Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts By: Caitlin Griffin

Shakespeare WAS an Adapter

Shakespeare is one of the most recognized figures in literature, and his works have been adapted and adapted and adapted over and over and over again for the last 400 years by people interested in exploring the stories and characters in new ways. And that is exactly what Shakespeare did, as well. However, Shakespeare didn’t… Continue Reading »


Bless thee! Thou art Translated!

They’re everywhere: No Fear Shakespeare, Simply Shakespeare, Translated Shakespeare. There are teachers who truly believe that their students can’t understand Shakespeare’s 400 year-old words, and turn to updated adaptations which give students the gist of the story, but none of the original poetry. I used to be ok with it. I thought that as long… Continue Reading »


Which Imitates What?

Yesterday was our Theatre’s first rehearsal for Othello, where the non-Production staff of the Folger gets to learn what the upcoming production’s concept, design, and themes will look like. We can often see more of ourselves in our history than in a reflection of our present. This will not be a “modern-setting” Shakespeare where the men… Continue Reading »


Lend me your ears!

This afternoon, Lucretia asked me if I knew of any audiobooks of Shakespeare’s plays for kids. One of this year’s Shakespeare Steps Out teachers had asked for recommendations for the listening stations for students in her class. When I was a kid (and I think it’s been well-established that young Caitlin had more than a little… Continue Reading »


A Storm of Words

The weather on the east coast has been particularly nasty this week. The wind blows, the lightning cracks, and the rain spit-spouts onto every surface. Soggy socks and gray skies can lead to bored students, though, but with a little help from Bill’s Buddies, I think I’ve found a way to make the weather more… Continue Reading »


The Immeasurable Rewards of Directing Shakespeare in a Grade School

~by Keith Jones Although I have taught Shakespeare on the college level for many years, I had never considered directing a play until RiverTree School asked me to direct their end-of-year Shakespeare play. I quickly learned that two of the most essential elements to possess in directing a Shakespeare play for grade school children are… Continue Reading »


The Gift of Shakespeare

~by Holly Rodgers Exposing students to great literature is one of the greatest gifts a teacher can give to a student.  Alice Owens, my beloved teacher, who also exposed me to great writers of feminist prose, presented me with a gift that would greatly influence my life and lifetime reading habits.  I was 13 and… Continue Reading »


The Moment it Clicks

We’ve been sharing here the many ways Shakespeare has changed or influenced our lives, and as a finale I wanted to share the moment Shakespeare first made sense to me. I’ve said many many times that the Animated Tales series from the BBC is what got me interested in Shakespeare, but that’s only part of… Continue Reading »


Owning and Personalizing Shakespeare

This video was making the rounds a couple of weeks ago, and I finally had a chance to see it. Impressionist/Comedian Jim Meskin performs Clarence’s speech from Richard III (I.iv) as well-known celebrities and characters: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk] What I especially appreciate about his performance is that Meskin chose which voices to use based on the content of… Continue Reading »


Shakespearean Landmarks

The spirit of Shakespeare is everywhere. I was recently on holiday visiting my husband’s relatives in Belgium, and on a canal tour of Brugge we passed a sweet little window which the tour guide called the Romeo and Juliet window. “You thought they were from Italy, no? England? No. BELGIUM!” We were surprised. Some internet… Continue Reading »