Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Activity-idea

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 »


Shakespeare Flash Mob in your School

In case you’ve forgotten: Tomorrow is Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday. In my recent post I wrote about the Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene-Flash Mob event that the Folger is hosting on YouTube. We’ve gotten lots of questions and comments about this activity, and we’re hoping that you take the time to get your students to create this scene.



But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? …'tis a Flash Mob!

  As you probably know, April 23 is Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, and the Folger Education staff wants to get everyone involved in the celebration. So we are hosting a Balcony Scene Flash Mob Festival. It’s simple. It’s fun.  And it will get a lot of people speaking Shakespeare. We hope to get groups from all across the… Continue Reading »


How performance transforms reading comprehension in the AP classroom

[getty src=”143071352?et=ir8MsLaI6kWKHSfEI_noLQ&sig=oFqfLRD-Tn2jHrHUBD_7qQh4hcIqFnvIjEPwcIUxEJI=” width=”507″ height=”407″] Guest post by Deborah Gascon – Dutch Fork High School, Irmo, SC Performance in AP?  Didn’t think you had time with all the other pressures? Make time. Using Folger strategies in my AP classes has transformed student comprehension of difficult texts and improved their abilities to read closely–and has actually SAVED me time…. Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Made Just As Easy

A while back I wrote Shakespeare in Other Words citing the reasons teachers should avoid using “No Fear” or “Made Easy” or any other parallel text edition in their classroom. Needless to say, it generated over 40 comments, including some from an author of “The Shakespeare Novels.” But now I realize that simply dismissing those books wasn’t enough…. Continue Reading »


Featured Lesson Plan: The Bullies and the Bullied in Shakespeare's Plays

Today we’re featuring a lesson plan from among the highest rated teaching modules on our website. It’s written by Kevin J. Costa, a 2010 Teaching Shakespeare Institute alum and an English teacher at McDonogh School in Owings Mills, MD, where he also serves as Director of Fine & Performing Arts. Read Costa’s introduction to this… Continue Reading »


How to create your own Shakespeare festival

Last week we wrapped up our annual Secondary School Shakespeare Festival. Students from close to 50 local schools performed 25-minute scenes from Shakespeare plays onstage at the Folger in front of their peers. (You can see some photos and tweets at #FolgerFest. A lot of fun had by all!) Now we’re getting ready for our Children’s… Continue Reading »


Resources for the Shakespeare plays YOU are teaching

Last week, we took a reader poll to ask which Shakespeare plays were being taught this semester. Top of the list (as of this writing): Romeo and Juliet, with more than 25 percent of the vote. Macbeth took second place with 22 percent, and Hamlet third with 10 percent. Our write-in option was also quite… Continue Reading »