Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Tagged: Othello

Hamlet Remix: A Teaching Idea, with Student Work Samples

Last week, my classes were right in the middle of two tragedies–Othello and Hamlet. My Senior English class had just finished Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” speech and my Junior Dual Enrollment class had just read the temptation scene in Othello (3.3). I wanted to do an activity that had some novelty in… Continue Reading »


Throwback Thursday: Recognizing Shylock’s Humanity in The Merchant of Venice

Today we’re re-posting one of our favorite throwbacks: an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent meditation on language, identity, difference, and community—and a teaching idea getting at those big ideas, too. Thank you to Folger family member and high school English teacher Amber Phelps for sharing this powerful blog post with the world. “I don’t have to… 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 »


5 Soliloquies to Teach in This Month of Resolutions

Happy New Year, colleagues! This time of year, there’s a tendency to look inward. We reflect. We resolve. And, if you’re anything like me, you wrestle with your resolutions, too. What better time to take a close look at the most introspective moments in Shakespeare: characters’ conversations with themselves? Today we’re highlighting 5 soliloquies—some of… Continue Reading »


Apply to the Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2016!

  ***Our blog will be on hiatus until January 7, 2016. Please check back then for a new post!*** Teaching Shakespeare 2016 is open for business!  Consider applying and/or urge your wonderful, energetic, intellectually hungry and curious colleagues to apply.  A full, full month–June 26th through July 23rd–with a rock star faculty and 24 teaching colleagues.  What… Continue Reading »


A Conversation with Dr. Russ McDonald

By Michael LoMonico   I recently interviewed Russ McDonald, professor of English at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Russ was a resident scholar at the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute from 1985-1986, and served as the head scholar from 1988-1994. He is the author of The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents and the… Continue Reading »



Relays: They Aren’t Just for Runners

By Greta Brasgalla   As a “veteran” teacher in my 22nd year of teaching, I sometimes look back at how I used to teach when I first started. It makes me cringe. And the teaching materials I used? Of course, I don’t have any of them because they are outdated and irrelevant.   And then… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Uncovered Returns on PBS

  The second season of Shakespeare Uncovered begins on January 30th.  The Folger has been asked to work with WNET THIRTEEN to create support material for teachers and their students. I’ve been lucky to have seen the series already and want to share some of the highlights with you. Hugh Bonneville and Ralph Fiennes on Performing… Continue Reading »


Teaching Shakespeare: Mini-Research Projects

By Deborah Gascon I set a goal this school year to include several, less time-consuming (but equally as meaningful), mini-research projects into my teaching of literature. Enter resident experts! This quick strategy to get students researching more frequently scaffolds the skills they need to complete the big, scary research paper we assign in the spring. The… Continue Reading »


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