Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Experiencing Shakespeare: An Electronic Field Trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library

Speak the speech, I pray you, … trippingly on the tongue,”  Hamlet’s advice to the players.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZQoeMRMhc&w=560&h=315]
When teachers assign their students to perform a scene from a play by William Shakespeare, what should their students do to get ready?  How can teachers best support their students in preparing their scenes?  Steer them away from “translated” texts of the play, for starters.  Students can handle Shakespeare’s language.  Help them to understand the language. How can using a performance-based teaching approach help?  Performance-based teaching promotes getting students up and on their feet, speaking Shakespeare’s language out loud; it is a close reading of the text using intellectual, vocal, and physical exercises to make sense of it.

On March 6th, from 1-2 pm EST, teachers and their students from around the country will be able to visit the Folger Shakespeare Library without leaving their classrooms.  Experiencing Shakespeare is a free one-hour trip that will take students into the vault of the Library to see rare books and to talk with Dr. Michael Witmore, Director, about the treasures contained within it.  They’ll hear from scholar, Dr. Gail Kern Paster, about the ways scholars examine texts to look at language, watch students and actors engage Shakespeare’s text as they prepare to perform scenes, and they’ll have the opportunity submit their own performances of Shakespeare’s work to be included in the program.  In short, students and teachers will be involved in the intellectual, physical, and vocal exercises and activities they need to do in order to engage Shakespeare’s text and make meaning of it for themselves.

Join teachers and students from around the country on their journey to find out what they need to know to put Shakespeare’s language up on its feet in this hour-long electronic field trip.  Register by clicking here.

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