About the Course

Behind the Mask: Superheroes Revealed

  • Grades 2-3
  • CTY-Level

BAM! POW! ZAP! Everyone knows Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and Captain America, but superheroes can come in many shapes and sizes. Must a superhero fight crime? Is Elsa from Frozen a superhero—and what about BB-8, Gru, or Moana? How do storytellers draft heart-stopping tales of suspense? Explore these questions and more on this heroic writing adventure. Like the professional writers at Disney, you’ll learn to craft creative stories using literary techniques like descriptive writing, symbolism, plot structure, and figurative language. After examining graphic novels and a variety of other sources in literature and popular media, invent your own vivid characters and unique settings. You’ll learn to think critically about your favorite characters, use storyboards, write opinion essays and create your own unique and compelling tales of adventure. Then you’ll polish your stories during in-class workshops with input from your instructor and classmates. These storytelling, close-reading, and editing skills will come in handy during all of your future academic pursuits.

Typical Class Size: 12

Testing and Prerequisites

  Math Verbal
Required Level Not required CTY-Level
Check your eligibility using existing test scores If you do not have existing test scores:

Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.

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Cost and Financial Aid

  • Tuition
    • Varies
  • Application fee
    • Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
    • Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)

Financial Aid is available

We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.

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Course Materials

Students should bring basic school supplies like pens, notebooks, and folders to their summer program. You will be notified of any additional items needed before the course begins. All other materials will be provided by CTY.

Sample Reading

These titles have been featured in past sessions of the course, and may be included this summer. CTY provides students with all texts; no purchase is required.

  • Herobear and the Kid Vol. 1: The Inheritance, by Mike Kunkel
  • Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson
  • Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity, by Dave Roman
  • Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson

About Language Arts at CTY

Write heroic stories

Want to have fun reading popular stories and writing your own tales of adventure? In Heroes and Villains, you’ll read, discuss, and write about well-known folktales and legends while also crafting your own. Pen your hero’s journey and explore a diverse range of books in Behind the Mask: Superheroes Revealed, or critically analyze popular comics and learn how to construct your own compelling narratives in The Graphic Novel.

Find your voice

Gain the tools to take your writing to the next level. In Being a Reader, Becoming a Writer, build your vocabulary and gain the tools to write your own creative fiction. You’ll learn to craft compelling narratives about your own experiences at the collegiate level in Crafting the Essay, and experiment with literary devices and figurative language in Writing Your World.

Meet our instructors and staff