Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Tagged: Hamlet

Making Magic at the Folger

By Deborah Gascon When I introduced myself as one of the master teachers (the other was the fabulous Michael LoMonico) to the 29 teachers participating in the Folger’s first Summer Academy, I told them the Folger was a magical place.  I thought about the unicorn painted on a screen on the ceiling of the Folger… Continue Reading »


Halfway Through Our First-Ever Summer Academy: Notes From The Front

Summer Academy participant Jennie Brown shares her experience at the mid-way point of Summer Academy 2015 which took place from July 5-10, 2015.  By Jennie Brown Where do I even begin to describe my experience so far (only on day 3!) of the Teaching Shakespeare Institute’s Summer Academy 2015 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in… Continue Reading »


A Conversation with Dr. Russ McDonald

By Michael LoMonico   I recently interviewed Russ McDonald, professor of English at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Russ was a resident scholar at the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute from 1985-1986, and served as the head scholar from 1988-1994. He is the author of The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents and the… 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 »


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 »


All Work and Also Play…

By Danielle Drakes   “High School teachers, you are the keepers of the flame.” – Dr. Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education     Earlier this month, the Folger Shakespeare Library collaborated with WQED’s August Wilson Project on a event sponsored by PNC Bank focused on teaching August Wilson and William Shakespeare right alongside.   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 »


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 »