On July 27 and 28, 2021, Humanities Texas partnered with the Folger Shakespeare Library to hold two standalone professional development webinars on teaching Shakespeare and texts from Harlem Renaissance and Mexican American writers.
The webinars were rooted in the Folger Method—a set of student-focused principles and essential classroom practices that motivate students to read closely, interrogate actively, and make meaning from texts. The first webinar demonstrated the Folger Method using works by both Shakespeare and writers of the Harlem Renaissance, including Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. The second webinar demonstrated the Folger Method using works by Shakespeare and Mexican American/Chicano writers, including Ada Limón, Gary Soto, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Sandra Cisneros, and Victor Martinez.
Participating teachers gained practical strategies that get students to read closely, live inside the language of remarkable writers, and even talk back to them.
The program faculty included Peggy O'Brien and Maryam Trowell (Folger Shakespeare Library), Greta Brasgalla (Socorro Independent School District, El Paso), and Mark Miazga (Baltimore City Public Schools).
The institute was made possible with major funding from the State of Texas, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.