Creativity is reflected in human innovation and problem-solving endeavors throughout history. It is present in arts, education, technology, science, and in almost everything we do. Creativity encourages children’s curiosity and helps them learn to think independently and critically. For adults, creativity inspires innovation, progress, and joy. As we evolve as a species, creativity helps us evolve as a society.
January is International Creativity Month. Founded by motivational speaker and author Randall Munson, International Creativity Month is geared towards celebrating the power of creativity across the globe. Sources in this month’s newsletter illustrate how creativity is implemented in workplaces, in education, with food, with children, and across cultures.
Creativity in Work
100 Ways to Be More Creative at Work
Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)
Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of ten books. She has done numerous guest spots on political talk shows and news shows. Her blog attracts many well-known political figures and celebrities who comment on various events around the nation. In the Huff Post business section, readers learn how to express creativity in their jobs by reading the list of 100 examples on how to use creativity in the workplace.
5 Benefits Of Hiring Creative Employees
Careerealism was founded in 2009 on the idea of helping people solve their career and job search problems. The site evaluates and approves all contributors to ensure their content is cutting-edge and relevant. There are many ways to use creativity in the workplace, but what are the benefits of hiring creative employees? It is important to understand what creative people can do for a company and how these people can make a business even better. This article provides information on the benefits of hiring creative people in the workplace.
Motivating Creativity at Work: The Necessity of Others is the Mother of Invention
American Psychological Association (find it on the ipl2)
The American Psychological Association is a Scientific and professional organization representing psychologists in the U.S. It promotes health, education, and human welfare. This article explains how connecting employees to end users and encouraging pro-social motivation can create a more creative work environment. For instance, creating events, circulating stories between employees and end users, along with collecting data on end users perspectives allows employees to become motivated to share creativity with future projects.
12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work
U.S. News Online (find it on the ipl2)
This site from US News and World Report contains a lot of free content. The World Report financial section discusses 12 in depth ways to be more creative at work. Some of the examples included in the article are embracing diversity, thinking like a boss, branching out, and writing your ideas down. The article helps working individuals understand that everyone needs to add creativity to their working environment.
12 Ways Tech Companies Boost Creativity
Inc.com Technology (find it on the ipl2)
Inc.com Technology is the premiere U.S. publication for entrepreneurship. The site provides hands-on advice, case studies, and big-picture overviews on the state of small business in the U.S. In this slide show of companies, users receive an inside look at the ways tech companies are boosting creativity on a daily basis.
Creativity in Education
Student Creativity and the Common Core
NEW! Catapult Learning
Student Creativity and the Common Core is an article provided by Catapult Learning, which is an organization dedicated to helping struggling students in K-12 improve their academic achievements. This source explains how students across America in K-12 compete globally through common core by encouraging students to think creatively and innovatively.
The Lego Foundation (find it on the ipl2)
The Lego Foundations and the Lego Group aim to encourage children to become future builders through the action of play. The Lego Foundations suggests that through play children are able to develop their skills as creative problem solvers, cultivate critical thinking, and establish a routine of collaboration. The Lego Foundation sponsors many international projects, from the World Robot Olympiad in Malaysia to robotics classes in Rural India, and from lectures on sustainable living in Copenhagen to creating global programs for children in environmental development. The Lego Foundation believes that play is training for the unexpected and attempts to give that training to children around the globe.
30 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom
NEW! Innovation Excellence
This article discusses the research of creativity in education performed by Sir Ken Robinson, David Hughes, and E. Paul Torrance, all of whom are advocates for more creative educational environments. The article offers 30 suggestions that could cultivate creativity in the classroom ranging from embracing creativity as a part of learning, the use of emotional connections to create ties to the classroom material, the use convergent and divergent thinking when creating assignments, to simply giving students time to ask questions, among many others. The majority of these suggestions illustrate the value of creativity in the classroom.
22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom
Edutopia (find it on the ipl2)
Trisha Richie is a kindergarten teacher who offers 22 simple ideas for using young student’s natural creativity to encourage learning and increase comprehension. She categorizes her ideas into game learning, artsy activities, creative activities for science, students’ favorite things, and using creative time savers. Riche illustrates that creativity teaches students at young ages the art of innovation, thinking outside the box, improvisation, the benefits of taking risks, how to break the mold, and gives educators the chance of professional growth.
The Relevance of Creativity in Education
NEW! Johns Hopkins School of Education
Dr.Rosa Aurora Chavez-Eakle is the founder of the Washington International Center for Creativity and works for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Council for the Gifted and talented. In the article “The Relevance of Creativity in Education” written for John’s Hopkins University, Chavez-Eakle discusses creativity, how it affects the brain and a person’s temperament, and how creativity can help childhood development for children. Chavez-Eakle suggests that the key to providing quality education is creativity.
The Art Junction (find it on the ipl2)
Art Junction is a website that promotes student arts and collaborative art making online through Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, social networks, and virtually. Art Junction experiments with promoting art education through web 2.0, to create Art Education 2.0.
Creativity and Food
National Geographic: Photo Gallery: Photographing Food
National Geographic (find it on the ipl2)
Learn how to find and set up creative photographs of food. This National Geographic photo gallery of gorgeous and intriguing images offers tips and advice for capturing the stories and moments surrounding food.
The Food Museum (find it on the ipl2)
Explore the eclectic FOOD Museum for articles, videos and links to discover the creative things people are doing and have done all around the world with food, about food, and to food. From vegetable gardens, to food-inspired camper vans, to a performance of “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical, Oliver, you will find inspiring ideas for getting creative with food and the FOOD Museum!
NEW! Incredible, Edible Crafts
Learn how to make creative candy bouquets and interesting fruit and vegetable arrangements on this homey and informative site. There are also recipes and instructions for food crafts for children, creative food garnishes, and helpful tips for fun food presentation.
Food in the Arts (find it on the ipl2)
This site provides a survey of the creative arts in connection with food. Themes include food in movies, music, literature, and art. Includes short essays on topics such as the movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” food in Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” Hemingway and food, poverty, and still life paintings of food.
Poems About: Food
PoemHunter.com (find it on the ipl2)
Visit this section on PoemHunter.com to discover hundreds of creative poems, classic and modern, about food. This collection of poetry is broadly representative and useful for information, reference and research.
Creativity and Children
Kid’s Crafts (find it on the ipl2)
The ipl2 provides an extensive list of resources focused on crafts for children. There are links to sites that offer free coloring pages, instructions for crafts, things to do with friends and family, and much more.
PBS Parents Creativity
NEW! PBS Parents
This site from the Public Broadcasting Company offers all kinds of resources for parents to help their children explore their creative side. The site is divided into sections to help parents find the right activities. There are plenty of hints, tips, games, activities, and more for both children and parents to use online and offline.
Art Safari (find it on the ipl2)
Part of the Museum of Modern Art’s website, this activity walks children through paintings and lets them explore and create stories as well as learn about the history behind some famous paintings.
Writing with Writers: Poetry (find it on the ipl2)
Listen to poets read their poems aloud, print up activity worksheets, or write and share your own poetry! This Scholastic site has resources for children, parents, and teachers. It also offers hints from famous children poets like Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo.
The Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation (find it on the ipl2)
This site offers resources for young people and curiosity seekers of all ages. There are videos and audio files as well as stories about inventions, articles, printables, and classroom activities. Anyone who wants to know more about inventions and how creativity has helped push people to make the world a better place will enjoy browsing all of the interesting parts of this site.
Creativity Across Cultures
Creativity Across Cultures (find it on the ipl2)
This source provides a PowerPoint created by Jingya Huang, Danielle Latta and Katie McCarney at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, in which they explain what creativity is, how it differs between Eastern and Western cultures, how different cultures use creativity differently in advertising, the process models for creativity, and how creativity affects society.
Understanding Creativity, Across Sectors and Across Cultures
The CREATIVE project is an EU funded research venture that analyzes creativity across cultures. The Project is led by Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. They will first document cultural differences in five different countries, then analyze reasoning skills when solving complex problems, then by analyzing the result they are able to create models for business or to encourage development. Phys.org covers how professionals are applying creativity and innovation to the fields of science, technology, and medicine.
Why Diversity is the Mother of Creativity
NEW! Innovation Management
Innovation Management is a current and professional website that discusses how creativity can cultivate innovation in multiple disciplines. It provides informative articles written by international professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations, communications, consulting, and education. This article looks at how professional diversity can encourage creativity, creative thinking, and problem solving in people’s personal lives, on team projects, in companies, and how managers can coordinate creativity in team members.
December might be the last month of the year, but it’s hosted a wide variety of interesting firsts. From the arts to books, from new inventions to technological beginnings, and from movies and television to historical events, December has proven to be an interesting month. So as the year comes to an end check out some famous – and not so famous – beginnings.
Firsts in the Arts:
December 22, 1808 - Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony given world premiere in Vienna
History.com, This Day in History (find it on the ipl2)
Beethoven’s Fifth is arguably one of the world’s most recognizable songs, but despite its popularity, when it premiered on December 22, 1808 the song received extremely harsh reviews, since it is not uncommon for German winters reach below freezing, the instruments and the performers suffered. However Fifth Symphony quickly began to gain traction with critics like ETA Hoffman, who gave the symphony high praise in 1810. During World War II the song opened BBC broadcasts, and has been repurposed and covered in many Pop songs throughout time. Despite the harsh beginnings Beethoven’s Fifth has become an iconic piece of music throughout history.
December 12, 1913 - Stolen Mona Lisa is Recovered
History.com, This Day in History (find it on the ipl2)
On August 21, 1911 the famous painting of Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The heist quickly became known as the theft of the century. Newspapers across the world gave this story front page billing, directors of the museum were fired and suspended, and the Parisian Police blamed the museum’s poor security. It wasn’t until December 1913 when the painting was recovered in Florence, Italy. The thief Vincenzo Peruggia cited patriotic reasons for the theft, and spent 14 months in Jail. This was the first major art heist and recovery of the 20th century
December 1, 1933 - George Washington University, The Art of the New Deal
NEW! The Art of the New Deal, Public Works Administration is set up
In times of economic hardship, when food and jobs are scarce, how important is art to a country’s sustainability? This question was answered for the first time in the 20th century for America as Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) implemented the New Deal, a set of reforms with the aim of getting America’s economy prospering again after the Great Depression. The Public Works Administration (PWA) was institution on December 1st, 1933 as a part of this New Deal. The PWA’s goal was to fund construction of over 30,000 projects ranging from airports, schools, libraries, and museums. The PWA was instrumental in providing jobs for artists during the last legs of the Depression and during the recovery. Without the PWA the 30’s would have been a black hole in American Art History. FDR dismantled the PWA on December 4th, 1942, and, while controversial for some, it was a sign that the economy was recovering.
December 3, 1947 - A Streetcar Named Desire Premiers on Broadway
Internet Broadway Database (find it on the ipl2)
The Tennessee Williams play first premiered on December 3rd, and was one of the first times in the modern era that a play used method acting and melodramatics to portray mental instability and produce a satire on the society. This play has become a classic that has been reproduced on Broadway, in film, in opera, and for the TV. In many high schools across the US this play is considered required reading.
December 12, 1980 - Da Vinci notebook sells for over 5 million
History.com, This Day in History (find it on the ipl2)
The sale of the Da Vinci manuscripts was the first time that a manuscript ever sold for that high of a price: $5.12 million. Da Vinci is often also considered the first Renaissance Man, as he was a master of science, literature, painting, anatomy and many others. Later in 1994, Bill Gates would purchase this manuscript for over $30 million, and he to this day Gates loans out the manuscripts to various museums across the US.
Firsts in Trademarks and Patents:
December 1, 1948 - Scrabble History
Official Scrabble Homepage (find on the ipl2)
On December 1st, 1948, Scrabble, the beloved word building board game, was copyright registered by its inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts. This classic game and creative versions of it continue to be popular today, especially online. For a history of the game’s development check out the Hasbro site.
December 5, 1905 & December 9, 1924 - The History of Chewing Gum and Bubble Gum
Inventors (find on the ipl2)
December was a good month for chewing gum inventors! Chiclets gum, colorful and candy-coated, was trademark registered on December 5, 1905, and Wrigley’s gum was trademark registered on December 9, 1924.
December 10, 1878 - Black Inventors and Their Inventions List
NEW! Museum of Black Inventions and Innovations
The door knob and the door stop were invented by Osborn Dorsey and first patented on December 10, 1878. Documents for this patent and other exhibits are part of a touring collection of artifacts from the Museum of Black Inventions and Innovations which informs its audiences about Black, Latino and Native American inventors, achievers, pioneers and scientists. These exhibits appear at various venues throughout North America, including universities and professional conferences.
December 19, 1871 - Mark Twain Granted His First Patent on December 19, 1871
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (find it on the ipl2)
Samuel L. Clemens, iconic American humorist and author known as Mark Twain, was also an inventor who held three patents. His first patent was granted for “an Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments” to replace suspenders, which he felt were uncomfortable.
Firsts in Books:
December 5, 1768 - First edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica published
Encyclopedia Britannica (find it on the ipl2)
Though it took 3 years for the whole encyclopaedia to be published, the first section was released in December of 1768. Although it wasn’t as long as some of the previous encyclopaedias that had been published, it was unique in its plan and the new way that it provided information on a more specific level.
December 1, 1835 - Hans Christian Andersen’s first book of fairy tales published
Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales and Stories (find it on the ipl2)
Hans Christian Andersen is one of the most famous tellers of fairy tales. He was collecting and writing tales for years, but his first book was published in 1835. The full text of many of his stories are available to read for free.
December 19, 1843 - Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol first published
The Man Who Invented Christmas: Charles Dickens (find it on the ipl2)
This famous book which has become a major part of many people’s Christmas traditions and has inspired too many adaptations in books, tv, and film to count was first published about a week before Christmas in 1843. By Christmas Eve it had already sold 6,000 copies and it continues to sell well to this day.
December 1887 - First time Sherlock Holmes appeared
Sherlockian (find it on the ipl2)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet” appeared in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887 and was then published in book form the following year. The story wasn’t that successful, but the idea of Sherlock Holmes was and Doyle went on to publish an additional 55 stories starring the world famous detective.
Firsts in TV and Movies:
December 1934 - Bright Eyes was first released
Rottentomatoes.com (Find it on the ipl2)
In December 1934, the movie Bright Eyes, starring Shirley Temple, was released for the first time. Rotten Tomatoes is a comprehensive movie review site which captures the consensus of professional critics from across the nation, and gives information and ratings about Bright Eyes. Shirley temple went on to win her first award for the song “The Good Ship Lollipop” which was featured in the movie.
December 12, 1937 - Broadcast Firsts
Tvacres.com (Find it on the ipl2)
This site contains information on “characters, places and things that appeared on television programs broadcast from the 1940s to the present (during prime time and Saturday mornings).”
On December 12, 1937, the first mobile television units for outdoor events were obtained from RCA Manufacturing Company in Camden, New Jersey by NBC station W2XBT in New York City
December 21, 1937 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs released
Disney.com (find it on the ipl2)
On December 21, 1937, the animated version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released to RKO Radio Pictures. The film was based off of Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales and produced by Walt Disney. Snow White was the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full color, the first to be produced by Walt Disney Productions, and the first in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Learn more about the film at Disney.com
December 15, 1939 - Gone with the Wind
Georgia Encyclopedia.org (Find it on the ipl2)
On December 15, 1939, Gone with the Wind starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh premiered for the first time. The New Georgia Encyclopedia gives readers a look at Gone with the Wind from the adaptation of the novel to film, along with information about the first premiere.
December 24, 1966 - The Good Old Yule Log Spreads To HDTV
Npr.org (Find it on the ip l2)
Dec 24, 1966 the Yule Log Christmas Special premieres for the first time in New York City on WPIX. The Yule Log Christmas Special ran every year from 1966 to 1989, but returned in 2001. NRP.org gives the history behind the Yule Log and its transformation to HDTV.
Firsts in Technology:
December 11, 1901 - First wireless transmission across the Atlantic Ocean
Guglielmo Marconi, who is considered the father of radio, is also the first man to have figured out a way to send a wireless transmission across the Atlantic Ocean. Although he only sent Morse code of the letter “s,” he did make history that day and confirmed that such a feat was possible.
December 1, 1956 - The first color photograph of Earth taken from Space
The Epoch Times (find it on the ipl2)
The first photo was taken in 1946, but was black and white, and taken just above the New Mexico’s atmosphere. On December 1, 1959 the United States launched the Thor missile into space. On board was a color camera. This camera was the first color camera to take photos of Earth from space. However the photos weren’t seen until February 16th, 1960, when the data capsule would come back to Earth. Today telescopes are launched into space that are able to see ultraviolet light and are able to take photos of distant stars and galaxies.
December 1975 - First Digital Camera
Kodak (Find it on the ipl2)
In December of 1975 Steve Sasson, an engineer at Kodak, invented the first digital camera. It was about the size of a toaster, but it would revolutionize the way the world captured memories forever.
December 3, 1994 - First Sony Playstation
How Stuff Works (find it on the ipl2)
The first Sony Playstation was released on December 3, 1994 in Japan. Although it wasn’t the first gaming system, it did become one of the most popular, and it also marked the movement away from the cartridge system of Nintendo and into the CD-ROM world of gaming.
Firsts in History:
December 7, 1787 - First ratified state of the USA
Stately Knowledge (Find it on the ipl2)
Delaware was ratified as the first state of the newly formed United States of America on Dec 7, 1787. Pennsylvania followed 5 days later with New Jersey 6 days after that, becoming the first 3 states of the new union. Delaware was originally a part of Pennsylvania, but it fought as a separate entity during the American Revolutionary War and was the first to ratify the Constitution. Find out more information about when each state joined the union on the ipl2 via the link above!
December 6, 1884 - Washington Monument is Completed
America’s Library (find it on the ipl2)
The nation’s first president was honored with a monument in 1884. The Washington Monument is 555 ½ feet tall and was designed to resemble Ancient Egyptian Obelisk, which Pharaohs often used to mark the entrance of temple, mark a grave, or praise the Sun god. The fact that the Washington Monument was designed in this fashion gave George Washington a god-like legacy. Throughout history this monument has seen protests, rallies, and community celebrations.
December 26-January 1, 1966 - First Kwanzaa celebrated
Official Kwanzaa Website (find it on the ipl2)
Kwanzaa is an African-American and pan-African holiday which is celebrated in honor of family, community, and culture. Its roots go back to “first fruits” celebrations which have taken place since ancient times. The modern celebration was founded by Dr. Maulana Karengo as a way to preserve the culture and history of African American culture.
December 3, 1967 - First human heart transplant
NEW! Western Cape Government
Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa became famous when Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant. Although the patient unfortunately died a few days later, this revolutionary procedure led the way for future transplants that would be complete successes and save thousands of lives.
December 08, 1980 - John Lennon is shot
John Lennon: The Official Site (find it on the ipl2)
John Lennon was the first of the Beatles to die after being shot by Mark David Chapman. Chapman shot Lennon on New York’s Upper West Side and later pled insanity. Psychiatrists determined that Chapman was psychotic, vicious, and violent. Chapman has been denied parole 7 times.
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With the holidays approaching many people are starting their shopping. Next week comes one of the busiest shopping days of the year: Black Friday. Plus pre-Thanksgiving sales, Cyber Monday, and all the other holiday sales make this time of year a little hectic when it comes to finding the perfect gift. With some of the economic challenges people are facing this year, finding the best bang for the buck is even more important. So take a break and check out the history behind Black Friday and some tips and tricks you can use to find the best deals and to keep yourself safe as you shop for your loved ones this year.
NEW! Why is it called Black Friday?
Black Friday got its name originally because of the car accidents and violence that took place as the crowds rushed for the sales. Stores didn’t want the day associated with something so negative so they changed it to represent the way the sales would help get them back in the “black” financially speaking.
The History of Black Friday (find it on the ipl2)
Find out more about Black Friday on this site devoted to the day and everything surrounding it. Learn more about when it started, who coined the phrase, and why it’s become something shoppers look forward to almost as much as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Personal Safety Plan for Black Friday (find it on the ipl2)
The National Crime Prevention Center offers tips to keep you safe if you go out to face the crowds on Black Friday. These ideas will help you make a plan ahead of time and keep you, your money, and others around you safe. Remembering to take your time, not carry more than you can, and being aware of your surroundings are just a few of the tips offered to make your shopping more enjoyable and less stressful.
Black Friday Ads and Shopping (find it on the ipl2)
This site gathers all the sales and information you need to make your strategy for Black Friday shopping. Browse the ads ahead of time, find out special shopping times, and learn any restrictions you need to know before you head out the door.
Tips: Safe Online Shopping (find it on the ipl2)
Because of the crowds and the craziness you might prefer to shop from the comfort of your home. This site offers practical advice and tips on how to protect yourself as you shop. Valuable suggestions on how to tell if a website is secure to shop on and reminders to trust your instincts are just a couple of the tips that can help you have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience, even on the web.
Cyber Monday Ads and Shopping NEW!
With the advent of online shopping, stores decided to get in on the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and extend special deals that would be available only online on the Monday after Thanksgiving. This site will give you tips on all of the deals to watch for on Cyber Monday. Plus they offer the inside scoop on online deals all throughout the year.
Better Business Bureau Consumer Tips (find it on the ipl2)
The Better Business Bureau offers plenty of tips on how to shop online safely. They offer suggestions on how to avoid scams, lists of reliable sites, and ratings on specific businesses to help you make better choices. There are a lot of useful links and articles to help you stay safe while shopping all year long.
NEW! Shopping Tips and Tricks
This blog is updated regularly and is focused on helping you find the best deals. There are regular pages of links to places you can find coupons or ads, information about freebies, and other sites you might find useful. Plus, the author posts about special promotions as she finds them.
National Retail Federation (find it on the ipl2)
This site gives you all the news you could want about past and present shopping trends around the holiday season. Get statistics, articles, and information about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It will help you check out what’s big this year or look at what happened last year at this time.