Teaching During COVID-19

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How the Folger is supporting teachers during the coronavirus pandemic

We are with you during this extraordinary, uncertain time. We know it’s not easy. But together, we will get through this.

We are listening and responding with free resources as your teaching and learning needs change.

Each week during this crisis, Folger Education will be doing a few things, all free, to support teachers and students everywhere:

  • Weekly Folger Teacher Community Conversations, Wednesdays at 7:00PM EDT on Zoom (Sign up)
  • Regularly updated collections of distance teaching resources right here on this page


COVID-19 Community Conversations on Zoom 

Register for upcoming Folger Teacher Community Conversations. 

Want to catch up on the calls you missed? Watch the archived video. 

  • April 1st Community Conversation - Main topics: equity in distance learning, voice and choice, performing Shakespeare with understanding and without internet or classmates, chunking a full-length work so students can focus on a few juicy scenes, and no-, lo-, and hi-tech examples of the Folger Method.
  • April 8th Community Conversation - Main topics: Folger Method Express Romeo and Juliet packet, reaching students that need scaffolding with images and sentence stems, using images and frequently used words to help students interact with the language of a text, and comparing and contrasting different representations of the same topic.
  • April 15th Community Conversation - Main topics: The Folger Method 8 Foundational Principles, an interactive choral reading activity using a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream and an excerpt from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Shakespeare's Birthday 2020.
  • April 22nd Community Conversation - Main topics: Shakespeare's Birthday virtual events, artwork analysis, creating a promptbook, using videos to help students connect with each other, creating a story map, making a LUNA slideshow, culminating projects for students, and a very special performance by actress Kate Eastwood Norris.
  • April 29th Community Conversation - Main topics:  Folger Method, Community Conversation clarifications and observations, Folger Teacher membership, new website for Teacher Members, Folger Shakespeare Library building renovation project, Folger Teacher Guides, next steps for the Community Conversations. 
  • May 13th Community Conversation - Main topics: using a 20-minute play with Romeo and Juliet during remote teaching, an interactive Tone & Stress activity using a variety of Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean texts, the use of the rheotorical device of repetition with a performance of Richard III 4.4 from actors Kate Eastwood Norris and Cody Nickell.
  • May 27th Community Conversation - Main topics: Tossing words using high frequency words from The Color Purple, directions for cutting a scene (a Folger Method essential activity), using breakout rooms for remote teaching, cutting a scene using In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, the Folger Method Foundational Principles, the Folger Method Arc of Learning, and the Folger Method Essential Activities.


COVID19 Play-specific Teaching Teams

Folger Shakespeare texts, performances, and primary sources 

  • Full-cast audio recordings of seven Shakespeare plays: Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Richard III, and Romeo and Juliet. Produced by Folger Theatre, these recordings are the perfect companion to the online Folger Shakespeare editions! (free to stream through July 1, 2020)
  • Special bonus: WNET-Channel 13 and the Public Theater have just made freely available the video of the Public’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. Live in Central Park last summer, this wonderful production is great entertainment no matter what you’re studying. Directed by Kenny Leon, set in the USA (Georgia) and featuring an all-Black cast. The full film is available to stream on the PBS website. And check out the accompanying Folger Education resources: lessons by our own Mark Miazga and Amber Phelps! 
  • American Shakespeare Center is offering performances of A Midsummer Night's DreamMuch Ado About NothingHenry IV, Part 1 Part 2 on their new streaming platform. These were shot live in the world's only recreation of the Blackfriar's Playhouse, Shakespeare's indoor stage, in Staunton, VA. COVID19 forced the temporary closure of ASC; the fees charged for the streamed production will go to support their reduced staff. The fee idea is that a class of 10 or more can view one of the productions for a flat fee of $100. If that's more than you can manage, however, get in touch with Liz Bernardo-Steward and she will work something out for you: liz.bernardo@americanshakespearecenter.com
  • "Noonsigns" -- Donna Denizé is the author of a poetry chapbook, "The Lover's Voice" and a book of poems, Broken Like Job. An award-winning teacher, Donna serves as the Chair of the English department at St. Albans School in Washington, DC.
  • Sessions from Shakespeare's Birthday 2020 - How to Do an Elizabethan Sword Fight in 10 Easy Steps (YouTube), Whiteness: A Primer for Understanding Shakespeare (YouTube or Facebook), and Macbeth Watch Party (Facebook). 

Professional Development Webinars

Lesson Plans 

  • Unit on Othello and American Moor: Folger-DC Public Schools Distance Learning Plans for Othello and American Moor by Keith Hamilton Cobb (Click on "Week 4" for the start of the unit.)
  • Unit on Hamlet: Folger-DC Public Schools Distance Learning Plans for  (Click on "Week 4" for the start of the unit.)
  • Unit on Romeo and Juliet Folger-DC Public Schools Distance Learning Plans for (Click on "Week 4" for the start of the unit.)


Check back next week for more, and stay fierce!

Tweet us @FolgerED!