School begins soon, my vacation shortened by the intense summer I spent at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute. As these drowsy days transform to hectic autumn, I wonder how I will use the TSI experience in my classroom. Over the past few years, I have relied on Shakespeare Set Free to teach Romeo… Continue Reading »
My litmus test for a good production of Romeo and Juliet is whether or not the beauty of the balcony scene can help me forget—for the moment—Act 5.
The Hot News among English Language Arts teachers this summer (it’s been a slow news cycle) was the initial publication of the Common Core State Standards. Originally announced on June 1, 2009,the initiative’s stated purpose was to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what… Continue Reading »
It didn’t take teachers too long to realize that they could access all of Shakespeare’s plays in places other than books. In the early days of computing, that meant loading a play from a floppy disk: although it took lots of them to upload the Complete Works. Later they were available on smaller disks: but… Continue Reading »
A few years ago, we put together a poster of words and phrases that Shakespeare is credited with having used first in his plays. These included, “as luck would have it,” “vanish into thin air,” “too much of a good thing,” and so on. When we gave the poster to teachers, they looked at it and noted that we… Continue Reading »
In 2007 the Folger offered an exhibit about Shakespeare in American Life. One of the focuses was how Shakespeare has been taught to American students since the colonies were founded. You can listen to the podcasts related to this exhibit through that link, or on iTunes. Originally, passages from Shakespeare’s plays were placed alongside passages from other sources and… Continue Reading »