Past & Planned Courses
Road Not Taken: Reading and Misreading Poetry
This poetry course focuses on interpreting poetry, beginning with Robert Frost's most famous and most misunderstood poem, The Road Not Taken. Students will explore literary devices including metaphor, simile, symbols, allusion, imagery, and irony through reading selected poems and poetry of their own choosing. Students will also practice writing using the tools that we discuss, including developing an extended metaphor of their own.
Baseball and American History
Baseball evokes more nostalgia among Americans than any other sport. Many of us connect with the sport in such personal ways, that we can overlook how much it is tied to our national history. Often referred to as our “National Pastime," baseball has played an active role in shaping the nation. In this course, the students will learn the history of baseball and how it has shaped American history.
Finding the Plot: Short Stories
What's your story? Students will write their own short stories using a workshop model of creative feedback. After analyzing the general plot structure of stories, students will outline a plot for their own short story and complete the writing process. Students will have the opportunity to have their final stories discussed in constructive feedback dialogue with their peers.
Road Trip Rates
Let's hit the road! Students will plan an epic road trip to a destination of their choosing. This course will cover everything from using Google Maps to plan a route to using rate calculations to develop a budget. Students will get hands on experience with maps, spreadsheets, internet research and much more.
Peaceful Warrior Yoga
It's hard to be a kid today. Heck, sometimes it’s hard just to “be” for all of us. There are so many distractions, temptations, and things outside our control. In this course, students will learn to manage stress and anxiety, build concentration, and how to use their bodies in a healthy non-competitive way. They will discover strategies to manage unwelcome frustrations through breathing, movement, and mindfulness.
What makes someone a hero? Through an examination of pop culture storylines and media, students will grasp an understanding of the components of the monomyth story structure, examine famous examples in literature, and apply their understanding to model a hero’s journey of their own!
This class will explore myths from a variety of cultures and a range of topics to encourage students to think analytically about modern culture through the allusions presented in mythology. We will also examine the influence and effects of ancient myths and historical events on modern literature, art, and language.
Uncommon Knowledge: Trivia for the Curious
A course for those who are curious about everything! Using trivia games and challenges as a springboard, we explore all aspects of the world around us. Students will learn about science, history, math, the arts and more through interactive and engaging activities.
Chat GPT & Me
There's no ban on progress at The Harkness House. ChatGPT and other large language model AI are a powerful tools that are changing the world that our students will inherit. Rather than avoiding or outright banning these technologies, this course will teach students how they can help with their studies. AI can provide students with instant answers to their questions, aid in their research, and assist in their creative process.
Exploring Media Bias
What is “the media,” what is it selling, and who is buying? Through an exploration of daily headlines from local and national news sources, students will identify whether and what biases different publications hold. Students will develop analytical reading and writing skills by scrutinizing the media sources’ presentations of facts and composing their own headlines as competing narratives.
Happy Campers: Outdoor Education
Practice the ins and outs of outdoor trip planning, map navigation and compass skills, gear organization, campsite skills and safety, meal preparation, and Leave No Trace principles. This hands-on class also includes activities that focus on building and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships and the mental stamina critical to make us all happy campers!
This introductory course takes a writer's craft approach to the world of creative thought through poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. We will learn how to identify and create effective elements of storytelling, and we will explore language and narrative as active writers. Learn to connect your ideas and create engaging stories!
New Hampshire History
Live free, or die! In NH History, we will examine how New Hampshire’s official motto has been shaped by our geography, expansion, people, and politics. We explore the role NH plays in major historical developments in the United States from 1600 to modern day. Through the use of primary and secondary sources, music, art, and literature, student are able to analyze the Granite State’s significance and impact within the context of US history.
Checkmate! The chess course is designed to offer a safe and fun environment for all kids and to be insipired by a love for the game of chess. Do you know how pawns attack? What's unique about the knights? Can you castle? Regardless of your answer to those questions, this course is right for you! All you need to bring is your interest in learning more about playing chess. Participants will enhance their cognitive thinking and strategy skills while playing chess in an interactive environment of friendly competition.
Dungeons & Dragons
Explore the original RPG played IRL. This introductory course coverd all the basics of gameplay as well as more advanced topics like character creation and world building. No experience is necessary, so sign up to create your own epic adventure!
It’s more than neat handwriting! Cursive can improve your ability to understand and retain new information, increase your attention span to your writing while also speeding it up, and improve your fine motor skills and the legibility of your writing. We will learn and practice the cursive alphabet in hands-on, engaging ways that allow students to build self-confidence and see progress every day!
In this hands-on course, students will dive right in to the delicious art and science of cooking. Students will learn the basics of the chemistry of cooking while preparing delicious foods.
In this course students will learn to read and analyze non-fiction texts and will practice writing skills designed to engage specific audiences. Topics covered will be driven by student interests and may include science, history, art, music, pop culture and media.