Mrs. Missy Gates
English teacher Missy Gates worked with 400-year-old folios as one of thirty teachers in the nation chosen for the Shakespeare Folger Institute’s Weekend Intensive in Washington, DC. She incorporated the Folger method into the sixth grade Reading and Writing Workshop after her experience. In their study of Twelfth Night, the students learned Elizabethan sword fighting techniques and held a twelfth night celebration, complete with traditional dances and wassail. One lucky student in each class was selected to be “cross-gartered in yellow stockings.” Afterwards, the students talked about how much they enjoyed the different methods and how they weren’t afraid of reading Shakespeare in the future.
“Folger’s premise is to have the students on their feet completely immersed in the text much as they would be in a rehearsal setting. There is no ‘read from your desk.’ Students act out the parts, work in groups as directors and stage managers, and at the end of the unit, they have an immense appreciation for Shakespeare’s writing and staging - not as passive observers, but instead as active participants,” says Mrs. Gates.