the modern era. No prior knowledge is required! The only course requisites are an open mind and a keen eye.
If you’re interested in getting out of the normal world for a bit and escaping into somewhere a little more interesting, join the YPP book club! Students will take a poll to decide which novel the group ends up reading, choosing from a pool that includes The One and Only Ivan, Life of Pi, and Gone for middle schoolers and Hatchet, Wonder, and Charlotte's Web for elementary schoolers. This is, of course, not a final list and you are welcome to submit your own recommendations before the poll. Classes themselves will be mostly discussion-based, while the instructor (Nolan) will be present to guide the conversation, the majority of thoughts and opinions will ideally be from the students themselves. Nolan can talk for hours about every one of these but he wants to hear what you think.
Curious about war and its impact on human history? You’ve come to the right class. In The History of War, students will discuss how and why wars begin, how war has evolved over time, and ponder the ethics of war in today’s society. Furthermore, wars from different time periods of history will be analyzed, ranging from the conquering of China by the Mongols, to World War 1. Students should come away from this course with a greater understanding of the nuance of war and the influence war has had on human history. Due to the mature nature of certain content, students must be in the 5th grade or above.
Fundamentals of Philosophy is an introductory course designed to get students to think critically about the world. Thinkers and ideas that forged history will be broken down and explained, starting with Ancient Greek fundamentals to the Era of Enlightenment and to contemporary, postmodern theories. We will host discussions, debates, and Socratic seminars, in addition to recommended readings and videos. The course is primarily interest-based and will offer students the opportunity to research and explore the world for themselves.
Although “public speaking” is a term that may frighten or disgust most middle-school and high-school students, speaking in front of a group of people is an essential skill for succeeding in secondary school and beyond. Even more importantly, public speaking can be deeply rewarding for both the speaker and his or her audience — effective oratory can allow the most touching, informative, or funny messages to achieve their desired effect. This introductory course will focus on the fundamentals of public speaking: vocal tone, hand gestures, body language, and more. Through practice speech exercises, video examples, and group drills, we will work towards the delivery of a five to seven minute speech about a topic of choice.