Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library

Hamlet and English Language Learners

This is Hamlet month at the Folger.  Our production of Hamlet begins previews on April 21st, and it promises to be an exciting one.  In addition, Folger Education debuted its new webpages for teaching Hamlet to non-native speakers of English, or ELL/ESL students, this week.  Our Shakespeare for ELL and ESL Students introduces teachers to the… Continue Reading »


Illuminating Shakespeare

Anyone who has spent a brief moment of time with someone from Folger Education knows that we are avid believers in introducing students to Shakespeare through performance-based teaching, that is, an interactive approach to the study of literature in which students participate in a close reading of text through intellectual, physical, and vocal engagement. Certainly,… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare in the curriculum and in the original

Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Education at the RSC, wrote a letter to The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/nov/o7/gcses-school-curriculum-shakespeare) about the importance of Shakespeare in the curriculum.  Folger Education has been advocating for the performance-based teaching of Shakespeare in the schools for more than twenty-five years.   Folger Education defines performance-based teaching as “… an interactive approach to the study of literature,… Continue Reading »


30th Annual Secondary Schools Festival

Yesterday, March 10, marked the 7th and final day of the Folger’s Secondary Festival.  Saying that it’s the 30th might make it seem staid, but really the Festival is nothing if not fresh and new every single day. With over 1500 students in grades 7-12 in attendance over 7 days – how could it not… Continue Reading »


The Play's The Thing: The Problem is Choice

Every Spring for over 30 years students from across the region have gathered in our halls buzzing with excitement in anticipation of performing at our Secondary School and Children’s Festivals. The Secondary School Festival featuring students in grades 7-12, is just around the corner in March. But close behind is the Emily Jordan Children’s Festival in May,… Continue Reading »


Teaching with the Folger Macbeth DVD

We’d like to learn what you early adopters of the DVD think about it and more importantly, we’d like you to tell us how you might use the play and the Special Features in teaching Macbeth. Try to be as specific as you can. We’re really curious how you might teach the play if every one of your students had the book WITH the DVD.


Why isn't Titus Andronicus Taught More Often?

First, I’ll admit that Titus Andronicus isn’t the greatest Shakespeare play, and I know about the dispute concerning Shakespeare’s complete authorship of the play. But it was his first Tragedy and he did write at least some of it–enough to have it included in collected works of his plays.  And in recent years scholars and directors have… Continue Reading »


Columbus Day

Teachers often ask me how to justify teaching a Shakespeare play in an American Literature class. My answer is simple: Teach The Tempest. Many scholars believe that The Tempest was inspired by the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture off the coast of Bermuda in 1609 on its way to Jamestown. The account of that incident written in a… Continue Reading »


Start me up…

One of the most difficult parts of teaching a Shakespeare play is simply getting started. For generations, we began by teaching all the biographical facts about Shakespeare that exist–when he was born, when he married, how many children he had, the missing years, etc. Then we discussed Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, what London was like at… Continue Reading »


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