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Teaching The Winter's Tale

Resources from Folger Education

A sense of the incredible and wonderful seem built into the design of The Winter's Tale, as the play's title suggests. One of Shakespeare's late works, the play is often described as a "romance": a fantastic tale blending the supernatural, dangerous journeys, the passage of time, and of course, love.  Here, you find teaching resources, video clips, a podcast and more to help you and your students enter the enchanting world of The Winter's Tale.

Teaching Modules

Folger Education offers teaching modules on Shakespeare's frequently taught plays, as well as modules on introducing Shakespeare. Try the modules below, or, for more modules for The Winter's Tale, visit the Teaching Modules Archive.


"Why is Leontes jealous?"
In this lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 12. In this lesson, students explore possible causes for Leonte's jealousy by interpreting language and acting out scenes between characters, as well as looking at contemporary sources on relationships between the sexes.


"Strike a Pose: Music and Vogueing in The Winter's Tale"
In this lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 3, and 12. The lesson is best used after students have read through Act 3.  Students use single lines, images, and music to interpret and perform scenes from Act 3, a pivotal point in the play.


Teaching Tools


The Folger edition of The Winter's Tale includes facing-page notes and illustrations throughout the play; background information on the play, Shakespeare's life, theater, and times; notes on unfamiliar language, or words that meant something different in Shakespeare's day; and a scholarly assessment of the play in light of today's interests and concerns. Request a desk copy of this edition from Simon & Schuster


Curriculum Guides lay out everything you need to teach this play for the first time: an introduction to the play, character connections, synopsis, teaching modules, suggested scenes for performance, fun facts, and familiar quotes.

Other Resources

Seeing Shakespeare performed, or performing Shakespeare, can help students feel confident reading and understanding Shakespeare's language. To see performance-based education strategies for your classroom, check out our clips on YouTube here.


Archived study guides from past Folger Theatre performances provide activities and discussion questions for students to consider before seeing a performance or as they rehearse scenes from this play.


Audio and Video Resources

Actor Interview

Actors Daniel Stewart (Leontes) and Connan Morrissey (Hermione) discuss the themes of the play in this "behind-the-scenes" interview.


The Winter's Tale Podcast
Introduce your students to The Winter's Tale with our Folger Insider's Guide podcast, featuring commentary from Folger Shakespeare Library Director Gail Kern Paster, Folger Theatre Dramaturg Michele Osherow, and members of the cast.


Original Music

Sample original pieces that evoke the many moods of The Winter's Tale by sound designer and composer Matt Neilson.  




For many students today, reading Shakespeare's language can be a challenge. Things to pay attention to in The Winter's Tale include unfamiliar words, unexpected word order, and plays on words.


Opportunities to perform Shakespeare while learning Shakespeare can aid greatly in comprehension. To see performance-based education strategies for your classroom, check out our clips on YouTube here.


About the Play


The Winter's Tale was first printed in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623.


To learn more, explore our Discover Shakespeare online resource, including the sections highlighted at right.

  Folger Theatre

Folger Theatre: The Winter's Tale Photo Album

From the Collection

The Winter's Tale Photo Gallery

Learn More

Shakespeare's Life

Shakespeare's Works

Discover Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Theater


Insider's Guide Winter's Tale


Study Guide: The Winter's Tale

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