Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Activity-idea

A “Good Lesson” Indeed!

“I shall the effect of this good lesson keep As watchman to my heart.” (Hamlet 1.3.49-50)   From the wisdom shared by brilliant teachers and scholars (Michael Witmore, Gail Kern Paster, Kathleen Lynch, Amber Phelps, Jill Burdick-Zupancic, Mark Miazga, Josh Cabat, and more—wow!) during the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Master Class and Live Q & A… Continue Reading »


What Does Fun Have to Do with Lifelong Learning?

One thing I try to remain conscious of on a day to day basis is my students’ demeanor when entering the room. I try to greet them, smile at them, start a conversation, etc. However, inevitably everyday someone asks the question that I hate to answer: “Mr. Nissly,” chirps some well-meaning, enthusiastic student, “can we… Continue Reading »


Tossing Lines, With a Twist

  I first read about this go-to strategy in the Folger Library’s Shakespeare Set Free resources. Over the years, I’ve developed and personalized my own take on this interactive way of getting students to jump into Shakespeare’s language.   The basic “Tossing Lines” activity is to give each student a different line from the play,… Continue Reading »


Differentiating Shakespeare: Text Analysis with Crayons

In ten short years as an educator, I have taught every grade from sixth through twelfth, and every level of ability from AP to self-contained special ed.  I say this not to impress you with how many different preps I have tackled in ten years, but to highlight this fact: I teach Shakespeare to every… Continue Reading »


5 Great Ways to Start a Shakespeare Unit

by Corinne Viglietta   New semester, new plays! A lot of teachers are kicking off, or getting ready to kick off, a Shakespeare unit, so we thought we’d talk about what to do on those first days. From having students put some verse on its feet to creating a tempest in the lunchroom, these activities… Continue Reading »


From the AV Vault: Interpreting Character

In honor of #ThrowBackThursday, we’re sharing one of the more popular videos from our Teaching Shakespeare series. Sue Biondo-Hench, a curriculum specialist (and alumna) of the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute and an English teacher at Carlisle High School for more than 29 years, often starts off a new Shakespeare unit by having students explore character and motive using… Continue Reading »


Bring Me to the Test: Assessment in the Secondary Shakespeare Classroom

[getty src=”166844918?et=R9TF3OgLSKV2hWE5Pgc-Tg&flyout=off&sig=1AeGK09p9-64Yjq1CxuiwiYfQZGI4raZmUyzNC8UBV0=” width=”507″ height=”338″] By Josh Cabat It happens every time I give a presentation on performance-based teaching or on using student-created projects to assess understanding of Shakespeare. After the session, two or three people come over to me privately and ask the same question. These sound like wonderful activities, they say, but how do… Continue Reading »


Building Characterization With Music

[getty src=”170956814?et=MuEFNJq5S0x65ONObTmEcQ&similar=on&sig=O8jSoY6buJP7_7cyTcGBgKSzDaH8mYevAfNwW8QMGFw=” width=”507″ height=”338″] By Sara Lehn Teachers have long taken advantage of students’ love of music as a tool for the classroom, writing catchy tunes to act as mnemonic devices, playing educational songs and music videos, and so on.  Watch students in the hallway or cafeteria and you will inevitably find them with headphones blaring,… Continue Reading »


Using Film Clips to Teach Shakespeare

By Chris Lavold If you are a fan of Folger Education, you are well aware of the focus on performance-based teaching and how getting kids up on their feet is an effective way to understand and appreciate Shakespeare’s plays. I have found that an excellent complement to this is to view film clips of performances… Continue Reading »


Silent Shakespeare

[getty src=”fst043011?et=naytA2hrSzRP6E94bv_XTw&sig=r-VTCoLilX8f7P9Dp26hJCN03VHv9nMrC1MN-ekO2cc=” width=”511″ height=”334″] By Deborah Gascon Have you ever seen any silent films of Shakespeare’s plays? During the 2014 Teaching Shakespeare Institute, I sat for hours in the belly of the Folger Shakespeare Library watching black-and-white silent films of Othello and Romeo and Juliet—and it was the best day ever. I was fascinated—how does a… Continue Reading »


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