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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet
Deep Research

Project URLs:

Purpose of the Project:

"Deep Research" Is a digital exploration of two worlds of conspicuous silence – the New York Public Library and the underwater world. These icons of conspicuous silence and beauty are among our greatest resources at risk. The viewer is engaged in an imaginary narrative that explores issues of urbanization, access to information, and environmental /quality of life concerns.

The students view "Deep Research" series by Meryl Meisler. Follow-up activities can include discussion, research and writing about the following: 1. Classify the species of fish and coral in each picture;  2. Identify the architectural details. Each student can create an illustrated glossary of architectural terms and styles.

The Library depicted in the series is the Arts and Humanities Branch on 42nd Street in NYC. Visit http://nypl.org to find out: 1. When was the library built? 2. Who were the major funders? 3. Who were the architects? 4. Is it a public or private library? 5. What reservoir was it built upon?

  • Write an imaginary narrative describing what is going on in the picture. 
  • What do you know about the mythical Atlantis? Find the passage in Jules Verne’s "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" that describes Captain Nemo’s tour of Atlantis.

Divide the class into small groups (3-4) to discuss the following:

  • Digital media can archive books and make them accessible via the internet; how will this effect the need and function of schools and libraries? 
  •  Underpaid, and demoralized- NYC’s Librarians and Public school teachers are leaving in record numbers. Are real live/in person teachers and Librarians replaceable by digital databases, and virtual classrooms? Are institutions of learning destined to sink? Why or why not?

Standards Addressed by This Unit:

Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art. Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts connecting the individual work to other works and to aspects of human endeavor and thought.

Software Materials Used:

Internet connection and browser


Meryl Meisler teaches groups of heteregeneously mixed, multi-ethnic, multi-racial 6 – 12 grade students.


The Library represents the world of ideas and knowledge. Funds for the Arts, Education, and Libraries (symbols of humanity's achievements) are continuously under "attack" by many of our elected officials. They face severe cutbacks in funding and accessibility to the general public. The purpose of this project is to focus on the need for our society to appreciate, nourish and save its treasures and resources at risk. 


When creating small discussion groups, appoint or have students self-elect "recorders" (take notes of discussion) and "speakers" (to report findings to rest of class)

Copyright © 2000 Meryl Meisler

About The Teacher

Meryl Meisler, a 20 year veteran NYC Public School art teacher teaches digital art at The Institute for Collaborative Education (a small 6-12 school) and is on the Board of Directors of The Teachers Network. 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. Meryl's own multimedia artwork has been widely exhibited internationally; her solo show at Grand Central Terminal was featured in WIRED magazine. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Council of Basic Education-Time Warner Inc. Art Fellowship, Disney American Teacher Award, Japan Society Travel/Study in Japan, NY Foundation for the Arts 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.

Email Contact: merylart@earthlink.net

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 4



Beginning Grade Level: 6
Ending Grade Level: 12
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