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Topical Tuesdays: Tom & Jerry Turn 80 – KS2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior

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This resource looks at the classic cartoon characters Tom & Jerry, who turned 80 on 10 February 2020. The duo, who have starred in more than 150 cartoons, made their very first appearance in a nine-minute-long film released on 10 February 1940, called Puss Gets the Boot.

The resource includes a news article, and activity ideas based on it.

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

  • Tom and Jerry cartoons often feature a great deal of hitting and hurting, even if it is only slapstick violence. Some believe that they should not be shown anymore because they encourage children to attack each other. Some studies have even suggested that watching cartoons like Tom and Jerry makes youngsters more aggressive. Or is this just overreacting? Many children over the last 80 years have just found it great fun and managed to watch without harming others. Why should they suffer just because a few children (or perhaps their parents) struggle to control bad behaviour? What do you think?
  • Poor Tom the cat is always getting painfully outwitted by Jerry the mouse. It’s time he got his own back. Write a set of instructions for a way you think Tom could play a good (but not too vicious) trick on Jerry. Don’t forget to give a set of numbered steps, use imperative verbs and include sequencing conjunctions
  • Imagine you are either Jerry or Tom and write a letter to the other, explaining that you have had enough of all the fighting and want to make peace. It might help to apologise for all the times you’ve hurt him too!
  • Conduct a survey amongst your friends and family to find out who their all-time favourite cartoon characters are. Decide how you want to present your findings. Also, decide whether you want an open survey where they can give any answers, or if you want to limit their choices to a given list

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.

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