First Folio for teachers

Connect with the Exhibition

The Folger is a leader in Shakespeare education, reaching more than two million teachers and students each year through in-person workshops, lesson plans, webinars, online field trips, and the best-selling Folger Editions of Shakespeare’s plays.

In 2016 we will bring the First Folio and our love of teaching, learning, and language to all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Search our interactive map to discover where and when you can see the exhibition and the ways in which you and your students can engage with the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.


Connect with the First Folio

Shakespeare is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. His work connects millions to powerful language, themes, and ideas that touch us every day. And he is the most commonly taught author in American schools. Join us in 2016 as we bring Shakespeare’s transforming text alive, starting with his First Folio. 

How can a connection to the First Folio enhance your discovery and understanding of Shakespeare? How can it illuminate Shakespeare in your classroom?

Historically –The First Folio contains 18 of Shakespeare's plays that had never been printed before, therefore guaranteeing the survival of MacbethJulius CaesarTwelfth Night, and more. It also groups the plays for the first time into comedies, histories, and tragedies, and includes the Droeshout portrait of Shakespeare, generally considered one of the few authentic images because the First Folio was put together by two actors in his company.

Pedagogically –Studying the First Folio opens up important and intriguing questions about Shakespeare’s texts for you and your students.


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Photo by James Brantley

Connect with the Folger

At the Folger Shakespeare Library, our passion for teaching and learning Shakespeare is boundless. For four decades, our national and local programs and resources have supported teachers in all kinds of schools and students at all ability levels.

Follow the links below to learn more about the many resources available to you and your students in 2016 and beyond.

Classroom Resources
At the heart of every Folger learning resource is our philosophy of teaching and learning and the highly effective Folger approach, which engages students in active reading, speaking, listening, and writing so that they develop rich literacy - and a sense of ownership in the language.

Our teacher-created teaching modules apply that approach to Shakespeare’s works, offering teachers dynamic ways to approach these complex texts. These modules integrate active (and painless) close reading, primary source documents, textual studies, and strategies for adapting and assessing learning. 

Our overview of Shakespeare's works includes information and images for every play, perfect for in-class activities or for self-directed learning. Students can also find out more about Shakespeare on the Folger site, including his life and what theater was like in his day.

Explore Shakespeare 

Shakespeare: Subject to Change, brought to you by a partnership between the Folger and the cable industry. Use this site to explore with your class how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed through performance and the printing of the text. You can also find ideas for classroom activities and additional digital resources.

Find additional Folger resources that can be used both inside and outside of the classroom.  


Professional Development

In 2016, Folger Education is hitting the road, too! We’re bringing you even more professional development on Shakespeare’s language, the First Folio, Hamlet, and more.

Working with the 52 exhibition sites, school districts, and the English-Speaking Union, Folger will provide full-day Professional Learning Days and two-day Teacher Intensives across the country. Check our list of upcoming workshops to see if there is a Folger Professional Learning Day happening near you. Or, if you’re interested in scheduling a teacher workshop at your school, please email Corinne Viglietta at

For an even deeper dive into teaching Shakespeare, explore the month-long Teaching Shakespeare Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, 25 teachers will work with Folger teachers and scholars to conduct a multifaceted study of America's Shakespeare through The Merchant of VeniceOthello, and The Tempest. Visit Teaching Shakespeare 2016 to learn more and apply. 

And no matter where you are, you are invited to participate in any or all of our three online Master Classes: one-hour interactive professional development sessions, done in partnership with Alabama Public Television, streamed from the Folger Shakespeare Library. In 2016, we’ll bring you Master Classes on Hamlet, Othello, and Julius Caesar. Interact with scholars, actors, and other teachers as together we expand our knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare’s works! Dates and registration information coming soon.

Join our teacher email community to receive all the latest updates, invitations, and classroom resources. There is a lot going on in 2016, and we would love for you to be a part of it.