Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library

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 »


This speech of yours hath moved me: The ESU National Shakespeare Competition

Scott Van Wye, a student of Richard Phillipy at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, won first prize at the 31st annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition on May 5. Scott performed a speech by Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing and a cold reading from The Tempest in addition to a sonnet. The competition was held at Lincoln Center… 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.


Who Lights The Fire?

Yeats is the guy who said that education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.  What I think about all the time is how that fire gets lit.  What’s the spark that turned you on to Shakespeare?  Who or what lit that fire or that fuse for you? [getty… Continue Reading »


“Take heed, ere summer comes:” Teaching Romeo and Juliet Intensive

Guest post by Michael Klein It didn’t take me long to rethink how to look at Shakespeare texts after listening to Dr. Ann Cook Calhoun compare them to a musical score. “Reading texts sitting at a desk is like looking at musical notations without hearing the instruments” she said during the English-Speaking Union’s Shakespeare Teacher… Continue Reading »


Common Core standing tall onstage at the Folger

Let’s make a date for another day to have a longer, more nuanced conversation about the many parts of the Common Core. For now, I just want to say that if we could put politics aside and testing aside (and unfortunately, in our beloved field of education, we can put aside neither for long), the… 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 »


#FolgerOfficeHours and The Winter's Tale

Last Thursday the Folger Education department took to Twitter for our second “office hours” session to talk with teachers about how they’re teaching Shakespeare. We love having an informal time to interact with you, answer your questions, and find out what your students are working on. Here’s a great question we received from James Evans: @FolgerED Creating resources for Winter's Tale…. Continue Reading »


Teaching Shakespeare Institute: boot camp for English teachers

We could tell you all about the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute–the intensity and rigor of our classes, the practical techniques that go on to prove their worth in the classroom over and over, the fun times and good memories with other like-minded teachers who becoming lifelong friends. But we’ll let some of our alumni tell you about their… Continue Reading »


A Sonnet for Shakespeare's Birthday Party

Each year, Folger Shakespeare Library invites students in grades 3 through 12 in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia to submit original sonnets for the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Sonnet Contest. We are now taking submissions for this year’s contest, marking Shakespeare’s 450th birthday! All entries must follow Shakespearean sonnet form: 14 lines of iambic pentameter… Continue Reading »