Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Tagged: tales from the classroom

What My Students Really Think About Studying Shakespeare

At the start of our Romeo and Juliet unit, I had my students begin a Digital Shakespeare Portfolio: a blog account that would house all of their annotations, as well as a place to discuss their thoughts on the interactive approach we’ve been trying out in class. So far, engagement has been high and responses… 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 »



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 »


Students Performing Nonfiction? Yes—Share with Your History and Science Colleagues!

Dale Dworak, an alum of the Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2016, teaches history at a public high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After spending four intense weeks at the Folger, he rethought how he’d been teaching primary source documents and informational texts. We’re sharing with you one of his brilliant ideas for connecting students to the words… 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 »


Recognizing Shylock’s Humanity in The Merchant of Venice

“I don’t have to condone it to understand it. The pain that people feel is real.”   While most watched DeRay McKesson, Baltimore native and #blacklivesmatter activist, deliver these words in April 2015 (describing the unrest that occurred shortly after Freddie Gray’s funeral through the screens of their television), my students and I watched it… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare for All?

This year, I joined the Folger-DCPS professional learning cohort, a group of DC Public Schools teachers working in 9th grade ELA and Special Education classrooms—all implementing the new unit on Romeo and Juliet developed by the Folger Shakespeare Library for our district. This experience meant new curricular materials, new approaches to teaching and learning, new… Continue Reading »


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