The Great Books  Summer Academy 2017 - in Chatsworth & West Hills

June 12-July 14, 2017

The Great Books Summer Academy is Chaminade’s special brand of summer camp aimed at educating the whole child.  Each day students in the Academy have an opportunity to exercise their minds, bodies, and creative spirits.  The Summer Academy is dedicated to helping each young person develop his or her own best thinking and ideas, as well as the skills for leadership, and respect for others.

 The Great Books K-12 courseis the cornerstone of the program and is specially designed to help students become independent readers and thinkers ready for the diverse demands of the 21st century. Each academy student is enrolled in a 55-minute grade-leveled Great Books course which will be taught using the ‘Shared Inquiry’ method. This research-proven strategy combines rich texts and active, collaborative problem-solving that increases achievement in reading comprehension, critical thinking, and communication skills. Weekly morning sessions are made up of three classes.  Course selections change each week.



  • AM Session 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • LUNCH 11:30 – noon
  • PM Session: 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Extended care and lunch programs are also available.

Online Registration begins February 15, 2016.

$165 per week ½ day AM or PM
$315 per week FULL DAY

Tuition includes:

  • Highly qualified instructors and excellent curriculum
  • 5 days of fun and learning
  • All books and instructional materials
  • A healthy snack everyday
  • A Be Excellent t-shirt 


Early Elementary Great Books (Entering 1st – 3rd grade) 

The Early Elementary Great Books program is a superb framework for teaching reading comprehension, critical thinking, vocabulary, and writing, all in the context of students sharing ideas about great literature. The diverse selection of folktales, stories, and poetry in the Great Books program captivates young students and helps them develop the skills they need to become good readers. This class will draw from selections in the Starting off Strong series from the Great Books Foundation. Each week covers new stories and lessons!

Upper Elementary Great Books (Entering 4th – 5th grade) 
The Upper Elementary Great books program is proven to improve comprehension, writing, and critical thinking skills. Selections are made from a variety of fiction and non-fiction works in the Great Books library. Each week covers new stories and lessons!

Middle School Great Books (Entering 6th – 8th grade) 
The Middle School Great Books course is based upon the Foundation’s Perfection Literature Learning and Thought series anthology And Justice for All. The central question, “what is justice?” provides the driving force of the class. Readings from this anthology from the Literature & Thought Series contains literature that challenges the reader, promotes critical thinking, and encourages independent exploration of themes and issues related to this topic. Selected readings will provoke questions of fairness and justice through the ages as student evaluate, analyze, compare, and finally synthesize their own thoughts around this thought provoking content. Each week covers new stories and lessons!

INTRODUCTION TO SIGN LANGUAGE (Entering 4th - 8th Grade) Exposes students to basic American Sign Language. Readiness activities are conducted focusing on visual/receptive skills and basic communication.  Introduces basic alphabet, numbers, fingerspelling, and simple vocabulary. After the students are able to sign and read the alphabet and numbers 1-20, we will move on to basic vocabulary and conversation.  

ART AROUND THE WORLD (Entering 1st – 3rd grade) Introduction to art from different times and places.Students create Persian miniatures, Japanese prints,Native American Kachina masks, and Byzantinemosaics, exploring how people from differentcultures incorporate art into their lives. Studentsalso learn to draw basic shapes, patterns, faces, andlandscapes using tempera paint, oil pastels, chalkpastels, and collage materials.

ART TELLS A STORY (Entering 1st – 3rd grade) Discover the story in a work of art. Students learn toanalyze clues in a composition to interpret the messageof the artist. Students master techniques such as drawingcontour figures, employing pointillism and printingrepeated designs inspired by Polynesian tapa cloths.

THE ARTIST’S VISION (Entering 1st – 3rd grade) Learn how artists use their art to reflect themselvesand their ideas about the world. As they makeportraits with clay, oil pastels, collage paper,and finger paint, students master the techniquesof drawing facial proportions and express theirviews of themselves.

PERCUSSION WORKSHOP(Entering 1st – 3rd grade) Students will be introduced to music basics through a hands-on approach using percussioninstruments. They will enjoy learning how to read music and play in small groups.

LYRICAL DANCE (Entering 1st – 3rd grade) This special summer introductory class for boys and girls, gives students theopportunity to experience lyrical dance, which combines techniques and skills froma variety of dance styles. Students will also explore how lyrical dance emphasizesinterpretation of music lyrics to tell a story with movement that can be fluid or abstract.

SUPER SENTENCES (Entering 1st – 3rd grade) In this fun and engaging class, early elementary students learn to write andrevise their own complete sentences, with descriptive details.Gaining knowledge on the four sentence types as well subject-verb agreement,students write sentences correctly, and with confidence.

MODERN ART (Entering 4th -8th) GradeLearn about artists who use abstraction toemphasize the importance of feelings and ideas,rather than trying to capture a realistic scene.Students draw abstract animals, sculpt wire intoaction figures, and stencil organic shapes whileexploring the work of modern artists.AMERICAN ARTEntering 4th -8th GradeLearn about how the work of American artiststhroughout history portrays aspects of nationaland cultural life. Students learn how to drawproportional figures by studying paintingtechniques of the American Masters.

BEGINNING PIANO (Entering 4th – 8th grade) Learn to play the piano this summer! Classbegins with 10 finger patterns, progressing tointermediate right and left hand simultaneousplaying. This class also features familiar classicsongs. Students will complete rhythm exercisesalong with written notes and key identity. Eachchild has access to individual keyboards withheadphones. All Materials are provided- onebook for use during the class and one book totake home at the end of the session.

ELEMENTARY PIANO (Entering 4th – 8th grade) Learn to play the piano this summer! Right andleft hand 5-finger patterns applied to familiar,classic, and seasonal songs. Basic rhythm, noteand key identification is also covered throughthe use of floor games and written work. Eachchild has access to individual keyboards withheadphones. All materials are provided- one foruse during the class and one book to take homeat the end of the session.

PERFECT PARAGRAPH (Entering 4th – 8th grade) This is your chance to get a step-up on yourclassmates before you return to school in the fall.The course is designed to help elementary studentsbecome proficient with the basics of creating anoutstanding paragraph. Students will be exposedto the elements of writing including sentencestructure, grammar principals, and vocabulary inorder to develop the perfect paragraph.

WRITING WORKSHOP (Entering 6th – 8th grade)As in a professional writer’s workshop, each studentin the class is a working author. The teacher isa writing professional and peer coach, guidingauthors as they explore their craft. Instead ofspending the majority of class time on spellingtests, grammar worksheets, handwriting practice,and other isolated sub-skills of writing, Writer’sWorkshop is designed to emphasize the act ofwriting itself—students spend most of their timeputting pencil to paper, not just learning about it.