Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library

Shakespeare's "Lesser Known Gems"

Students in our High School Fellowship program are studying Henry VIII, Pericles, and Richard III this year.  One of my colleagues in the Education Division described the plays to potential students in the program as being among Shakespeare’s “lesser known gems.”  Richard III is most likely better known and more often staged than either Pericles  or… Continue Reading »


Just another Fairie?

In the age of  more and more Tinkerbell movies(yes there’s another one coming soon), one can understand an elementary educator’s propensity towards producing A Midsummer Night’s Dream with their students. Young girls can be quite drawn to the idea of putting on those fairy wings and singing a sweet lullaby to their Queen. Budding young actors love the… Continue Reading »


Thou Know'st 'tis Common…Ay, Madam, it is Common

The Hot News among English Language Arts teachers this summer (it’s been a slow news cycle) was the initial publication of the Common Core State Standards. Originally announced on June 1, 2009,the initiative’s stated purpose was to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what… Continue Reading »


You're Quoting Shakespeare!

A few years ago, we put together a poster of words and phrases that Shakespeare  is credited with having used first in his plays.  These included, “as luck would have it,” “vanish into thin air,” “too much of a good thing,” and so on.  When we gave the poster to teachers, they looked at it and noted that we… Continue Reading »


Teaching Shakespeare and ELL/ESL Students

Teaching Shakespeare to students whose native language is not English can be a real challenge for teachers.  Last year we received a number of requests for resources to help teachers introduce Shakespeare to ELL/ESL students.  In response to those requests, we created new web pages on our Teach and Learn site.   Teachers with experience teaching ELL/ESL… Continue Reading »


Who Wrote Shakespeare?

In an earlier post on Jim Shapiro’s new book, Contested Will,  I noted that it had gotten very good press.  It’s a great read, accessible and engaging.  Shapiro examines the underlying issues surrounding the authorship question.  As Shapiro notes, for two hundred years after his death, no one questioned Shakespeare’s authorship of the plays.  Now there… Continue Reading »


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 »