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Are Bake Sales Always the Answer? – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News

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TV stars Jo Brand and Henry Bird from The Great British Bake Off are calling on young bakers nationwide to whip up treats for International Animal Rescue’s Cakes for Apes campaign. The mission encourages youngsters to bake and fundraise for the protection of orangutans and their habitats.


Are we encouraging children to do too much baking? Are we teaching kids to think that the best solution to any problem is to make and sell cakes? Shouldn’t we be encouraging everyone to eat more healthily? Or is it just a harmless, simple way to help? Isn’t it a good way, not just to raise money, but also to help children learn important cooking skills? In any case, doesn’t everyone know that we should only eat sweet things as an occasional treat? What do you think?

Writing skills

Write a short dialogue between two orangutans, high up in a tree, observing how some humans are trying to help them while others are destroying their habitat. What would they make of it? It can be as serious or humorous as you like, but try to show that you are writing from their perspective.


Sometimes it’s useful to understand the opinions of people you disagree with – those who run companies that cut down rainforests to plant palm oil plantations, for instance. Your task is to imagine you are the owner of one of these companies and write a letter to school children who are protesting about rainforest destruction. How would you defend what you do? Remember to use the conventions of a letter.


Research and write a fact file about orangutans. As well as explaining what they are and where they live, try to include information about what they eat, how long they live and how many young they have, along with any other interesting or surprising facts you can find.

What is First News?

To find out more about how First News could help your school unlock the power of news-based learning, through high quality, weekly resources alongside the print and digital newspaper, visit the First News Education website.

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