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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

The Bleeding Edge



Copyright © 2000 Meryl Meisler 

Meryl Meisler, a 20-year veteran of the NYC public school system, teaches digital art at the Institute for Collaborative Education (a small 6-12 school). As adjunct professor for the UFT Professional Development Program, she trains teachers to use the arts and technology across the curriculum. Among her career highlights are inclusion of her students' collaborative work in the Whitney Museum Biennial, the Queens Hall of Science collection, and several exhibits at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Disney American Teacher Award, NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Council of Basic Education-Time Warner Inc. Art Fellowship, a Brooklyn Borough President Proclamation, Artists Space Individual Artists Grant, Chase Active Learning Grant, IMPACT II Developer Grant, Earthwatch Education Award, Samuels Award for Excellence in Teaching, and C.E.T.A. Artists Grant.


The Bleeding Edge is an on-line zine that explores blood as a metaphor. Languages and visual iconography are forms of cultural expression. Students can express their own ideas about the impact of blood and circulation on our day-to-day vernacular and thought patterns by contributing to http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/meisler/thebleedingedge.
This on-line zine was created by 6 - 11th grade students who worked with their digital art (Meryl Meisler) and foreign language (Francine LaPorte and Neisha White) teachers to pre-plan their topics with storyboards and scripts and produce their projects for the www. Contributions from other schools are welcome.

Features include: 

  • Blood for Beginners: an illustrated dictionary by the 6th grade. 
  • Blood Lines/Close Ties: first-year foreign-language students (7th grade) create their personal Significant Family albums. The albums can include members who may or may not be blood related or human.
  • Red-Time Stories: second-year foreign-language students (8th grade) write and illustrate books in the genre of children's literature.
  • High School Zine Articles: the circulation classes (mixed grades 9, 10, 11) investigate, author, and illustrate articles (fact and fiction).
  • Second-year foreign-language students (9th and 10th) create serial stories in the zine style.


I.C.E.'s racially diverse and multi-ethnic population is heterogeneously grouped. Each grade level worked on a different aspect of the zine. In addition to their research topic, each student was responsible for drawing their own self-portrait and using a word processor to write their autobiography.


The Bleeding Edge takes 10 or more class periods to complete. A Macintosh or PC is needed. 
Software applications include a drawing program (Adobe PhotoShop and/or AppleWorks), a word-processing program (Microsoft Word or AppleWorks) and a Web authoring program (Netscape Composer, free on Netscape Communicator). Animations were created with Adobe ImageReady. An Internet connection is needed to send work to an Internet service provider or host. If you wish to contribute to our site, please e-mail files to: thebleedingedge@yahoo.com 

School: The Institute for Collaborative Education
Email Contact: mmeisle@schools.nyc.gov 


Standards include understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts: knowing how to use structures (e.g., sensory qualities, organizational principles, expressive features) and functions of art; and understanding the visual arts in relation to history and different cultures.


This was our first real Web site. It is still a work in progress. Students, parents, guardians, and faculty alike are excited to see their work on the www. We were thrilled that the Web site was mentioned in an article in the New York Times. Students worked very hard to edit their work in English and in a foreign language. We recommend that you adapt it to your classroom because it is thrilling to see your students work on the Internet. In addition, we will be glad to host your students’ work related to blood circulation on our site.


Make sure your students keep their work organized. Follow the naming conventions for the www (no more than eight characters, all lowercase, no special characters). The Web authoring program we used, Netscape Composer, is FREE! It comes with Netscape Communicator. Remember--you only have to be one step ahead of your students.  



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