Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/teaching-shakespeare-2

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 »


The Play's The Thing: The Problem is Choice

Every Spring for over 30 years students from across the region have gathered in our halls buzzing with excitement in anticipation of performing at our Secondary School and Children’s Festivals. The Secondary School Festival featuring students in grades 7-12, is just around the corner in March. But close behind is the Emily Jordan Children’s Festival in May,… Continue Reading »


Teaching with the Folger Macbeth DVD

We’d like to learn what you early adopters of the DVD think about it and more importantly, we’d like you to tell us how you might use the play and the Special Features in teaching Macbeth. Try to be as specific as you can. We’re really curious how you might teach the play if every one of your students had the book WITH the DVD.


Extra Credit Reading: Macbeth

With the recent release of the Folger’s Macbeth DVD Edition, I’m reminded of the wealth of inspiration to be taken from sources outside the play itself. Building a character as complex as Lady Macbeth who “is just known as the epitome of evil, this battleaxe of a possessed demonic dark force woman” (described by Kate… Continue Reading »


Why isn't Titus Andronicus Taught More Often?

First, I’ll admit that Titus Andronicus isn’t the greatest Shakespeare play, and I know about the dispute concerning Shakespeare’s complete authorship of the play. But it was his first Tragedy and he did write at least some of it–enough to have it included in collected works of his plays.  And in recent years scholars and directors have… Continue Reading »


Start me up…

One of the most difficult parts of teaching a Shakespeare play is simply getting started. For generations, we began by teaching all the biographical facts about Shakespeare that exist–when he was born, when he married, how many children he had, the missing years, etc. Then we discussed Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, what London was like at… Continue Reading »


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