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Topical Tuesdays: Penguin Pals - KS2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior

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African penguins may be able to store a mental image of a close friend’s voice and appearance, according to a new study. The only birds previously known to have this skill are crows – members of the super-smart corvid family. 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.


Have you noticed how much we love to impose human characteristics and motives on animal behaviour? Isn’t this pointless and misleading? Surely animals do what they do because it helps them to survive or get their next meal, not because they want to be more like us. Or is it all harmless because we know deep down that they are just animals? What do you think?

Writing challenges

Write a dialogue between two penguins who are talking to each other while human scientists try to research some aspect of their behaviour.


Write a letter as if you are a penguin in a European zoo, letting your family back home know how you are.


Imagine someone has told you that penguins live at the South Pole. Explain, with evidence and examples, whether you think they are right, wrong or somewhere in between.

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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