Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/teaching-shakespeare-2

Moving Beyond Explaining – Part 2

Every year, Wildwood School, the independent progressive school in Los Angeles where I teach, hosts an event called Hamlet Night put on by the current junior class. It’s the culminating project of the junior year, the apotheosis of the three months the students have put into reading, performing, studying, and writing about the Bard’s most… Continue Reading »



Is It Midsummer Yet?

OK, we know it’s not technically summer yet, and it’s totally not midsummer, but we can’t help but rush right into summer dreaming—and reading—especially on the warm, sunny days we’re currently enjoying in DC! Perhaps some of you are already thinking about new ways—or plays—to teach next year. As you spend some time this summer… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare: Text to Text

Teaching one Shakespeare play in a school year can be challenging enough, what with mandated curriculums, standardized testing, holidays, and school activities which take a cavalcade of kids out of class on a regular basis.  I choose to do two plays in a year with my senior classes, a tragedy and a comedy.  I want… Continue Reading »


Recognizing Shylock’s Humanity in The Merchant of Venice

“I don’t have to condone it to understand it. The pain that people feel is real.”   While most watched DeRay McKesson, Baltimore native and #blacklivesmatter activist, deliver these words in April 2015 (describing the unrest that occurred shortly after Freddie Gray’s funeral through the screens of their television), my students and I watched it… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare for All?

This year, I joined the Folger-DCPS professional learning cohort, a group of DC Public Schools teachers working in 9th grade ELA and Special Education classrooms—all implementing the new unit on Romeo and Juliet developed by the Folger Shakespeare Library for our district. This experience meant new curricular materials, new approaches to teaching and learning, new… Continue Reading »


Begin Anew: Notes from a Folger Teacher Workshop in New Jersey

On Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016, forty teachers from five New Jersey counties met at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey. As the nation turned toward the primaries, this group focused on strategies for teaching Shakespeare. The Folger undoubtedly gives us the tools and strategies to attempt new teaching methods and collaborate with… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare on Testing

Whether it’s the PARCC, Smarter Balanced, IB, AP, or another high-stakes assessment, we know lots of you and your students have testing on the brain… which is why we thought you might enjoy reading a few lines from Shakespeare, all on the subject of—what else?—tests. The word “test” appears 4 times in Shakespeare’s works:  … Continue Reading »


An Alternative to the Traditional Literary Essay

*This piece originally appeared as “Teaching Shakespeare (And Literary Analysis!) with Prompt Books” on the blog Moving Writers and is cross-posted here with permission.* This April, English teachers, Anglophiles, all buddies of the Bard will commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Museums, libraries, schools, and theater companies are marking the occasion with special… Continue Reading »



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