Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

A Plea to All Educators!

I’m writing with a plea for help.  Feedback, actually.

Folger Education creates a study guide to accompany each play Folger Theatre produces with a student matinee.  Our aim is to offer teachers background information and activities on the play which they may use with their students for preparation and  follow-up of their matinee experience.

This is not an uncommon occurance: most theatres that have student matinees also create a guide for teachers and/or students.  In scouring to see what information other institutions offer, I have found guides from only a few pages long to close to sixty.  Clearly, there is not a lack of things to write about a Shakespeare play.  But how much of it is useful to you?

In your experience of taking students to see Shakespeare productions, either at the Folger or abroad, what types of preparatory materials have you been offered?  To what extent did you use the materials you were given?  What would have made them the most useful to you?  Your feedback will help us to shape future guides to better serve teachers and students.

To see our current study guide for The Comedy of Errors, as well as for past productions, visit us at www.folger.edu/studyguides.


  • My students LOVE the curiculum in the “Shakespeare Set Free” series. If you gould distribute a mini lesson in that vein, then we could rock the house by the time we get there for the matinee. For “Comedy of Errors” I will put together a jigsaw activity for the entire 8th grade class the morning of their trip so that the plot will be fresh in their mind. Any help with that would be awsome.


  • James, thanks so much for responding. Could you elaborate a little more about what works best for you with the “Shakespeare Set Free” series? What type of things you like a “mini lesson” to include or cover in the study guide? And tell us about the jigsaw activity – that sounds interesting!

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