Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Fun with the First Folio

By Corinne Viglietta

TSI2014 participants create "folios". (Photo: James Brantley)
Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2014 participants create “folios”. (Photo: James Brantley)

Last week, Mike LoMonico shared big news about the national tour of First Folios from the Folger vault. Now that you know where the Folio will be in your state, we’re sure you’re dreaming up all kinds of fabulous field trips. (I can’t wait to follow a First Folio from here in DC to my beautiful hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia!) Until then, why not get (even more) excited and ready for 2016 by exploring some of these online resources?

TEACHING IDEA: Using quartos and folios in the classroom doesn’t have to mean a lecture with slides that tell the printing history of Shakespeare’s plays (though that history is wonderfully fascinating!). Try using textual variants—different versions of the same play—to spark student inquiry and analysis. In this blast from our blogging past, English teacher and Teaching Shakespeare Institute alum Sarah Lehn explains how her students question and compare language in quarto and folio versions of Hamlet—a close reading activity that works with a host of other plays, including King Lear and Romeo and Juliet.

INFO AND IMAGES: Every folio has a story. Visit Folgerpedia, a new wiki of all things Folger, for the story of the First Folio on display in the Great Hall at the Folger in Washington, DC.

PODCAST: Last November, French librarians found a “new” First Folio, taking the worldwide count of known First Folios to 233. (Folger has 82 of these.) In this podcast from the Library’s Shakespeare Unlimited series, the expert who authenticated the French discovery, Professor Eric Rasmussen of the University of Nevada at Reno, discusses what makes the First Folio such an alluring and important book.

YOU, OUR COLLEAGUES: Do you use the First Folio in your classroom? If so, tell us! Leave a comment below or send me an email at cviglietta@folger.edu.

 

Corinne Viglietta is Assistant Director of Education at the Folger. She has taught English in DC, Maryland, and France.

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