Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeares-plays

What Happened… First?

In my extra-curricular reading travels, I’ve recently come across a lovely book from the 19th century entitled The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines by Mary Cowden Clarke. One must wonder where the characters for these very strong (-minded, -willed, -convictioned) women came from, and she provides a clean, clever, and interesting viewpoint for the women Shakespeare wrote…. Continue Reading »


@Hamlet: Twitter in the Classroom

The internet is a growing teaching resource and tool, especially when approaching Shakespeare and literature. Digital Theatre projects like Such Tweet Sorrow and Much Ado About N<3thing doubled as insights into familiar characters as well as cautionary tales regarding responsibility, communication, and cyber-bullying. We’ve discussed Twitter and Facebook’s influence on student–teacher communication before, but one teacher has… Continue Reading »


More to Fear from "No Fear"

By this point, you know what the Folger Education stance on ‘No Fear’ and Translated editions of Shakespeare’s plays is. Don’t use them – they’re not Shakespeare. (See Here, Here, and Here if you missed that message.) Pickens County public schools in South Carolina, USA, has given us another good reason not to use them:  Parents… Continue Reading »


Thou hast it now:

While there are many student Shakespeare Festivals all over the world, some teachers might feel trepidation at cutting, directing, casting, rehearsing and organizing a performance for their class. One of our SSO teaching artists, and long-time Docent of the Folger, Amy Thompson, has been doing that very process for the last few years at Nottingham Elementary… Continue Reading »


Experiencing Shakespeare: An Electronic Field Trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library

“Speak the speech, I pray you, … trippingly on the tongue,”  Hamlet’s advice to the players. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZQoeMRMhc&w=560&h=315] When teachers assign their students to perform a scene from a play by William Shakespeare, what should their students do to get ready?  How can teachers best support their students in preparing their scenes?  Steer them away from “translated”… Continue Reading »


Private Romeo: A New Film

A new version of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Alan Brown, and featuring an all-male cast,  is sure to become an important film adaptation of this play. Private Romeo will be shown in New York City at the Cinema Village Theatre on E. 12th Street on Friday, February 10th.  If you’re in New York City on the 10th, you should get to the theatre and… Continue Reading »


But by Reflection…

~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself, But by reflection, by some other things. (Julius Caesar, I.2) A few days ago, I had the opportunity to meet with several 10th graders who were studying Othello. The classroom teacher let me loose, so after a very brief discussion (which consisted of… Continue Reading »


Experience, O, thou disprovest report! (Part 2)

~by Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger On Tuesday I shared a Folger-favorite activity where students create the theatre-going experience of an Elizabethan crowd to see why Shakespeare’s plays had to be so arresting. To continue the experience of bringing words to life, I encourage students to be up, moving around, playing with the language and the motions…. Continue Reading »


"Faith, here's an Equivocator,"

Very often, it is not necessary to teach the history behind Shakespeare’s plays to enjoy them in the classroom. It is merely enough to speak the words, explore the text, and get to know the characters. If possible, however, the influence of monarchs on Shakespeare’s plays can be just as interesting. How is Macbeth a dramatization of the… Continue Reading »


Not Much Ado about Much Ado…

Recently the internet was abuzz with excitement over a secretly produced film of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Joss Whedon. Mostly, probably, because it’s one of the most well-loved nerds ever directing a cast of a few more of the most well-loved nerds. I excitedly shared this information with my High School Fellowship mentees the… Continue Reading »