Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Tales-from-the-classroom

Talking to a Piece of Writing

By Casey Christenson   “Yeaahhhhhh, a close reading.  So, liiiikkkkkeeeee, what do you mean?”   Inevitably and understandably this is a strategy I must visit and revisit with my students each year. This time it’s while I’m handing out photocopies of Barbara Ascher’s “On Compassion,” and it has only been about twenty-four hours since the… Continue Reading »



Shakespeare? On Day One?

By Jill Burdick-Zupancic   As summer (too quickly) comes to a close, I’m filled with a mix of excitement and anxiety. What will my students be like? Will what worked last year work again this year? What can I do to make this year a successful and engaging one? Big questions. No easy answers. But, here… Continue Reading »


Why We Shouldn’t Study Shakespeare

By Mari O’Meara   Like most teachers, when a Shakespearean unit is announced, I am greeted by many loud groans and a few students voicing the usual (whiny) complaints- “It’s so boring!” “I don’t understand it”; “Do we have to?”  Tuning out students’ complaints is a well-developed skill of all teachers.  The one complaint I always find satisfaction… Continue Reading »


The Prompt Book–Close Reading at its Best

By Greta Brasgalla    This year, I became the English Instructional Coach at my school. My job includes creating and modeling lessons for a huge English department (we have over 3000 students in grades 10-12).   One of the best activities that I modeled was using the prompt book. Of all of the Folger activities, this… Continue Reading »



What Do Old Books and Shakespeare Have to Do with DC Teens?

By Folger Education   According to students at Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering High School, a lot. When Ashley Bessicks’ students finished their Hamlet unit, her 10th grade students at Phelps ACE High School, a DC public school, were on fire for Shakespeare. They wanted to know more about this play and the man who… Continue Reading »


Relays: They Aren’t Just for Runners

By Greta Brasgalla   As a “veteran” teacher in my 22nd year of teaching, I sometimes look back at how I used to teach when I first started. It makes me cringe. And the teaching materials I used? Of course, I don’t have any of them because they are outdated and irrelevant.   And then… Continue Reading »



Inside the Classroom: The Unit Ends and Students Reflect

By Folger Education   Here are what Gina Voskov’s students are saying now that they’ve wrapped up their Shakespeare unit on Twelfth Night. To trace their journey, check out their comments before and during the unit.   Lois:  Unfortunately, this is the end of our Shakespeare unit and I feel unhappy leaving this unit but… Continue Reading »