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Topical Tuesdays: A Mission to Mars – KS2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior

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A new mission to Mars has successfully launched from the US, with the hopes that the robot rover on board could find clues to life on the planet. It’s thrilling news… but is this really a positive development?

Humans being humans, we will only damage the environment there – shouldn’t we be putting all that money, effort and expertise into trying to fix our own planet first?

This resource pack contains an article about Perseverance, the new Mars rover, from The Week Junior newspaper, plus an activities sheet designed to get children thinking, talking and writing about what the story might mean for them.

This PDF resource includes this article, as well as accompanying activity ideas:

  • Debate whether sending a robot vehicle to Mars is really necessary, even if it is an amazing achievement. Should we be putting all that money, effort and expertise into trying to fix our own planet first? Or is curiosity an important part of human nature?
  • Imagine you are a Martian. One day, you wake up to find a strange vehicle from Earth trundling around in your back garden. Write a diary entry about that strange day
  • Imagine you are the president of all the aliens living on Mars. Write a formal letter to the leaders of the Earth people, complaining about the way they keep sending things to your planet uninvited
  • Find out as much information as you can about a mission to land a vehicle on Mars. How far is it and how long does it take to get there? What is the landscape, environment and atmosphere like on Mars? What sort of things have been found on previous missions? How much does the whole project cost? Detail everything you have found in a well-organised fact file using subheadings.

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

What is The Week Junior?

The Week Junior magazine is 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
  • Worksheet
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