Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Videos

Owning and Personalizing Shakespeare

This video was making the rounds a couple of weeks ago, and I finally had a chance to see it. Impressionist/Comedian Jim Meskin performs Clarence’s speech from Richard III (I.iv) as well-known celebrities and characters: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk] What I especially appreciate about his performance is that Meskin chose which voices to use based on the content of… Continue Reading »


Proof that Elementary Students Have FUN with Shakespeare!

Jennifer Ventimiglia’s classroom at Paul Public Charter School in Washington, DC is alive with literary inspiration in the form  of books, posters, and most importantly to us Shakespeare! Ms. Venti’s 6th grade English as a Second Language students have been studying Shakespeare all year long with our Shakespeare Steps Out  program. Beyond that they have… Continue Reading »


Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.

We’re noticing something around the internet lately: educators are using contemporary music to enhance lesson plans. This may not be up-to-the-minute news. A lot of us remember at least this scene from Renaissance Man starring Danny DeVito where the class of military privates presents the summary of Hamlet as a rap. Or the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s interpretation… Continue Reading »


Spontaneous Shakespeare

I have heard of street performers (sometimes students) erupting into Shakespearean soliloquies in public places either as advertisement for a performance, as guerrilla art, or as an assignment. Unfortunately, youtube is lacking in the latter category. Street Shakespeare is a project that intrigues me greatly, mainly because it is so out of context and could… Continue Reading »


Macbeth Set Free

Folger Education entered  new territory on Tuesday February 15 with the beginning of Macbeth Set Free, an online course for teachers. With the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and New York Institute of Technology, we are able to reach teachers across the country with some solid approaches for teaching Shakespeare…. Continue Reading »


“How well he's read, to reason against reading!”

~by Jennifer Ventimiglia As King Ferdinand speaks of Biron in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, sometimes those of us in the education field also use “reasoning” to keep kids from “reading,” in this case, Shakespeare himself.  Administrators might “reason” that students need to be preparing for state-wide assessments and that there is no space in the… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Re-Animated

No, we’ve covered the Zombie contingent for now, though I’m sure we’ll return to it at some point! Shakespeare’s work has been colorfully animated many times: The upcoming Gnomeo, the light-hearted Sealed with a Kiss, the epic The Lion King, and – especially – with original language (cut to 25 minutes per play) with Shakespeare: The Animated Tales…. Continue Reading »


What's in a Gnome?

If you’ve been to the movies at all this winter, you’ll have started to see posters and previews for this new animated feature: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_L_5vrHoWQ&fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00] At first glance, it’s cringe-worthy. Nothing seems to be related to Shakespeare’s play at all except the concept: warring families and a young couple in love, yet some ads call it… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare in Cinema: The Tempest

Right now director Julie Taymor is making more headlines for Spiderman: Turn off the Dark on Broadway – meanwhile her latest film: The Tempest is finally in theaters nationwide. Though, it seems, in very few theaters, so good luck seeing it on the big screen. Our nearest screen is about 30 minutes away in downtown… Continue Reading »


Hamlet on Film (part 2)

As I mentioned yesterday, not every filmic presentation of HAMLET is wholly the play by Shakespeare, just like the play and novel adaptations are not!  The first is The Lion King.  While not so clear at first (and certainly with much happier music), the plot of the prince usurped by his evil uncle is a… Continue Reading »