Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare

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 »


Vampires, Zombies, and Shakespeare

Vampire mania has taken over the world. It seems that other supernatural creatures are not far behind them. And all of this is particularly prevalent among the younger, Twilight-adoring, Edward-vs-Jacob crowd (Although perhaps there has always been an allure towards vampires: I will admit, I loved The Lost Boys and Interview with a Vampire in… Continue Reading »


Henry VIII: All is True?

After an incredible summer with the Teaching Shakespeare Institute, the Folger has been overtaken by Tudor-mania! The current exhibition, Vivat Rex!, commemorates the 500th anniversary of Henry’s ascension to the throne of England, and the Theatre is rehearsing Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, also known as All is True. With all the pop-culture fervor for the polygamist king, it… Continue Reading »


A Teacher Prepares

School begins soon, my vacation shortened by the intense summer I spent at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute. As these drowsy days transform to hectic autumn, I wonder how I will use the TSI experience in my classroom. Over the past few years, I have relied on Shakespeare Set Free to teach Romeo… Continue Reading »


Litmus Test for Romeo and Juliet

My litmus test for a good production of Romeo and Juliet is whether or not the beauty of the balcony scene can help me forget—for the moment—Act 5.


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 »


Shakespeare 2.0

It didn’t take teachers too long to realize that they could access all of Shakespeare’s plays in places other than books. In the early days of computing, that meant loading a play from a floppy disk: although it took lots of them to upload the Complete Works. Later they were available on smaller disks: but… 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 »


Shakespeare in American Classrooms

In 2007 the Folger offered an exhibit about Shakespeare in American Life. One of the focuses was how Shakespeare has been taught to American students since the colonies were founded.  You can listen to the podcasts related to this exhibit through that link, or on iTunes. Originally, passages from Shakespeare’s plays were placed alongside passages from other sources and… Continue Reading »


Movement Shakespeare (The Rest is Silence)

Word Words Words are what come to mind when we are first asked to think of Shakespeare. The man wrote brilliant words! But he also wrote incredible characters with vast emotional range and complex inner turmoil, which cannot only be expressed in words. Here in DC there is a theatre company called Synetic (pictured up left),… Continue Reading »