January 2015 Blog Posts

“Shakespeare Uncovered” Returns!

Kim Cattrall at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Photo credit: Andrea Southam
Shakespeare’s plays still speak to us, they have resonance—hundreds of plays written since then don’t. And “Shakespeare Uncovered” opens up to this huge American audience—this gold dust—and shows them [that] television doesn’t end with Downton Abbey. If you think that’s good … see what real writing, real authors, and real characters are about.—Jeremy IronsRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

"I am in Birmingham because injustice is here"

Recreation of Martin Luther King's Cell in Birmingham Jail
Last year, one of our most popular blog posts was about how to teach Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. We are repeating it again this year in advance of the Martin Luther King holiday. We hope that Dr. King's profound reflections on the relationship between law and justice will resonate once again with all teachers and their students.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Dostoevsky for the Classroom

[I]t was not a slip of the tongue for Dostoyevsky to say that “Beauty will save the world,” but a prophecy. After all, he was given the gift of seeing much, he was extraordinarily illumined.―Alexander Solzhenitsyn Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

The Birth of Close Reading

Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, photograph by William Ferris
“If poetry is worth teaching, it is worth teaching as poetry.”—Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn WarrenRecently Catherine Gewertz* in Education Week reported on the problems school districts are having finding appropriate Common-Core instructional materials. Some large districts have purchased million dollar ready-made curricula; others have decided against doing so after reviewing the quality of the publishers’ offerings. Still other districts are undertaking the mammoth task of creating their own materials.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings