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Follow the presidential election with NIE

§ February 2nd, 2016 § Filed under Current Events, NIE News, Teacher resources § Tagged , , , , , § No Comments

With Iowa kicking off the first official caucus, the presidential election is heating up and will only continue to get hotter from here. With more caucuses and primaries approaching, as well as endless debates, rallies and events, look to NIE to receive your up-to-date information. Our coverage of the election will provide teachers with simple resources to use in their classrooms.

We offer several Curriculum guides relating to the election process and the U.S. government, such as Electing the President: A Guide to the Election Process, available to all NIE subscribers.  Not an NIE subscriber yet? Sign up for free here!

We will also be incorporating more election details and activities into our Weekly News Quiz, Facebook, and our NIE Activity of the Day on Twitter, @BostonHeraldNIE. Search #NIEactivity or reference the live Twitter feed on the homepage.

For more details on last night's Iowa caucus, read this article at

Smart Camp: Week Four

§ July 27th, 2015 § Filed under Smart Camp § Tagged , , , , § No Comments

The learning opportunities are endless with the Boston Herald Smart Edition. When your students read the newspaper online, it’s easy to make connections between the classroom and the outside world. Try this week's Smart Camp activity below.


In this activity, students will practice researching a product online using different sources. Students will come up with and write about their own conclusion.

In the Boston Herald, you’ll find reviews for everything from headphones to burritos. Have students read a review for a product in the Smart Edition that interests them.

Students should research the product online by going to the manufacturer’s website and then they should read other reviews for the same product.

After, students should determine how the Boston Herald article compared to other sources. How did the information on the company website differ from the Boston Herald article? What did other sources say about the product? Did another resource rank the product more or less favorably than in the Boston Herald article? Finally, students should write their own review for the product based on what they learned.

Extension activity—Students can write a review for a product of their choice.

Smart Camp: Week Three

§ July 21st, 2015 § Filed under Smart Camp, Uncategorized § Tagged , , , § No Comments


If the high temperatures are keeping you indoors, then there's never been a better time to be a Smart Camper! This week’s project is to create a Newspaper Time Capsule. It’s a fun way to engage students in discussions about current events. Teachers who are participating without students can complete this activity on their own.

Newspaper Time Capsule
Have your students imagine that they were selected to make a time capsule that students in the year 2115 will read. To help students of the future understand what life is like today, your students should choose three different news stories from the Boston Herald Smart Edition that they think encompass the most important issues of our time.

Students can use the calendar tool to read back issues of the newspaper and use the search tool to find specific information. After students have selected their articles, they should share them with the class and explain why they chose them for the time capsule.

After you complete the activity, share your experience with other Smart Campers by leaving a comment on this blog post.

Student Voices Deadline: Get your students published in the Boston Herald!

§ April 23rd, 2015 § Filed under Elementary School, High School, Journalism, Media criticism, Middle School, Student Voices § Tagged , , , , , , , § No Comments


Student Voices is a unique writing opportunity for students. Each month, students write about a newsworthy and relevant topic of their choice and have a chance to get published in the Boston Herald print newspaper and website. To participate, respond to any Boston Herald article from the past two weeks in 300 words or less.

Tips for students:

  • Make sure your article is an opinion piece, not a factual article. We want to hear your opinions!
  • Because articles are usually published at the end of the following month, students should choose a topic that will still be newsworthy a month later.  For example, if you wrote about the Super Bowl in January, the articles didn't run until the end of February, so it wouldn't be chosen as it is old news.


Responses must be no more than 300 words and sent in by the student’s teacher. We will not accept submissions directly from students. Please email responses to by Friday, May 29th.

You may include a photo of each writer with a copy of our media release form signed by a parent or guardian.

One response will be chosen to be published in the Boston Herald newspaper. All students who participate will have their work published on the NIE Blog.

Because students can write about any topic, it’s easy to integrate this activity into your curriculum for any subject! Teaching journalism? This activity can be integrated into journalism lesson plans while learning about the Op-Ed and Letters to the Editor sections of the newspaper. Refer to the Op-Ed section of the daily Boston Herald as a guide. Read the Smart Edition here.

Find examples of past Student Voices responses here.

Questions? Contact or call 617-619-6220.

Student published in Boston Herald: April's Student Voices selection

§ April 17th, 2015 § Filed under Current Events, Student Voices § Tagged , , , , , , , , , § No Comments

Congratulations to this month's Student Voices writer, Katrin O'Grady, a student at the Montrose School in Medfield.  You can check out Katrin's article published on here.

Many Bostonians are unaware that at the intersection of Wellesley, Weston, and Newton exists a Nordic skiing hub.

In fact, the Weston Ski Track is the only cross-country ski facility with snowmaking capabilities within two hours of Boston. Weston Ski Track shares land with the Leo J. Martin Golf Course, both owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The DCR leases the land to the Weston Ski Track in the winter on a contract basis.

For 40 years, the two sports have shared the same space without a hitch; however, recent modifications by the DCR to improve golf on the facility have decreased available ski turf.

Advocates for preserving the ski track formed Friends of Leo J. Martin Skiing (FOLJMS), a nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve the coexistence of both ski and golf in one facility. The group formed a year ago, when changes to the golf course raised alarm. Orange fences marked off spaces formerly used for skiing. Mounds of dirt littered the normally smooth trails. Skiable terrain was cut by 30 percent.

FOLJMS advocate Elizabeth Wilcox explained the organization’s goals: “FOLJMS has been working with the DCR as it invests in the golf facility to ensure that DCR’s work does not jeopardize the long-term sustainability of 
the ski facility.”

She added that the organization strives to demonstrate to the DCR “how changes made to the golf course impact the ski facility” and “to educate the DCR on the value that the winter facility brings to the Greater Boston community.”

In the 2012-13 season alone, the ski track boasted approximately 30,000 visits in just about four months. The ski track is home to high school and college teams and provides a healthy way for Boston and surrounding communities to stay active in the winter.  

Teachers — you can get your students published in the Herald! To participate, sign up for our free News­papers in Education program at  Keep your eye on the NIE blog  for the submission requirements.


Smart Camp--Week One

§ July 8th, 2011 § Filed under Smart Camp, Teacher resources § Tagged , , , § No Comments

Welcome Smart Campers! We hope you’re ready to have fun using the interactive Smart Edition this summer.

The NIE Blog is an important part of Smart Camp. Here you'll find the weekly Smart Edition activity, ask questions, and share ideas with other teachers. (Although students can participate in Smart Camp, the NIE Blog is just for teachers.)

Week One Activity
This week we will become familiar with key tools in the Smart Edition, and learn to navigate the online newspaper.

  1. Download and review the Smart Edition Teacher Guide here. The teacher guide also contains all of the activities we will be covering during Smart Camp.
  2. Watch the short Smart Edition video on the NIE Homepage. You’ll see real teachers and students using the online newspaper.
  3. Log-on to the Smart Edition with your username and password.
  4. Read the newspaper using key features of the Smart Edition such as the calendar tool to read back issues, the search tool to find specific information, and the print tool.
    • If you are participating with students, ask each student to read an article that interests them. Then ask students to share a  summary of what they read with the rest of the class.
  5. After you complete the activities above, feel free to share your thoughts right here on the NIE Blog.

Bonus Activity— If you are participating with students and time permits, read and discuss a different selection from the Living Life Online packet each week. It’s a great way to incorporate online safety skills into the Smart Camp program.

Not a Smart Camper yet? Learn more and enroll here.