Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library

All Students Deserve Shakespeare

In my January 5th  Blog entry, Shakespeare in Other Words,  I ranted against using “modernized” or “Shakespeare Made Easy” versions of the plays. But those well-meaning teachers who use those books are at least trying, and I suspect, with a bit of help and some quality professional development, they will toss those books and get… Continue Reading »


Experiencing Shakespeare: An Electronic Field Trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library

“Speak the speech, I pray you, … trippingly on the tongue,”  Hamlet’s advice to the players. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZQoeMRMhc&w=560&h=315] When teachers assign their students to perform a scene from a play by William Shakespeare, what should their students do to get ready?  How can teachers best support their students in preparing their scenes?  Steer them away from “translated”… Continue Reading »


"I must begin with rudiments of art…

To teach you gamut in a briefer sort,” The Taming of the Shrew 3.1 Recently, I was embroiled in a discussion of whether or not younger students could “handle” Shakespeare’s work. I, of course, insist that elementary school students can and will “get” Shakespeare. Another member in the discussion said that young students aren’t ready… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare through Fresh Eyes

Last night my younger brother-in-law’s 8th grade class performed an abridged Macbeth after studying and rehearsing the play for 4 months. For most of them, this play was their first experience with Shakespeare, and – at least from my seat in the audience – they were enjoying the heck out of it.  Even as it warmed my… Continue Reading »


“The Game’s Afoot; Follow Your Spirit!” (Henry V, III.1)

~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger There’s no reason students can’t have fun while learning! Part of Folger’s philosophy of “performance-based teaching” encourages students and teachers to play with the Shakespeare’s language and be actively engaged in creating meaning. What better way than to make it a game? I’ll mention that these all caught and kept… Continue Reading »


Experience, O, thou disprovest report! (Part 2)

~by Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger On Tuesday I shared a Folger-favorite activity where students create the theatre-going experience of an Elizabethan crowd to see why Shakespeare’s plays had to be so arresting. To continue the experience of bringing words to life, I encourage students to be up, moving around, playing with the language and the motions…. Continue Reading »


Experience, O, thou disprovest report! (Part 1)

Happy holiday break! I hope you’re enjoying your week off from school (if you have one)! This week I’ll be sharing two activity ideas from Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger on helping students experience Shakespeare to overcome their expectations of the language and text. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and let… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare for Youngsters

Some recent posts on this blog have noted that introducing Shakespeare’s plays to young students can be a very successful experience for the students and their teachers.  In addition to the Folger’s program for students in grades 3-6, Shakespeare Steps Out (SSO), the RSC has been creating shorter versions of the plays for youngsters.  Last… Continue Reading »


Words, Words, Words (again)

I’ve recently rediscovered the joy of podcasts – listening to a story or discussion while I walk to work instead of the eclectic playlist I haven’t updated in 18 months.  This past weekend I was enjoying a 2010 Radiolab podcast on Words in which they explored how we use words to think and communicate with each other. To… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare and the Common Core Standards

Folger Education staff recently attended and presented workshops on teaching Shakespeare at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Convention in Chicago.  The convention celebrated the 100th birthday of NCTE, and it offered teachers in attendance many sessions that focused on the new Common Core State Standards set for implementation in schools from approximately 46 states… Continue Reading »