Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library/folger-education-folger-library

"there was a star danced, and under that was I born."

Today is William Shakespeare’s 449th Birthday. Though he’s not here to celebrate with us, we enjoy celebrating him! This afternoon we’re hosting our second Electronic Field Trip in which students explore Shakespeare’s language up on their feet! Our good friend and contributor, Holly Rodgers, and her ESL/ELL class celebrated by writing sonnets inspired by their… Continue Reading »


It Still Comes to Life

~by Emily DenBleyker The Taming of the Shrew came first, when I was 7 or 8 – a community theatre production in their tiny theatre in the middle of a cornfield. Then, when I was 9 and bored with the 4th grade reading list, my teacher gave me special permission to read Romeo and Juliet… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare or Not Shakespeare?

One of the strongest points we keep coming back to in Folger Education is encouraging teachers to use Shakespeare’s text with their students – no “translations.” The definitions these adapted texts can offer limits the possibilities of Shakespeare’s poetry, and stifles the creativity and energy students bring to learning new words and phrases. Julia Perlowski led… Continue Reading »


The Festival Experience

The Festivals we host at the Folger are my favorite experiences of the year. Students pour into the Folger Theatre with all the energy their young frames can contain and explode with life onstage with Shakespeare’s words. Sure: not everything always goes as planned. Lines are dropped; nerves get the better of someone; a cast-mate… Continue Reading »


Come Play with Us!

There may be snow on the ground, but Spring is in the air at the Folger.  As the Cherry Blossoms in Washington prepare to bloom, so do our local budding Bards as they prepare for the student festivals right around the corner. While the high school students will stomp the boards in just a couple… Continue Reading »


Action is Eloquence

~ by Danette Long I recently had the pleasure of working with 20 pre-service English teachers at Montana State University in beautiful Bozeman, MT.  My purpose for working with the students was to discuss methods for teaching Shakespeare in secondary education.  I should begin by saying that this is a topic near and dear to… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Education: Warning! Wanted Side Effects May Apply

~by Holly Rodgers In 2010, I endeavored to have my students take on the challenge of performing the works of William Shakespeare.  While this might not be much of a feat if I were a high school English or theater arts teacher, my students have the added encumbrance of being non-native English speakers and all… Continue Reading »


Audio Shakespeare

We’ve been thinking a lot about the benefit of having students listen to Shakespeare’s language.  With the recent release of the digital edition of Othello, we are in the process of producing an audio recording of the play that follows the Folger edition.  The goal is to enable students to read and hear the text… Continue Reading »


"Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?"

~by Julia Perlowski (title quote from Henry IV, part 2) In my high school honors English class, my well-meaning teacher decided to have us read Macbeth.  I was thrilled.  I had been in classes where teachers played records of famous Shakespearean monologues read by famous people with thick British accents.   Who can forget “Oh, pardon… Continue Reading »


Sneaking Shakespeare

~by Gregg Long These days, Shakespeare has a rather furtive presence in my classroom. Like designer jeans smuggled behind the Berlin Wall, we pull out our copies of Hamlet or the sonnets on the side, with an eye cocked towards the door. Not out of any guilt on our part: you can use The Bard… Continue Reading »