Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Tagged: tales from the classroom

Teaching King Lear in Times of Grief

It was the start of term 2 in 2016 and I was preparing the Grade 12 students for our study of King Lear. We read an excerpt from The Little Prince. It was meant to introduce big questions around blindness, appearance, and reality. We used the line, ‘It is only with the heart that one… Continue Reading »


Thirteen Reasons Why Not: Shakespeare, Netflix, and a Teachable Moment

As a participant in the four-week Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2016, I undertook academic research that took me deep into Shakespeare’s language and the Reading Rooms of the Folger. I was intrigued by the role marriage played in two of the plays we studied, Othello and The Merchant of Venice—especially the manner in which particular women… Continue Reading »


The (Love and) Hate U Give: Teaching Angie Thomas and William Shakespeare

I teach high school English in St. Louis, Missouri, just miles from Ferguson, Missouri. Three years ago, after the Black Lives Matter movement started, I tried to bring the conversation about power and injustice into my classroom with the classics. Shakespeare raises tough, nuanced questions about identity, difference, community, and violence. His language is a… Continue Reading »


Digital Humanities with 8th Graders? Of Course!

Distributing copies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream fills me with a bit of hope, but also a little anxiety. There’s always a risk of losing student engagement when teaching a text students perceive to be beyond their level and interest, especially as they are developing their analytical thinking skills. While students may be skeptical (but… Continue Reading »


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 »


Teaching and Learning in These Days: More from YOU

We continue to share your emails, which so thoughtfully capture what’s happening in your classrooms, your minds, and your communities these days. Thanks for sharing, and keep on doing what you do. From Tia in West Virginia: Though our friends at the Folger assure me I am anything but powerless, it certainly seems that way… Continue Reading »


Teaching and Learning in These Days: Your Stories Continued

Last week we posted some of what you brilliant teaching colleagues have been sharing with us about teaching in today’s world. Today, as promised, we’re posting more of your comments and stories. From Chasidy in Tennessee I spend so much time with my students on how literature reflects our own flaws and reveals truth. As… Continue Reading »


Teaching and Learning in These Days: Your Stories

Earlier this month our Director of Education, Peggy O’Brien, asked you, our teaching colleagues across the country, to send us your stories about teaching in these changing, challenging times. “We are always carrying you and your work and your students in our hearts and minds,” Peggy wrote, “but maybe no more so than right now…. Continue Reading »



What My Students Really Think About Studying Shakespeare

At the start of our Romeo and Juliet unit, I had my students begin a Digital Shakespeare Portfolio: a blog account that would house all of their annotations, as well as a place to discuss their thoughts on the interactive approach we’ve been trying out in class. So far, engagement has been high and responses… Continue Reading »


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