A newly discovered type of virus could play an important role in the ocean’s ability to take planet-warming carbon out of the atmosphere. The tiny plants and animals that live in the sea, called plankton, take carbon out of the air just like trees and plants on land. The newly discovered viruses, which infect plankton and change their function, could play a vital role in this process. 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.
You know what’s going to happen next, don’t you? Now that we have discovered how virus-infected plankton absorb more carbon from the atmosphere, scientists are going to start tinkering with these viruses, aren’t they? Do you think this is a responsible thing to do? Or do you think we should be trying everything we can to halt global warming? In any case, hasn’t the recent, rapid creation of vaccines to counter the pandemic shown that we are now rather good at controlling viruses? What do you think?
Imagine all of science is one person and Mother Nature is another. Write a conversation between them in which science is asking Mother Nature for permission to fiddle with a virus in order to counter global warming.
Write two limericks about a scientist at sea, a virus that learns it can be useful, a plankton creature that catches a virus or some other idea connected with the article.
Research viruses and write a set of five fascinating facts about them that are not included in the article.
Find the entire series of Topical Tuesday resources to download in our Topical Tuesdays collection.
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 The Week Junior website.