Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeares-plays

Throwback Thursday: Recognizing Shylock’s Humanity in The Merchant of Venice

Today we’re re-posting one of our favorite throwbacks: an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent meditation on language, identity, difference, and community—and a teaching idea getting at those big ideas, too. Thank you to Folger family member and high school English teacher Amber Phelps for sharing this powerful blog post with the world. “I don’t have to… Continue Reading »


A Scale of Morality in Measure for Measure

The juniors and seniors in my Shakespeare elective are exploring the flawed characters and twisted plot of Measure for Measure. By the end of Act 4, Angelo has offered an indecent proposal to Isabella, the Duke has countered by orchestrating the bed trick with Isabella and Mariana, the Provost has received orders to behead Claudio… Continue Reading »


List, list, O, list!

While still teaching high school, I responded to a Call for Proposals from a publisher that had an idea for a book: a book about Shakespeare lists. I contacted them and was told to submit a Table of Contents and a sample chapter. My sample chapter was “Shakespeare’s Language,” a topic with which I felt… Continue Reading »



Teaching Macbeth in the Digital Age

For the next few weeks, @folgerlibrary is teaming up with @NCTE and Ben Herold, @BenjaminBHerold reporter for Education Week, to learn from all of you your best thinking on teaching Macbeth. Ben is working on an article that will appear in Ed Week in early November. He needs to learn directly from you—you in classrooms every… Continue Reading »


What’s the Prime of Life?

I had taught English 9 for eight years straight when my teaching assignment changed and there followed a five-year hiatus in which I didn’t teach it at all until this year. Fortunately for my students this year, in the intervening years I attended the Folger Teaching Shakespeare Institute. Our English 9 curriculum includes the classic… Continue Reading »


Free, Searchable, Downloadable Shakespeare for All!

Will you join us in providing every student and teacher with free access to meticulously edited texts of Shakespeare’s works? Keep reading. Two blocks from the gleaming US Capitol and across the street from the Library of Congress sits the Folger Shakespeare Library. (Yes, in Washington, DC. Come explore!) Just beneath its visitor entrance, exhibition… Continue Reading »


How 25 Teachers Spent Their Summer at the Folger

For four weeks this summer, 25 teachers from 22 states and the District of Columbia participated in the Teaching Shakespeare Institute, a deep dive into scholarship, performance, and classroom practice supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (and running here at the Folger since 1984). Institute participants worked with scholars, theatre professionals, mentor teachers,… Continue Reading »


Reflecting on Our Luxurious Shakespeare Elective

On April 23rd 2016, while the whole world seemed to be celebrating the life and work of William Shakespeare for the 400th anniversary of his death, I was in mourning. I did not expect to be. After all, experiencing grief for the four-century-dead is certainly what Claudius would call, “obsequious sorrow.” However, I wasn’t so… Continue Reading »


What’s it like to be an intern in the Teaching Shakespeare Institute?

This summer we’re lucky to have three terrific interns at Folger Education: Shanta, a student at Trinity Washington University; Henry, a student at the Hotchkiss School; and Emma, a student at Swarthmore College. What a team! They’re hard at work as we wrap up the Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2016, our month-long flagship program for teachers,… Continue Reading »