Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare

King Lear: A Government Official's Perspective

In our most recent blog post, we featured a unit plan from our Shakespeare in American Life website about patriarchy in King Lear (onstage right now at Folger Theatre) and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Today, we return to Shakespeare in American Life for a look at some fascinating comments about King Lear by Janet… Continue Reading »


Pop Sonnets: Shakespeare and Contemporary Music

Have you seen the Pop Sonnets tumblr? It’s a simple yet ingenious formula: taking lyrics from popular songs and rewriting them in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet. The creativity on display here is delightful. Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” receives this final couplet: “If truly you did wish to win my hand, you should have graced it with… Continue Reading »


Speaking Shakespeare: From fear to "the feeling that I could do it"

Why do we make such a big deal about performance-based learning? We at the Folger strongly believe that Shakespeare is for everyone and that speaking the Bard’s words for yourself is essential to gaining an understanding of and appreciation for Shakespeare’s plays. Lenny Henry, the British comedian turned acclaimed actor, recently shared his turn-around experience with… Continue Reading »


Translating Shakespeare

What happens when Shakespeare’s work is translated into foreign languages? Is it still Shakespeare? Or does something fundamental to the original evaporate in the process? “Bless Thee! Thou Art Translated,” a podcast in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare Unlimited series, raises these thought-provoking questions. A translator can retain the story, characters, and ideas of a play, but the intricate wordplay… Continue Reading »


The Action to the Word: Gesture as Close Reading

By Kevin J. Costa This past June, I attended the Michael Chekhov Association’s annual International Conference and Workshop in New London, CT. MICHA is an international organization that offers, among other things, intensive actor training each summer for people interested in Chekhov’s psycho-physical approach to the art of acting. While Chekhov’s approach owes considerable debt… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Goes Back to School

[getty src=”180411778?et=j3s2_HtjSaNrmUuAXet4LA&sig=Xs7p-t5Xflh0J8lHEU_TFKqck0xQ7RLMdFglLyKp9T0=” width=”501″ height=”342″]   Yes, it’s that time again for teachers all across the country. So here are some things Shakespeare says about school and learning and teachers. Learning: O Lord, I could have stay’d here all the night To hear good counsel: O, what learning is! Romeo and Juliet: 3.3 O this learning, what a… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare and Performance-Based Assessment

As you may have guessed, we never get tired of reading about the creative ways teachers are using performance-based learning techniques to teach Shakespeare. Sarah Goodis-Orenstein, a middle school language arts teacher and department head in a public charter school in Brooklyn, recently shared in a blog post on Education Week how she’s experimented with the Folger’s Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Folger Digital Texts: Exploring Shakespeare's sonnets and poems

The Folger has just added Shakespeare’s sonnets and poems to Folger Digital Texts, which means that the complete works of Shakespeare as edited by the Folger Shakespeare Library are now available online for free. (Bonanza for teachers!)   Using Folger Digital Texts, you can read and search the sonnets, Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, and Venus and… Continue Reading »


Listening to Shakespeare's Plays

  Performance helps bring Shakespeare alive, and listening to his words being spoken brings them off the page and into a new relevance for students. With the Folger Shakespeare Library launching a new series of Shakespeare audio editions, teachers now have access to unabridged texts from the gold standard Folger Editions performed by a full… 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 »