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Topical Tuesdays: Ants to the Rescue - KS2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior

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Doctors could have an unexpected new animal assistant in the fight against disease; a recent report showed that ants are surprisingly good at sniffing out cancer. 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.

Using ants to detect cancer is a very interesting idea. But, are we in danger of going too far in our desperation to find new treatments? Should we ban products from claiming they have health benefits unless they have been approved by the authorities? Or should we open our minds to any new ideas that might offer hope to sufferers? If taking some natural remedy makes someone feel better, even if it offers no noticeable medical benefit, isn’t that a perfectly valid approach to wellness? What do you think?

Writing challenges
Write your top ten tips for living a healthy life. For each one, describe what it is then briefly explain how it helps you to feel fit and well.


Write a short dialogue between a doctor and a patient where the doctor is about to let loose a load of ants in order to check for disease.

Ants are not the only living creatures that have been used in medicine. Research and write a brief information text on the use of leeches by physicians.

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

  • News story
  • Activities sheet
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