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Topical Tuesdays: What Does it Take to Win a Gold Medal? – KS2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior

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This resource looks at perseverance versus giving up. Its main story is about Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the heptathlon athlete and her long road to her recent gold medal win.

She says her years of disappointment motivated her to carry on striving towards her goal.

Other stories include a singer who was penniless before a police officer filmed her busking and now she is on the verge of a record deal, and a 17-year-old Syrian who learned English from reading Harry Potter who has just gained a scholarship to study in a school in Wales.

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

  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson had to wait a long time to win a gold medal. She says that her years of disappointment helped her to keep trying and prevented her from giving up. Should we follow her example? Should we always keep trying to do something until we achieve it, or is there a time when it is sensible to stop? Is it true to say that you can do anything you want if you try hard enough, or does that just lead to people wasting time that could be better spent finding happiness by doing something else?
  • Write a recount of an occasion when you have kept on trying and not given up before you achieved what you wanted to do
  • We sometimes talk about having an ‘angel’ on one shoulder and a ‘devil’ on the other, trying to get us to make good or bad choices. Write a short play script, showing an imagined discussion between KJT’s ‘athletics angel’ and ‘giving-in devil’?
  • In men’s athletics, there is a competition rather like the heptathlon called the decathlon. How many events does that involve and can you find out what they all are? Challenge: can you name any British athletes who have won Olympic gold in the decathlon?

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 schools.theweekjunior.co.uk.

  • news story
  • activities sheet
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