Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts By: Folger Education

Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt shares his first encounters with Shakespeare as a young student

Harvard University professor Stephen Greenblatt knows a lot about Shakespeare. He’s the author of “Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare,” and he came to the Folger Shakespeare Library this spring to participate in a research conference on “Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography.” But Greenblatt did not immediately latch on to the Bard in his student days. As he put it… Continue Reading »


Teaching Shakespeare Institute: A 30-Year Milestone

In 1984, the National Endowment for the Humanities funded the first Teaching Shakespeare Institute, a month-long summer program at the Folger for high school and middle school teachers from across the country. Thirty years later, TSI is still going strong. This summer we’re commemorating three decades of tradition and celebrating how TSI has transformed the… Continue Reading »


Inside the Folger Collection: Shakespeare's the Thing

When you introduce your students to Shakespeare, you’re introducing a new generation to a playwright who has profoundly shaped the past four centuries of the English language. The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, is a valuable resource for understanding more about the Bard and his cultural influence. An exhibition showing… Continue Reading »


Seeing Double in the Romeo and Juliet Prologue

By Julia Perlowski If the use of Shakespeare’s early modern English is under attack in some “regular” and “honors” English classrooms, just think about what the reaction might be to the use of such rigorous text in an Intensive Reading class! At Pompano Beach High School, I am not only the ONLY drama teacher, I… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare, Assessment, and Silent Scenes

By Sue Biondo-Hench My students have told me that studying and performing Shakespeare has made them better readers of all literature and better writers, stronger individuals and stronger leaders. But how do we assess this growth? There is no standardized assessment that truly measures this type of learning. And that’s an issue that challenges the… Continue Reading »


Finding a Shakespeare Hook

By Kevin Costa Whenever I begin a Shakespeare play with my students in my two-year course, The Institute for Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies at McDonogh School, I get the class working on text from just about Day One. I don’t spend a lot of time setting up with talk about Shakespeare’s life or with the… Continue Reading »


Hamlet's Ophelia: How imagery supports characterization

By Jill Burdick-Zupancic In English 10, I chose to study Macbeth with the students this year. However, because we were also looking at how imagery supports characterization, I decided to get them back into the world of Shakespeare with a look at Gertrude’s recount of Ophelia’s drowning in Hamlet. I’ve recently been really into taking… Continue Reading »


Friends, Romans, Teachers: Send Me Your Speeches

by Chris Lavold A speech or communications class can be the perfect setting for a small dose of Shakespeare to get the students comfortable with being in front of their peers and completing a close reading of a text.  When my class begins persuasive speaking, I try to make time to spend a day or… Continue Reading »


Killing the Poet in your Classroom

by Gina Voskov One of the courses I teach at my school is 6th grade Humanities, and next up in our year’s curriculum plan is learning about Ancient Greece and Rome. I’m excited about getting the kids up and out of their seats for this class, and the best way I can do that is… Continue Reading »


Getting into the Mind of Shakespeare in an IB Class

By Mark Miazga The International Baccalaureate (IB) English Higher Level curriculum and assessments are still an ideal place for Shakespeare, even though the revision of the curriculum a couple of years ago no longer makes his inclusion compulsory. While he does not fit into Part I Works in Translation of the curriculum (at least in… Continue Reading »