Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Celebrating William Shakespeare's First Folio: Photo Essay #SOL

The First Folio on exhibit at BSU.
This artifact has been rebound.

Last spring my colleague Debbie Greco and I made a reservation with Boise State University to take our students to the traveling First Folio exhibit, sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the American Library Association as part of their year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of the First Folio's publication.

We each chaperoned a bus of students on the trip and allowed some nerdy colleagues and an administrator to tag along on the trip a few weeks ago.

Along the day-long journey a few weeks ago, I snapped some photos of students as they

  • traveled on the bus,
  • toured the main exhibit,
  • participated in a performance activity featuring a cutting from Hamlet, and
  • learned about the printing process in Elizabethan England. 
On the bus, anticipating the adventure. 

An introduction to the First Folio, shown in the case.
Meeting the Cardboard Bard. This guy gets around.
I've seen him at NCTE Annual Convention in the exhibit hall. 

Kaden and Logan commiserate over a facsimile of the First Folio.

Supplementing the First Folio exhibit with other rare texts.

Performing a scene from Hamlet: Shakespeare on the Lawn!

Attendees at the NCTE Annual Convention in Atlanta will have the opportunity to tour the First Folio visiting Emory University and can reserve a spot on the NCTE website.

Shakespeare through the years. Part of the main exhibit. 
The day after we returned from our folio field trip, we had an opportunity to debrief. During our discussion students asked: "Can we read Hamlet?" By way of assessing the success of a lesson, a request to read Shakespeare doesn't get any better! 

Each Tuesday the team at Two Writing Teachers sponsors the Slice of Life
Story Challenge. I'm grateful to these ladies for their unwavering commitment to
the power of narrative. Thank you. Head over to TWT for more slices. 


  1. Fantastic! I was starting to feel so jealous and now, I can join the club.
    Bonnie K.

  2. "Can we read Hamlet?" Yes, that was surely the sign of a great field trip! I know those words warmed your heart.

  3. I cannot believe that your students asked you to read a work by Shakespeare. That is incredible! I am what you would call a Shakespeare nerd. I love his works and cannot wait to teach them when I begin teaching. However, I know that there are many students who despise his works, think they are too hard to read, or are just plain boring. I recently observed a classroom that attended the Shakespeare festival in Canada. They came back with a better appreciation for Shakespeare. Would that, or a field trip similar to that, be something that would spike an interest in my students? I am going to be teaching the material anyway. I want to make it as entertaining as possible for them as I can.

  4. This is such a fantastic idea, and what a great outcome! So was this an intentional activity to encourage the reading of Hamlet or was that an idea to which your students arrived of their own accord?