Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/teaching-shakespeare-2

"With every minute you do change a mind,"

Every year the schools participating in our local outreach programs, Shakespeare Steps Out  and Shakespeare for a New Generation, have to select one of Shakespeare’s plays to perform at their respective Festivals. There are always the big populars: Midsummer, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet – but sometimes the teachers are looking for something a little different, or something they… Continue Reading »


Censoring Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s plays are considered by many to be the pinnacle of high art – lovely language with high philosophy and idealized characters. But not everyone is ideal, and many words and turns of phrases are… well… not exactly dinner-table talk.  Shakespeare was writing to be entertaining, and his Elizabethan audience was just as entertained by… Continue Reading »


Tragedies… for Kids!

Earlier this week we were approached by a performing group who was going to use Romeo and Juliet for the first time with their young audience. They were concerned with how to tell the end of the story without being too disturbing or too blase – getting the lesson across without traumatizing their audience. We’ve been… Continue Reading »


Plays of Preference

I was speaking with Folger Theatre’s resident Dramaturg, Michele Osherow, this morning as she prepared for an on-camera interview. While catching up, I mentioned that my husband would be working on a performance of Measure for Measure during his first year of graduate school – one of my least favorite plays. Michele replied that Measure for Measure is… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare for Everyone: Working with Students with Severe Disabilities

~by Christopher Shamburg, New Jersey City University Shakespeare can be a powerful tool for the cognitive, emotional, social, and linguistic development of all kids. I saw this phenomenon when working with the students of A. Harry Moore School in Jersey City, a comprehensive school for students ages 3-21 with severe medical, physical, and cognitive disabilities…. Continue Reading »


Igniting a Flame at the Folger's 2013 Elementary Educators' Conference

Folger Educatin Intern Samantha Smith writes about her experience at our Elementary Educators’ Conference On the last day of the 2013 Shakespeare in Elementary Education Conference at the Folger Shakespeare Library, students from Capitol Hill Montessori took to the stage in the Folger Theatre to perform a short play entitled “Much Ado About Shakespeare.”  The… Continue Reading »


6th-Grade Puppeteers Meet Master Shakespeare

~by Susan Lucille Davis Some decades ago, the little girl I used to be sat on her bed and listened intently, enthralled by the words that came from her sister’s mouth as she read her homework aloud.  “Double, double, toil and trouble…” Listening to the magic of those words ultimately led me to become a… Continue Reading »


Suit the Action to the Word

I’ve seen this activity done with many different audiences of students (and teachers), and it always makes me smile. The energy and creativity each participating group brings changes the activity slightly each time, adapting it to their interests and thoughts! As seen in the opening moments of this video about our elementary outreach program, Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare the Player

Last night, I sat in on the first preview for Folger Theatre’s new production of Twelfth Night. The romantic, knotty nature of the play was brought out in the production, and I, along with the rest of the very packed house, found myself enjoying the whole play anew. And then Feste (for not many companies cast a… Continue Reading »


"there was a star danced, and under that was I born."

Today is William Shakespeare’s 449th Birthday. Though he’s not here to celebrate with us, we enjoy celebrating him! This afternoon we’re hosting our second Electronic Field Trip in which students explore Shakespeare’s language up on their feet! Our good friend and contributor, Holly Rodgers, and her ESL/ELL class celebrated by writing sonnets inspired by their… Continue Reading »