Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Tagged: Sonnets

“But then begins a journey in my head”: Stepping into Sonnets

I was on the train when I began this blog, heading home from a Shakespeare competition where students performed monologues and recited sonnets. It was a terrific event. All of the participants were surefooted, and no one froze in the headlights of competition. The students had every reason to be proud of their work, for… Continue Reading »


YOUR Teaching Epiphanies

As a follow-up to Mark Miazga’s fabulous story about his teaching epiphany, we invited you, our readers, to share revelations from your classrooms, and… wow! You and your students blew us away! Here’s what you had to say:   My epiphany came when I realized that getting students to act and move would impact them… Continue Reading »


Pop Sonnets: Shakespeare and Contemporary Music

Have you seen the Pop Sonnets tumblr? It’s a simple yet ingenious formula: taking lyrics from popular songs and rewriting them in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet. The creativity on display here is delightful. Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” receives this final couplet: “If truly you did wish to win my hand, you should have graced it with… Continue Reading »


Folger Digital Texts: Exploring Shakespeare's sonnets and poems

The Folger has just added Shakespeare’s sonnets and poems to Folger Digital Texts, which means that the complete works of Shakespeare as edited by the Folger Shakespeare Library are now available online for free. (Bonanza for teachers!)   Using Folger Digital Texts, you can read and search the sonnets, Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, and Venus and… Continue Reading »


The 'why' and 'how' of teaching sonnets

Earlier this week, we invited you to share our sonnet-writing contest with your students. And we hope you do! Why teach Shakespeare’s sonnets? Exploring Shakespeare’s sonnets can be a good way to introduce students to his language. Many ideas and themes in the sonnets also appear in Shakespeare’s plays and can be useful lead-ins. For… Continue Reading »


A Sonnet for Shakespeare's Birthday Party

Each year, Folger Shakespeare Library invites students in grades 3 through 12 in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia to submit original sonnets for the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Sonnet Contest. We are now taking submissions for this year’s contest, marking Shakespeare’s 450th birthday! All entries must follow Shakespearean sonnet form: 14 lines of iambic pentameter… Continue Reading »


Teacher Tuesday: Speaking Together

At the end of last week’s Teacher Tuesday, I shared a link to a video, Interpreting Shakespeare, with our Master Teacher Sue Biondo-Hench. In one section of the video, around 3:10, Sue breaks her students into groups to interpret and perform a single passage from Henry IV, part 1. They each interpret how performing one character’s… Continue Reading »