Planning to Teach

Like any teacher, when I get giddily excited about what I’m going to teach–even if it’s months ahead of time–I dive headfirst into the process of locating classroom resources.  Shakespeare, apparently, is no exception.  Sure it’s only January and my Romeo and Juliet project will most likely occur towards the end of April if all goes to plan, but is it really ever too early to start planning?

So where does any self-respecting teacher of Shakespeare turn to first?  Folger.

Folger Digital Texts — Did you know that Folger is currently offering thirteen of the Bard’s works on-line, with more coming soon?  And they’re searchable.  Let’s say that I wanted to examine all the references to “love”–or “hate” for that matter–in Romeo and Juliet.  Their search tool makes this quite easy.  I also like that my students could refer to a list of characters without losing their place in the text.  Since my students don’t all have computers or Internet access at home, this doesn’t solve my problem of not having a set of classroom books; however, this could be a great classroom resource.

Screen Shot: Folger Library OnlinePlay-by-Play: Teaching Shakespeare — In addition, Folger Education offers a number of on-line resources for teachers. They provide lesson plans, notes on each play, a history of the text, podcasts, videos, activities, and student projects for fourteen plays.  Not bad.

Shakespeare Set Free — And since I’m on a Folger’s kick, I’m considering purchasing Shakespeare Set Free: Teaching A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth.  Are there any teachers out there who have used Shakespeare Set Free?  Is it worth the purchase?

Other items on my “Planning To-Do” list:

  1. Re-read Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: The World as Stage
  2. Re-read Shakespeare!  I realized this morning that I may not have opened a Shakespeare play since college… I need to finish a few library books first, though.
  3. Find more donors so that I actually have books to teach with.  My project has received five donations so far, which is a good start.

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