Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

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

How Shakespeare Changed My Life

Director Melinda Hall has been working on a documentary on the subject of How Shakespeare Changed My Life. The promo clip featuring F. Murray Abraham, Sir Ben Kingsley, Stacy Keach, Michael Kahn and other noted Shakespeareans is currently circulating on the web. The most inspirational segment for me was Earle Hyman (whom I  remember as Bill Cosby’s dad… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare and the American Musical

At a recent Theatre Library Association conference, I had the good fortune to meet Irene Dash, author of Shakespeare and the American Musical (Indiana University Press, 2009).  I hadn’t heard of the book, so I asked for a copy to read.  It’s a good read.  To quote from the Coda, the book  “… addresses a… Continue Reading »


Reading Shakespeare Makes You Smarter?

An article by Robert McCrum of the The Observer, now a bit dated since it hails from April, scratches the surface of the idea that the process of reading Shakespeare ostensibly makes you smarter! Studies by Prof. Phillip Davis of Liverpool University have found through neurological analysis by MRI scanning that “functional shifts of syntax in Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Where to begin?

Last week I asked How Young is Too Young to start teaching Shakespeare? The few responses seemed to agree that it’s good to get younger students speaking the words early on, but not necessarily studying the plays. But where do you begin? Mike has stated earlier that the language is the best place to begin teaching Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek…

Your school books are packed, the desks cleaned, the chalkboard (or smartboard) cleaner than it’s been since August. You close the books on another school year. We, too, are closing the books on the 2010-2011 school year, and we look forward to new faces, places, and things to try next year! As we prepare, we… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare as a Second Language

~by Holly Rodgers Educators often face the difficult task of engaging students who are increasingly distracted by the fast-paced technology driven society in which we live.  Although Elizabethan times moved at a slower pace, Shakespeare faced the same daunting challenge as teachers today, keeping the attention of such a diverse population. While Shakespeare’s audience differed more… Continue Reading »


Proof that Elementary Students Have FUN with Shakespeare!

Jennifer Ventimiglia’s classroom at Paul Public Charter School in Washington, DC is alive with literary inspiration in the form  of books, posters, and most importantly to us Shakespeare! Ms. Venti’s 6th grade English as a Second Language students have been studying Shakespeare all year long with our Shakespeare Steps Out  program. Beyond that they have… Continue Reading »


"For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring."

The temperature is going up and up and up these days, proof that summer is here even though school is still in session. Students are restless to be outside (or at least not at their desks), and I have a feeling the teachers are, too! If you’re looking for some Shakespeare class activities to fit… Continue Reading »


Teach Shakespeare – Before It's Too Late!

~by Barbara Cobb When I was starting my work on Shakespeare in the schools, I asked a cognitive psychologist with whom I collaborate, “at what age do children have the greatest facility with different dialects, like Shakespeare’s early modern English?” Her response surprised me just a little: “around the age of 9,” she said, “and… Continue Reading »


Summer and Shakespeare

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” writes the Bard.  With summer approaching, we’re probably all thinking about spending some lazy days on the beach or in the backyard, enjoying being outside of the classroom and away from all of the administrative tasks that come with teaching.  While summer is a time for resting and recharging ourselves after… Continue Reading »