Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Tagged: Introducing Shakespeare

Inside the Classroom: Students Share How They Really Feel about Starting a Shakespeare Unit

In this special series we’re calling “Inside the Classroom,” we’ll follow middle school teacher Gina Voskov and her students as they embark on a Twelfth Night unit. Today, it’s all about pre-reading—check back for notes from the group throughout the learning process. By: Gina Voskov I am so pleased to introduce Won Jae, Lois, and Alexandra,… Continue Reading »


From the AV Vault: Interpreting Character

In honor of #ThrowBackThursday, we’re sharing one of the more popular videos from our Teaching Shakespeare series. Sue Biondo-Hench, a curriculum specialist (and alumna) of the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute and an English teacher at Carlisle High School for more than 29 years, often starts off a new Shakespeare unit by having students explore character and motive using… Continue Reading »


Finding a Shakespeare Hook

By Kevin Costa Whenever I begin a Shakespeare play with my students in my two-year course, The Institute for Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies at McDonogh School, I get the class working on text from just about Day One. I don’t spend a lot of time setting up with talk about Shakespeare’s life or with the… Continue Reading »


Killing the Poet in your Classroom

by Gina Voskov One of the courses I teach at my school is 6th grade Humanities, and next up in our year’s curriculum plan is learning about Ancient Greece and Rome. I’m excited about getting the kids up and out of their seats for this class, and the best way I can do that is… Continue Reading »


But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? …'tis a Flash Mob!

  As you probably know, April 23 is Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, and the Folger Education staff wants to get everyone involved in the celebration. So we are hosting a Balcony Scene Flash Mob Festival. It’s simple. It’s fun.  And it will get a lot of people speaking Shakespeare. We hope to get groups from all across the… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Made Just As Easy

A while back I wrote Shakespeare in Other Words citing the reasons teachers should avoid using “No Fear” or “Made Easy” or any other parallel text edition in their classroom. Needless to say, it generated over 40 comments, including some from an author of “The Shakespeare Novels.” But now I realize that simply dismissing those books wasn’t enough…. Continue Reading »


It Still Comes to Life

~by Emily DenBleyker The Taming of the Shrew came first, when I was 7 or 8 – a community theatre production in their tiny theatre in the middle of a cornfield. Then, when I was 9 and bored with the 4th grade reading list, my teacher gave me special permission to read Romeo and Juliet… Continue Reading »


Come Play with Us!

There may be snow on the ground, but Spring is in the air at the Folger.  As the Cherry Blossoms in Washington prepare to bloom, so do our local budding Bards as they prepare for the student festivals right around the corner. While the high school students will stomp the boards in just a couple… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare…in other words

Why are there so many “modern” versions of Shakespeare’s plays? There are plenty of great books that don’t need translated versions. We don’t look for easier versions of Dickens, Hawthorne, Melville, or Fitzgerald (or at least, I hope we don’t.) But re-doing Shakespeare seems to be a favorite sport of publishers. In a way, we… Continue Reading »


"You are [mis]quoting Shakespeare"

I’m a big fan of BBC America and one of their latest shows is State of Play. But on Episode Three  last night, Idris Elba, (you may remember him as Stringer Bell on The Wire), the host on what the network refers to Dramaville, introduced that episode by saying, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we… Continue Reading »