HSLDA Online Academy | English 3: American Literature & Writing

English 3: American Literature & Writing

Master Teacher:  Carissa Campbell

Carissa Campbell, High School Classroom Teacher for EnglishMaster Teacher

Carissa Campbell, MA

MA, Vanguard University
BA, Vanguard University 

Carissa Campbell earned her bachelor’s degree in English with emphases in Creative Writing and High School Teaching from Vanguard University in Southern California. She then earned her California Clear Teaching Credential in English, followed by her Master’s in Education with an emphasis in research, also at Vanguard University.

Carissa’s passion for teaching began during college when she served as a professor’s assistant in a composition class. She realized how much she enjoyed helping others learn to write and, weirdly, how much she enjoyed editing term papers! Carissa brought that passion to high school English and AVID students in the California public school system for seven years, where she taught several Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Now, her favorite thing about teaching is empowering the individual student to grow in his or her critical thinking and writing skills.

She lives on the central coast in California, where she and her husband are pastoring South Valley Community Church. She has two children, a daughter (age 6) and a son (age 2), who cause her to pray—a lot! She enjoys writing, cooking, date nights, and coffee. Lots of coffee.

Carissa taught English 1 in her first year with the Academy. She went on to develop English 2: World Literature & Writing and English 3: American Literature & Writing.

Carissa has been teaching for the Academy since 2015. 

Classroom Teacher:  Sarah Scarnato

Sarah Scarnato, High School Classroom Teacher for EnglishClassroom Teacher

Sarah Scarnato

BA, Widener University

Sarah Scarnato, born and raised in New York, was homeschooled for a portion of her education. After receiving a scolding from her mother in 4th grade—that she could not go outside to play until she had completed the daunting task of writing a poem about fall—she begrudgingly sat down to the task. This was her first introduction to composing something of her own, and it was not long before she did not need the pressure of an assignment to find her voice and zeal as a writer. Naturally, this led to her discovery of the literary world, and she became an avid reader and lover of the English language.

While pursuing her undergraduate degree from Widener University, Sarah tutored her younger siblings still in high school. She realized that helping students find their own love for literature and writing was a passion she wanted to pursue, and she began tutoring other homeschoolers part-time.

After attaining a dual bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing, Sarah began her teaching career in a private classical Christian high school. She spent three years in the classroom, teaching a variety of courses including language arts, ancient & medieval literature, church history, and creative writing workshops, while continuing to tutor on the side.

Sarah now stays home with her daughter Aria. She is grateful for that blessing and happy to teach online so she can be attentive to her growing family. She and her husband live on Long Island, where Stephen manages his own company.

Sarah has been teaching for the Academy since 2017. 

Classroom Teacher:  Caroline Tyrrell

Caroline Tyrrell, High School Classroom Teacher for EnglishClassroom Teacher

Caroline Tyrrell

BA, Patrick Henry College 

Caroline graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2014 with her BA in history, and she is currently pursuing an MA in biblical counseling at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

Caroline views the study of history and literature as a study of truths pertaining to the nature of man and the nature of God Himself. As Dr. Robert Spinney often reminds his PHC history students, “History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” The study of history and literature reveals the patterns of man’s nature, the mercy of God in interacting with man, and the grounding on which we must stand to accurately understand our own time.

As a perpetual student herself, Caroline is excited to continue discovering God’s truths found in history and literature along with her students, while passing on the tools that have been so helpful to her.

Caroline enjoys reading, running, music, and spending time with her husband David and her son Ezra. They currently reside in Louisville, KY.

Caroline has been teaching for the Academy since 2015.

Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 11th grade level and up.
Early Registration Tuition (ends 6/12): $475 $525 for HSLDA Members/$525 $575 for non-members.  

Description: In English 3: American Literature, students learn to analyze literature and hone their writing skills. This course will introduce students to literary classics in American history!
Watch a short introduction from Course Developer Carissa Campbell.
Watch a sample clip of an Academy live class session. 

High School English 3: American Literature & Writing
Live Online Class Session Schedule, August 27, 2018 – April 26, 2019

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1
Tuesdays, 4:00–5:30 p.m. Eastern

Mrs. Caroline Tyrrell

Section 2
Thursdays, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Mrs. Sarah Scarnato

Section 3
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Eastern

Mrs. Carissa Campbell

Section 4
Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern

Mrs. Carissa Campbell

Section 5
Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eastern

Mrs. Carissa Campbell

Additional class times will be added as they become available for registration. If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290.

Frequently Asked Questions about English 3

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  • What topics will I learn about in English 3?

    American Literature offers selections from a variety of literary genres and expository texts to improve critical thinking, reading comprehension, word analysis, vocabulary development, and literary response and analysis. Units covered will include literature from early America (1700-1800s), the period of Romanticism, works from the Civil War, the period of Realism, and a study of works from the 20th century and 21st century. Each unit will study fictional pieces including short stories, novels, and poetry. Each unit will also evaluate expository text including historical documents, letters, speeches, and memoirs. Students will also read a selection of plays from the 20th and 21st centuries. 

    While reading and evaluating literature will be the primary focus of this course, students will develop their writing skills through a variety of compositions. Students will continue to hone skills from previous English courses in areas such as MLA formatting, evaluating and documenting sources, implementing rhetorical devices, organizing ideas, providing evidence, and proving their claims. They will also have opportunities to exercise their creativity through creative compositions including poetry, speech writing, and short story. 

    This course will look at expository text through both the written and verbal platform. Students will evaluate what was written, how it was written, to whom it was written, and what the purpose of the text was. Students will also evaluate verbal text, body language, tone of voice, forms of persuasion, and response from an audience. This will culminate in a project where students research a topic of interest, develop a written speech, and then publicly record their recitation of their speech. 

  • How much homework is in English 3?

    We estimate that the course workload will take 5–10 hours per week.

    During a typical week in this course, students will complete the following coursework:

    • 60–90 minutes of live class instruction
    • ~40–50 pages of reading and periodic homework assignments based on the literature
    • Literature quiz
    • Grammar quiz or vocabulary list and accompanying quiz
    • Discussion forum every few weeks

    Throughout the year, students will also complete the following tasks:

    • Grammar exercise every 3–4 weeks
    • 3–4 writing projects per semester
    • Creative writing and essay writing
    • Research project with written/recorded speech on a topic of interest
    • 9 literary works with an accompanying audio lecture (15–20 minutes per lecture)
    • Exam or essay covering each major piece of literature
  • Am I ready to take English 3?

    This is a high school level English course, targeted at the 11th grade year, and it is assumed students are able to read, write, and follow instructions at a high school level. They need to have prior knowledge of the following: organizational structure of an essay, rhetorical and literary devices, the development of a claim, basic grammatical structure, and how to evaluate both expository and fictional text.

    Students will need to be self-motivated, as they are expected to read independently and understand enough to ask deeper levels of questions and participate thoroughly in class discussions. Some concepts encountered through the literature or discussions will require students to evaluate new ideas or controversial thoughts; therefore, students are expected to approach every topic with maturity. Many of these topics will be compared and measured against a biblical worldview. 

    It is also assumed that students will take the initiative to be responsible for their own work and actions. Students must come prepared for class, complete expected assignments, study for their assessments, be positive in their interaction with their peers and teacher, and meet the deadlines set. 

  • What is a Live Online Class Session in English 3?

    In every HSLDA Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed English 3 class times?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts.

  • What is the tuition for English 3?

    Please visit our tuition and discounts page for a full summary about course costs.

    HSLDA members save $50 on yearlong high school courses!