Reflection: Unit Planning Synthesis Essay: "The Taming of the Shrew" - Section 3: Taking Time to Write


I tagged this reflection "Data Analysis" as an ironic commentary on the push to use quantitative measures as decision-making guides in our classrooms. We hear much about lexile scores and data-driven decision-making. 

I, too, make decisions based on data, but the data I'm most concerned about when choosing a Shakespeare text relates to bibliographic studies. By that I mean the decisions that go into editing a text, as Michael Whitmore mentions in the video I posted. Consider some important data:


  • The Folger Shakespeare Library is the largest repository of documents relating to Shakespeare's works and life.
  • The Folger has the largest number of First Folios compiled in one place. 
  • The Folger has over 50,000 images in its collection and is making those available via the internet in an open-source format. 
  • The Folger supports teachers through its Teaching Shakespeare Institute via an NEH grant every other year, and has trained over 500 teachers at the month-long institute. I'm one of those teachers fortunate enough to have attended both the month-long institute and a mini institute, too. 
  • The Folger is a non-profit supporter of the CCSS, as opposed to Pearson et al. 
  • The Folger offers hundreds of resources to teachers free of charge via its website and YouTube channel.
  • The Folger trains teachers in performance pedagogy at the NCTE annual convention and in mini workshops in conjunction w/ the English Speaking Union. 


Sure, teachers can find other full-text versions of Shakespeare's plays, but those do not generally support students and teachers with the kind of data that matters most, and that's data that makes Shakespeare accessible and vibrant to students while embracing the highest academic standards long before the CCSS were envisioned. 

  Why Use Folger Editions?
  Unit Planning: Why Use Folger Editions?
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Synthesis Essay: "The Taming of the Shrew"

Unit 9: "The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare: Unmasking a Troubling Text
Lesson 16 of 16

Objective: SWBAT synthesize their learning into an argumentative essay that articulates their position on an essential question raised in "The Taming of the Shrew."

Big Idea: A synthesis essay based on primary texts empowers students' writing in substantive ways.

  Print Lesson
English / Language Arts, drafting (Writing Process), The Taming of the Shrew, essay writing, Thesis Generator, Google Drive, Folger Digital Texts
  75 minutes
student using folger digital
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