Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Introducing-shakespeare

What Julius Caesar Taught Me

by Sam Sherman Folger High School Fellow, Class of 2014 I don’t think I just speak for myself when I say that Shakespeare makes all the more sense when it is performed as opposed to it being examined from text. After all, Shakespeare wrote plays, not novels. Shakespeare wanted actors to play out his work… Continue Reading »


From the AV Vault: Interpreting Character

In honor of #ThrowBackThursday, we’re sharing one of the more popular videos from our Teaching Shakespeare series. Sue Biondo-Hench, a curriculum specialist (and alumna) of the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute and an English teacher at Carlisle High School for more than 29 years, often starts off a new Shakespeare unit by having students explore character and motive using… Continue Reading »


Circle Performances with Shakespeare

By Deborah Gascon It’s September and the weather is cooling down, but your students’ love for Shakespeare is warming up, right? Okay, maybe not love like, “will you go to the homecoming dance with me?” love, but maybe a lukewarm shyness sort of love? Your students aren’t ready to dance with Shakespeare, but definitely have… Continue Reading »


Advice for Shakespeare teachers: What to do on the first day of school

Guest post by Deborah Gascon Eighteen years ago, days before my first year teaching began, my principal gave me the best advice I’ve ever heard about the first day of school. She simply said, “Make the students want to come back.” She told me to forget the syllabus and classroom procedures—the students won’t retain those… Continue Reading »


The Insider's Guide to Hamlet

  The Shakespeare’s Globe production of Hamlet is on tour–heading to every country in the world–and it’s stopping at the Folger Shakespeare Library later this month. Therefore, we thought this would be an opportune time to revisit an invaluable teaching resource created by the Folger, the Insider’s Guide to Hamlet. The Insider’s Guide is a multimedia experience… Continue Reading »


Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt shares his first encounters with Shakespeare as a young student

Harvard University professor Stephen Greenblatt knows a lot about Shakespeare. He’s the author of “Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare,” and he came to the Folger Shakespeare Library this spring to participate in a research conference on “Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography.” But Greenblatt did not immediately latch on to the Bard in his student days. As he put it… Continue Reading »


Finding a Shakespeare Hook

By Kevin Costa Whenever I begin a Shakespeare play with my students in my two-year course, The Institute for Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies at McDonogh School, I get the class working on text from just about Day One. I don’t spend a lot of time setting up with talk about Shakespeare’s life or with the… Continue Reading »


But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? …'tis a Flash Mob!

  As you probably know, April 23 is Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, and the Folger Education staff wants to get everyone involved in the celebration. So we are hosting a Balcony Scene Flash Mob Festival. It’s simple. It’s fun.  And it will get a lot of people speaking Shakespeare. We hope to get groups from all across the… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Made Just As Easy

A while back I wrote Shakespeare in Other Words citing the reasons teachers should avoid using “No Fear” or “Made Easy” or any other parallel text edition in their classroom. Needless to say, it generated over 40 comments, including some from an author of “The Shakespeare Novels.” But now I realize that simply dismissing those books wasn’t enough…. Continue Reading »


That Shakespeare Kid: "Bethumped with words"

We have teachers ask us all the time how to introduce Shakespeare’s language in a way that’s engaging to students. One possible approach: young adult novels that weave the Bard’s words along with the kind of dialogue familiar to students. “That Shakespeare Kid,” by Folger Education’s senior consultant Michael LoMonico, presents just this combination. Fourteen-year-old Emma narrates… Continue Reading »