Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Bear-like, I Must Take the Course (Macbeth Set Free)

With the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and NYIT, Folger Education just completed an 8-week on-line course on Teaching Macbeth. Enrollment was capped at 30 participants, each of whom received a Folger Toolkit. Each session was 90-minutes long and was live using Elluminate.

Here is a summary of the sessions:

Week 1:  Mike LoMonico and Bob Young, lead teachers

This session introduced teachers to the Folger Shakespeare Library and all the resources that are available for teachers, including Lesson Plans, Images, Podcasts, and YouTube videos. Then thye gave an overview of the course and explored the Toolkit. Finally, they discussed the philosophy of Folger Education and demonstrated some pre-reading language activities.

Week 2:  Chris Renino, lead teacher

This session  focused on the Macbeth unit in Shakespeare Set Free. Unit editor Chris Renino demonstrated some of the most popular lessons in the book.

Week 3: Kevin Costa, lead teacher

Kevin discussed editing Macbeth, both in the academic processes that were used to create the Folger editions as well as how editing can be a tool for students to employ. Several videos of series editor, Barbara Mowat were included. Then Kevin  demonstrated editing activities that can help students focus on the language and discover Macbeth by themselves.

Week 4: Sue Biondo-Hench, lead teacher

Sue  demonstrated some activities that she uses to front load a Shakespeare Unit. Participants shared their ideas and contributed other teaching ideas.

Week 5: Jaime Wong, lead teacher

Jaime presented activities and led a discussion on using clips from Shakespeare productions in the classroom, as well as the Special Features from the Folger Shakespeare Library/Two River Company 2008 production Macbeth (DVD included in the toolkit). Participants viewed the performance and Special Features section of the DVD previous to the session.

Week 6 Chris Shamburg, lead teacher

Shakespeare, Digitally had five parts:

Act 1 Why Shakespeare and Technology; Act 2 Three Big Trends in Technology  (and why they work great with Shakespeare); Act 3 Ideas and Technologies; Act 4 Shakespeare, Technology, and Inclusive Education; Act 5 Wrap Up

Week 7:  Amy Ulen, lead teacher

Amy focused on the Macbeth Unit Plan from Shakespeare Set Free and the Folger Toolkit as well as Macbeth in Popular Culture.

Week 8: Bob Young and Carol Kelly, lead teachers

This final session focused on how to create a Shakespeare Festival and how to assess performance-based approaches to teaching Shakespeare.


  • This was a great opportunity to work with terrific teachers from around the country. Many of the teachers plan to stay in touch with one another, and Folger Education will be available to support their performance-based teaching in whatever ways possible. How many other teachers would be interested in this kind of online professional development from Folger Education?

  • Oh goodness! I wanted to sign up for his, but missed the 30-person cap. Can we start the line for next year now?

    Pretty please?

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