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Topical Tuesdays: A Picture of the Past - KS2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior

image of Topical Tuesdays: A Picture of the Past - KS2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior
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Scientists in China have discovered the skull of an ancient human that lived at least 160,000 years ago and had an unusually large brain. This resources pack includes an article from The Week Junior magazine, along with a sheet of activities designed to get children thinking, talking and writing about what the story means to them.

Is it wrong of scientists to state so confidently that they have found a new big-brained human, for instance, when all they have is a few small fragments of a skull? For balance, should they also state that they can never really know because they weren’t there at the time? Or is it silly to even consider other possibilities? In any case, isn’t it true that you don’t need to have been present at an event to know that something happened if you have the right expertise? What do you think?

Writing challenges
Imagine you are a paleontologist (a scientist who studies fossils) who has just unearthed what might be a very important discovery of early human remains. Write a diary entry for that day, describing what you did and expressing your feelings about your find


Write a letter to XJY6 – the ancient human described in the article – outlining how different life is now compared to 160,000 years ago.

Research the discovery of “Lucy,” the famous fossilised skeleton of another early human. Outline where and when her remains were found and why she was considered to be so important.

Find the entire series of Topical Tuesday resources to download here.

What is The Week Junior?

The Week Junior magazine looks at current affairs and helps children make sense of the world, provides context and clarity to complex issues, improves general knowledge and encourages discussion and debate.

To find out more about The Week Junior and to download its free resources, please go to https://schools.theweekjunior.co.uk.

  • News story
  • Activities sheet
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