The Common Core has identified ‘Reading Informational Texts’ as one of the primary areas of focus for all students in the US. As important as this task is – and it is positively critical to understanding the layers of thought that can only be articulated in writing forms such as essays, Op-Eds, and newspaper articles – it is a very difficult task to teach creatively and engagingly. The task usually involves assigning an essay; asking students to summarize the salient points or the ‘central idea’ of the text; and then debating the intentions and meaning of that essay in class. You may spend time looking at the essay’s title and determine its intentions. You may focus on specific word choices that convey this or that meaning. But there aren’t a whole lot of creative strategies out there to help you teach how to read an essay. Until now…in this Meridian Stories Project, the main idea is to transfer ownership of the essay from the author to the student. And this is done through the video production of visual words themselves. Exciting, exacting, simple and powerful.