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Big Beach Clean – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News

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Swap your beach towels for bin bags for the return of the annual Great British Beach Clean. It’s the 30th year that thousands of volunteers will be taking part in the campaign, getting together for beach cleans and litter surveys.

All the data collected will help the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) campaign for changes that will protect our oceans

This resources pack includes an article from First News, along with a sheet of activities designed to get children thinking, talking and writing about what the story means to them.


Cleaning up beaches is all very worthy but should volunteers be doing it? Why are the relevant authorities not taking responsibility? Won’t this just give them an excuse to avoid doing what’s right?

Or is there no real alternative if we want clean beaches? Wouldn’t it just add more to our council or water bills if we force those organisations to do this work?

In any case, won’t it simply mean that it takes longer or never gets done? What do you think?

Writing skills

Write an imagined dialogue between two seaside animals such as a crab and a gull as they examine some of the rubbish left on their beach. Make it as funny or despairing as you like but take care to use the conventions of a playscript.


Many poems use carefully chosen descriptive language to capture the beauty of nature. Write your own poem to describe a dirty, littered beach as if it were a thing of wonder. It can be humorous or scathing but remember to use your best words and techniques, including similes, metaphors and personification.


Find out who owns the beaches around the UK. Research whether this includes the land uncovered when the tide goes out. Present your findings as a concise paragraph or a set of bullet points.

What is First News?

Launched in May 2006, First News is the most trusted weekly newspaper for young audiences, covering global headlines and empowering children with an understanding of the world in which they are growing up.

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.

  • News story
  • Activities sheet
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