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View "Eyes of a Child" Art Online!

§ December 31st, 2013 § Filed under Art, Current Events, Elementary School, High School, Middle School, NIE News § No Comments

Thank you to all of the students who created art for Eyes of a Child and the teachers who took the time to send in submissions. Our special holiday section came to life with your wonderful art, poems, and stories.

Although we received many excellent submissions, we had to limit the number of entries published in the Boston Herald. You can view all of the amazing entries online. Follow this link to our Pinterest board to enjoy the 2013 Eyes of a Child artwork.

Holiday Activities with the Smart Edition

§ December 18th, 2013 § Filed under Current Events, Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Teacher resources § No Comments

There are 3 major holidays happening over winter break. Celebrate this week with these fun activities and the Boston Herald Smart Edition.


The most popular of Christian observances is Christmas, a festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian faith. Although no one knows the exact date of Jesus’ birth, most Christians celebrate on Dec. 25. Christmas is celebrated throughout the world. In the United States it is one of the most joyous times of the year. People decorate their homes and Christmas trees. They sing Christmas carols, attend church services, send cards, feast with family and friends, and exchange gifts.

Many of the Christmas traditions observed in the United States originated in other countries. In small groups, have students find newspaper datelines for five countries that celebrate Christmas. Then have them conduct research to see if any American Christmas traditions originated in those countries. Allow a spokesperson to report each group’s findings.


Many of the traditions observed by African-Americans today have roots in African culture. The seven-day festival known as Kwanzaa is one of them. This holiday is widely celebrated by African-Americans each year and is based on the traditional African festival of the first crops. M. Ron Karenga first introduced Kwanzaa to the United States in 1966. It combines traditional African practices with African-American ideals. The holiday centers on the Nguzo Saba, seven principles of black culture developed by Karenga. Each evening during Kwanzaa, family members light one of the seven candles in a kinara (candleholder), discuss the principle for that day, and sometimes exchange small gifts. Near the end of the holiday, the community gathers for karamu — a feast of traditional African food.

Ask students to watch the Smart Edition for information about Kwanzaa activities in your community. Have them pick one they would be interested in attending.

New Year’s Day

The custom of celebrating the first day of the year goes back to ancient times when people performed rituals to do away with the past and purify themselves for the new year. In Ancient Rome, for example, people gave each other gifts of branches from sacred trees or coins with pictures of Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings and after whom the month of January was named. In early America, colonists in New England celebrated New Year’s Day by firing guns into the air and shouting, perhaps a precursor to the modern-day custom of making noise to ring in the new year. Today, we celebrate with such rituals as New Year’s Eve parties, visiting friends and relatives, attending religious services, watching football games, and making resolutions.

The New Year is fast approaching. What do you think will be historically the most important things that happened in 2013? Use the Boston Herald Smart Edition to locate stories you think will still matter in 2014 and even further into the future. Based on what you've found in your newspapers, what are the five items you most think deserve a spot in a 2013 time capsule? Write an essay to explain your decisions.

The NIE team wishes you you a safe and happy holiday!