Shakespeare Set Free

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The ground-breaking Shakespeare Set Free series from Folger Education bristles with the energy of teaching and learning Shakespeare from the text and through active performance. Each volume reflects the experience, wisdom, and wit of classroom teachers in schools and colleges throughout the United States.

Shakespeare Set Free is based on two key beliefs. The first is that the best way for students to learn Shakespeare is by doing Shakespeare. The second is that Shakespeare is for everyone—that all students, at all ability levels, can access, appreciate, and have fun with the works of this brilliant playwright.

Packed with practical, specific ideas, Shakespeare Set Free books are written by Folger Education's Teaching Shakespeare Institute faculty and participants, and include the latest developments in recent scholarship.

Each book includes:

  • Clearly written essays by leading scholars to refresh teachers and challenge older students
  • Effective and accessible techniques for teaching Shakespeare through performance and engaging students in Shakespeare's language and plays
  • Day-by-day teaching strategies that successfully and energetically immerse students of every grade and skill level in the language and in the plays themselves—created, taught, and written by real teachers


Volume One Teaching Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream

Volume Two Teaching Hamlet and Henry IV, Part 1

Volume Three Teaching Othello and Twelfth Night

Shakespeare Set Free workshops, available by request, offer an interdisciplinary, text-based, and performance-based approach to teaching Shakespeare to students of all abilities in grades 3 to 12. Based on the innovative Shakespeare Set Free book series, the workshops also draw from the student festivals held for the past 25 years at Folger Shakespeare Library, repository of the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's works.

Host a workshop in your school for 20–30 of your colleagues, led by a Folger master teacher. This workshop presents techniques and materials to engage students in grades 3–12 of all ability levels with Shakespeare's plays.

Performance-based teaching is an interactive approach to the teaching of Shakespeare in which students take ownership of the language through activities that involve physical, intellectual, and vocal engagement with the text on an individual and ensemble level. In these workshops, you'll learn dynamic strategies and activities for engaging students in the study of Shakespeare’s works.