Meridian Stories

Message From the Executive Director

Hello –

Recently, I finished re-reading Don DeLillo’s 1991 novel, Mao II. In that novel, the following exchange takes place:

“For some time now I’ve had the feeling that novelists and terrorists are playing a zero-sum game.”

“Interesting. How so?”

“What terrorists gain, novelists lose. The degree to which they influence mass consciousness is the extent of our decline as shapers of sensibility and thought. The danger they represent equals our own failure to be dangerous.”

“And the more clearly we see terror, the less impact we feel from art.”
That exchange, to me, carries the force of a small tidal wave.

“Shapers of sensibility and thought”

…novelists, artists, storytellers, and teachers – this is something we can address. Meridian Stories is trying to help

– Brett Pierce [email protected]

Under the Radar

I want to share one small article from The Knowledge Review. It’s about memorizing poetry. This short, teacher-oriented article focuses on the notion that performing poetry – when appropriately matched to a student’s reading level – opens up pathways to language, expression, meaning and, perhaps, self-confidence, in ways that are deeply outside our current scope of student engagement in the classroom. In short, this article suggests that by reaching way back into the educational archives of learning through poetry recitation and memorization, we can help launch our students into the future.

Here, the counter-intuitive takes a lead toward understanding. See if you agree, here.

Featured Meridian Digital Storytelling Project

Designing Patriotism

After the Great Depression, the American Government enacted a multitude of programs through the New Deal to provide relief, recovery, and reform to the struggling country. One of these programs – the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP) – was designed to “fund patriotic art projects in an effort to rally dispirited American citizens.”

In this Meridian Stories Challenge, the task is to research the history of TRAP as it relates to this concept of ‘patriotism’; then research what this word means today to your team and the community around you. Finally, design (not build) a contemporary TRAP work of art – a mural – for installation in your school that reflects your findings. 

For the full, free 12 page Curricular Challenge, Click HERE

Featured Meridian Resource – Creating a Short Documentary

Wikipedia defines documentary films as “a broad category of non-fiction motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record.” This definition falls short. Documentaries do more than just ‘document’: they tell stories…really good stories. Read more about how HERE.

Featured Student Work – “Designing Patriotism

This week’s featured Digital Storytelling Challenge showcases a documentary-driven narrative about what the word ‘patriotism’ means to this team of 7th graders from California. They interview people about the word, form their own conclusions and then design a spell-binding mural that reflects their ideas about this word.

Stop your day for three minutes and check this out.