American Literature (Lectures)

$20.00 / month

Ben Crist has taught middle and high school students for fifteen years, specializing in the humanities. Divided between lecture and discussion formats, this course will take the student from colonial writings to modern fiction, and survey both prose and poetry.

1 Credit | Grades 9-10

Part of the Compass Lectures Series where expert teachers are filmed as they teach in an actual classroom. New videos and assignments will be loaded weekly. Any homework will be graded by students or parents.


From its roots in the Christian west, American literature gave shape to new ideas even as it breathed life into existing forms such as the Biblical sermon, the ancient quest, and the medieval romance.

This course will take the student from colonial writings to modern fiction, and survey both prose and poetry. The class will be divided between lecture and discussion formats. The student should expect frequent, guided readings and monthly writing assignments that will vary widely, e.g. speech, comparison, poetry, theme, and thesis.

We’ll develop a background in the Puritans and Founders. Then, we will read novels, poetry, and short stories.

Works studied will include the following: The Last of the Mohicans, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Red Badge of Courage, and Little Women in the first semester; T.S. Eliot’s poetry, The Great Gatsby, Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, To Kill A Mockingbird, Travels with Charley, and Peace Like a River in the second semester.

Additional information


Ben Crist


30 (filming in progress; course updated weekly with new content)





1 HS English

Credit Amount




Subscription Duration



Ben has been teaching Latin and the Humanities in Classical and Christian schools for the last 15 years. In addition to classroom and tutorial instruction, he has worked in school administration, curriculum development, and teacher training. Ben is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and serves as a deacon in his church. He lives with his wife and three children in Franklin where they homeschool.


Purchase of this product grants access to videos filmed live in Nashville as well as assignments given to the students attending in person. Remote customers will be able to follow along or repeat portions of the course through our Learning Management System wherein course progress is saved.

Sample Lesson

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