HSLDA Online Academy | English 3: American Literature & Writing
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English 3: American Literature & Writing

Master Teacher:  Carissa Campbell

Andrea FrylingMaster 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. This is her third year teaching Academy English courses.

Classroom Teacher:  Sarah Scarnato

Sarah ScarnatoClassroom 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.

Classroom Teacher:  Elissa Lucero

Elissa LuceroClassroom Teacher

Elissa Lucero

BA, John Brown University

Elissa Lucero grew up in rural Greenwood, Arkansas. The eldest of five children, she received a home school education and views it as formative to her independent thought and love for reading. During high school, Elissa took four AP classes from HSLDA Online Academy and is eager to work with homeschool students who share her excitement for excellent Christian education in preparation for college.

At John Brown University, Elissa graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of arts in history and a minor in English. Within JBU’s Christian private university culture, Elissa studied formative topics in British, American, Russian, and Middle Eastern history and literature. She also delved into theology, society and politics, and women’s experiences in the context of American history.

During her undergraduate career, Elissa studied abroad at Oxford University. She studied women in early modern England, the socio-economic effects of Victorian housing crises, and the creative writing of George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis. The British tutorial system provided one-on-one feedback and significantly impacted her writing and research skills.

Elissa is passionate about fostering student interest in literature and helping learners to pursue challenging questions and creative ideas. She gets excited about the details of grammar and punctuation and is determined to help others enjoy well-written sentences. Her pedagogy has been informed by years of teaching piano, tutoring for the ACT, working for Save Our Youth (a non-profit focusing on the education of at-risk youth), and working with professors teaching two undergraduate courses.

Elissa lives in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with her husband and their cat. She enjoys running, drinking loose-leaf tea, hiking, and baking.

Classroom Teacher:  Leilani Mueller

Leilani MuellerClassroom Teacher

Leilani Mueller

BA, Biola University

Long familiar with homeschooling, Leilani Mueller was homeschooled through high school. She went on to receive a BA in humanities, with a minor in English and Bible, from Biola University. She is also a member and graduate of Torrey Honors Institute, the Great Books program run through Biola. One of her fondest university memories is the year she spent studying English and history at Oxford.

After graduation, Leilani taught high school for seven years through Torrey Academy, a classical Great Books program resourcing homeschooled families in the Southern California area. She understands the expectations of homeschooling families, having experienced firsthand the joys, difficulties, and privileges that come from a homeschool education.

Teaching literature is one of her joys. She loves to engage high school students with challenging, classic texts (such as Dante’s Divine Comedy, a favorite work to teach) and watch them joy in the experience. Leilani is convinced that studying literature enables students to become more emphatic, loving Christians as they read and consider the experiences of others.

Leilani is a native of California and a recent transplant to Texas. She lives with her husband Nathan and daughter Felicity in Waco, where Nathan is pursuing his PhD in philosophy. Since her early days, Leilani has spent much of her free time with a book and a pen (or a keyboard as the case may be). She is excited about leading Academy students through American literature in English 3.

Classroom Teacher:  Caroline Tyrrell

Meade Classroom 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 taking walks with her husband David (who teaches Logic & Critical Thinking for the Academy). They currently reside in Louisville, KY, and are expecting their first child in the summer.

This is Caroline’s third year teaching for the Academy. She currently teaches English 3: American Literature & Writing and AP® US History. Caroline has also taught English 1 for the Academy.

Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 11th grade level and up.
Tuition: $495 for HSLDA Members/$545 for non-HSLDA 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.

High School English 3: American Literature & Writing
Live Online Class Session Schedule, 2017–18

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1
Mondays, 2:00–3:30 p.m. Eastern  Mrs. Sarah Scarnato
Section 2
Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eastern Mrs. Elissa Lucero
Section 3
Closed – Section is Full
Wednesdays, 12:00–1:30 p.m. Eastern Mrs. Carissa Campbell
Section 4
Closed – Section is Full
Wednesdays, 2:00–3:30 p.m. Eastern Mrs. Carissa Campbell
Section 5
Mondays, 9:30–11:00 a.m. Eastern Mrs. Leilani Mueller
Section 6
Mondays, 12:00–1:30 p.m. Eastern Mrs. Caroline Tyrrell
Students will be allowed to change class sections free of charge until the start date of the course, as class size permits.  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. 

  • 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!