14 May 2012
A Review of Folger's "Teaching Resources" Webpage
Although the Folger Shakespeare Library's "Teaching Resources" page may seem daunting in the sheer number of associated links it offers, this section of the site proves to be easily navigated and extremely useful to both the teachers for whom it is intended and to any students who happen to click through in curiosity.
The Folger Shakespeare Library website has extensive resources for K-12 teachers and "Scholars" (their term for college professors, researchers, and students). The resources for K-12 teachers include links to items such as as "Lesson Plans" and "How to Make Videos" to support a performance-based approach to teaching Shakespeare. The diverse materials available to college level individuals include a plethora of both original, such as digital copies of quartos, and secondary sources concerning William Shakespeare and his works.
The larger “K-12 Teaching” section of the Folger Shakespeare website breaks down into six main categories with nineteen subordinate sidebar choices that help focus this very broad homepage, and it does so extremely well. Each of the six main links has a terrific description that more narrowly categorizes subsequent links and brings the user to a specific page, such as "Lesson Plans" or "Study Guides," which can then be more precisely selected by play or theme. Like all good resources, the website provides varied material that users can quickly and intuitively narrow down to the specifics of their inquiries.
In fact, the "Teaching Resources" section of the Folger website is easily navigated and has an abundant number of helpful resources for educators who are in need of interesting lesson plans. Its short, simplified descriptors make it effortless to maneuver through the website. The links are straightforward and require no previous knowledge of accessing a database; however, not all plays are listed in the "Lesson Plans" section. But never fear! The website does include other helpful resource links in case information outside the site is necessary.
Since this site utilizes neutral tones such as beiges, white, black, and olive green, the
eyes are not distracted by bright colors or busy patterns, thus maintaining professionalism and
allowing users to focus more on the content. Combining serif, sans serif, regular,
bolded, and underlined typeface not only adds visual interest, but helps differentiate between the
headings, content, and links. In addition, the high-resolution pictures successfully correspond with each section and enhance the site's aesthetic appeal by preventing it from being too textually dense.
Finally, the "Teaching Resources" page is intended for teachers, not students, so it does not necessarily need to be accessible for students with learning disabilities. Nevertheless, some of the resource links down the left side of the main page, such as "Audio & Video," "Character Connections," "Study Guides," and "Other Resources," present supplemental learning material in various formats (audio, video, graphic, etc.) that students struggling with traditional text-based learning would find to be very helpful in understanding Shakespeare's plays and sonnets.
In all, the Folger's Shakespeare website's "Teaching Resources" section is highly recommended to both students and teachers who are looking for a thorough, comprehensive, and varied approach to Shakespeare's timeless works.
Group 2 members: Katherine Athey, Jaclyn Guardado, Jin-Mee Leal, Dabney Lyons, Michael Young