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Humanities Skills Intensive

The Humanities Skills Intensive course for grades 11 and 12 will give IAA students an opportunity to further develop and strengthen their critical thinking skills, college-preparatory reading and writing strategies, grammar and mechanics, and comprehension abilities. This 4-week intensive summer course focuses on these  skills through grade-appropriate integration of Humanities content in both English and social studies/history.  This credit-recovery course is intended for students who wish to make up one semester of either a non-honors  English 11 or English 12 course, or U.S. History, Government/Economics, or another Humanities Social  Studies course that was offered during the 2021-2022 academic year. We are offering this as an online  course that meets daily for three hours on Monday through Thursday from June 20 to July 14. 

Through daily writer’s workshops, analysis of historical documents, and activities in a variety of literary genres,  students will work individually, with the instructor, and with their peers. Collaborative and presentation skills  will also be practiced via creative writing exercises, in-class readings, and group-based research, analysis, and  discussions. Material for study will be taken from historical and literary texts of the American story, as well as  documents in civics. The class will explore and analyze poetry, short stories, memoirs, and non-fiction pieces to  increase comprehension. Additionally, current issues and the importance of historical context will be addressed  through op-ed pieces and an array of historical resources. Students will hone their critical reading and thinking  skills through formulating and discussing critical questions about these diverse readings. The writer’s  workshops will provide instruction and exercises in developing voice and content, effective rhetorical skills,  grammar and mechanics, and college-preparatory essay writing, including MLA citation formatting. Each student  will have two meetings with the instructor over the span of the course to discuss areas for improvement.

Please contact Margaret Gray, Humanities Department Chair, with questions.


Kasaan Hammon is a graduate of Idyllwild Arts (Class of ’90) with over 25 years of experience in the music industry. She studied performance and communications at Northwestern University and CalArts, received a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California Baptist University, and is currently completing a Master of Arts in Teaching Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

Ms. Hammon composed the original theme song for the motion picture “Crossfire” at the age of 19 and secured a recording contract with Warner Brothers/Elektra Records under the artist name RIGSI. She has been showcased by the Songwriters Hall of Fame as a “Songwriter to Watch.” Her original songs have received airplay on Top 40 radio stations in the USA and Ireland and have won numerous songwriting awards, including recent top honors from the International Songwriting Competition, UK Songwriting Contest, Unsigned Only, and LIT Talent Awards. She transitioned from artist to manager in 2002 by launching Trigger Management and for over a decade helped direct the careers of songwriters and recording artists, including managing Hall of Fame songwriter Albert Hammond. She is former Executive Director of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) and formerly worked as part of Chaka Khan’s management team. Ms. Hammon teaches her signature Hit Ninjas topline curriculum for the Academy and Summer Programs.

In addition to being a proud alumnus of Idyllwild Arts, Kasaan is grateful and happy to serve on the school’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Collaborative.

Dates:  June 20 – July 14

Mon-Thurs, 3 hours per day

Cost: $2,000

Instructor: Kasaan Hammon

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