Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeares-plays/hamlet

Advice for Graduates

 By Peggy O’Brien At St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s 2015 commencement, Michael Tolaydo—both in honor of his long and distinguished career there and in honor of the graduating class—was asked to send the graduates off into their futures with some Shakespeare.  We share it with you here because he is an important part of the… Continue Reading »


A Festival of Learning: Student Reflections

By Folger Education   Hey, everyone! Since you can’t be here for the Secondary School Shakespeare Festival, we thought we’d share some glimpses into all this magic. Here’s what our fabulous Festival-goers have to say about their time with Shakespeare’s language and one another.   “When I found out we were performing Shakespeare, I was… Continue Reading »


4 Fresh Ideas for Teaching Familiar Speeches

By Dan Bruno Often, when talking with colleagues, I find that a difficult part of teaching well-known plays like Hamlet is making the recognizable, highly quotable speeches seem fresh and alive with possibility. Here are some activities to help students discover the originality and complexity of familiar speeches from Shakespeare: Make It Personal: Have you… Continue Reading »


YOUR Teaching Epiphanies, Part 2

The epiphanies continue! Today is the anniversary of the death of Irish writer James Joyce, whose famous epiphanies, a century later, still inspire conversation and inquiry. (Plus, did you know that Hamlet was a major source for Joyce, who gave a series of lectures on Shakespeare?) We think it’s fitting, then, today, to offer a second installment of your teaching… Continue Reading »


Breaking Down the Barriers of Shakespeare’s Text

Happy holidays, readers! We’ll be on hiatus until January 6, 2015. Check back then for a new post—and have a very merry winter break!   By Sara Lehn    Occasionally, those of us who revere the Bard speak of his works as if they are some sort of holy text. These plays contain such incredible… Continue Reading »


An Actor's Take: Julius Caesar

We love actor Louis Butelli’s posts for the Folger Theatre Production Diary. Recently, he wrote about his discovery—after a long run here playing Cassius in Julius Caesar (closing Sun, Dec 7)—that whether Shakespeare’s set a play in Elsinore or Agincourt or Rome he can’t resist talking about the theater. Enjoy this player’s perspective. One of… Continue Reading »


Building Characterization With Music

[getty src=”170956814?et=MuEFNJq5S0x65ONObTmEcQ&similar=on&sig=O8jSoY6buJP7_7cyTcGBgKSzDaH8mYevAfNwW8QMGFw=” width=”507″ height=”338″] By Sara Lehn Teachers have long taken advantage of students’ love of music as a tool for the classroom, writing catchy tunes to act as mnemonic devices, playing educational songs and music videos, and so on.  Watch students in the hallway or cafeteria and you will inevitably find them with headphones blaring,… Continue Reading »


"The Adventures of Batlet Hamman" and Other Wild Ideas: Shakespeare and Pop Culture

[getty src=”71144558?et=qYiaoUryT9BYRcIU18zAGQ&similar=off&sig=2U6oMC6WOq15_YcCrAPymReujxll6JohSdxFVoDJ8G4=” width=”445″ height=”357″] By Sara Lehn Last year an unforgettable group of my twelfth grade students became fascinated with the connections they saw between Batman and Hamlet.  At first I was skeptical, but the more they defended their beliefs, the more I came around to their way of thinking. Consider: an angry, morose member… Continue Reading »


Letting Shakespeare Speak for Himself

By Mike Klein Year after year kids in my classroom have strikingly similar reactions to my announcement, “Tomorrow, we’ll be starting Shakespeare.” That reaction is usually a series of “Ughs,” or “Oh nos!” or “Whys?” The most dreaded by English teachers everywhere is, of course, “I hate Shakespeare!” Perhaps I am different, perhaps I’m a… Continue Reading »


Quartos and Folios in the English Classroom

By Sara Lehn “Stand, who is that?” “Tis I.” “Who’s there?” “Nay, answer me.  Stand and unfold yourself.” What’s the difference between the two exchanges above?  Either not much or quite a lot, depending on your perspective.  Both indicate two people looking to identify each other.  Therefore, both imply a certain level of curiosity or… Continue Reading »