Page 1

The Health Issue




& toes...

and mind, and spirit and food and rest and play and happiness Be Happy

Sleep well

Be positive

Eat well

Be Active

Welcome When I was little, my mum would only cook healthy food. Every dish had to have loads of different vegetables in it, and even desert had to be made with some kind of fruit. Of course, I did not like eating vegetables very much and I especially hated spinach and would always make a horrible face when I saw that was what we were having for dinner. My mum, who has always been very patient with me, would try her best to make me eat it and eventually after about 20 minutes of kicking and screaming I would give up, and force a large spoonful of spinach into my mouth. I never understood what was so important about it… Burgers taste so much better right? Well, looking back, I’m realising how good all of this healthy food really was for me and how I would not get sick as often as other kids in my class because of mum’s delicious, healthy food. There are a few articles in this issue that I really like. The first one is about laughter, and how being positive also helps with your health. My other favourite is about how reading with colour filters on glasses has helped children with dyslexia read better. But all of the articles are full of fun and useful information so I invite everyone to enjoy it!

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The Chicken! Newspaper Team: Design and editorial: Ken Wilson-Max ken@chickennewspaper.com Francesca Martonffy fmartonffy@gmail.com Philippine Lefas philippinelefas@gmail.com Marketing UK My Ly My@myly.co.uk Global Marketing & Fundraising Audra Wilson-Max audra@brandafricaproject.com

Luba Wilson- Max, aged 15

Chicken Newspaper intern Luba loves reading and movies. She has a dog called Toby and plays the piano for at least two hours a day. She has been reading Chicken Newspaper since she was 10.




The Letter:


Nursery Rhymes: Dry Bones



Health Facts:

What’s a virus?




The Body:

Don’t be a Couch Potato

Big Word Search:

Have a heart


Don’t Worry, Be happy

Help Me Understand:

Why do we have to Wash hands


17 Promises:

Promise No:3

Meet your Dentist


Be active:




How many hours should you sleep?


Be positive:

The brain & child development

Sleep Well:

Laugh out Loud

O is for Obesity



Eat well:

Sugar is a Child’s enemy

Alphabet News

What is DNA?


Food Science:


The Body: The Brain

The Body:

Be Positive:

What is Citizen Science?




Citizen Science:



This issue is about health and features the letter


Quick Body Facts


How I Write: Anna McQuinn



World Laughter Day

Heroes: Cecilia Payne



This series tells the stories of the letters of the alphabet

The letter ‘D’ is the fourth letter in the English alphabet. The Semitic letter Dāleth may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are many different Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic (Hebrew), Ancient Greek and Latin, the letter represented /d/. The equivalent Greek letter is Delta (Δ). The lower-case ‘d’ has a loop and a tall vertical stroke. In handwriting, it was common to start the arc, or curve of the D on the left side of the vertical stroke, which made a little notch, or serif at the top of the arc. The Roman numeral D stands for the number 500. D is also a musical note.

Year: 700

Present time

Egyptian hieroglyph



door, fish





Can you name all of these words starting with D?


Nursery Rhymes Skull Ear Eye Nose Mouth

Collar bone






Stomach Pelvis Radius






Knee joint

Tibia Fibia

Foot Toe

The stories behind rhymes and songs for children

Dry Bones Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Now shake dem skeleton bones! The toe bone's connected to the foot bone, The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone, The ankle bone's connected to the leg bone, Now shake dem skeleton bones! The leg bone's connected to the knee bone, The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone, The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone, Now shake dem skeleton bones!


This song is a Halloween favourite in the US. It was written by African-American author and composer, James Weldon Johnson and was first recorded by the Famous Myers Jubilee Singers in 1928. The Delta Rhythm Boys were a very popular musical group performing on radio, television and theatre. The lyrics come from the Bible- the Book of Ezekiel 37:1-14). The Prophet Ezekiel visits the Valley of Dry Bones and has a vision that the dead will rise again one day at the command of the Lord. The song starts with an introductory verse then tells the sequence of bones from the toe upward. It almost always ends with the command: “Now hear the word of the Lord.�

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Now shake dem skeleton bones! The hip bone's connected to the back bone The back bone's connected to the neck bone, The neck bone's connected to the head bone, Now shake dem skeleton bones! The finger bone's connected to the hand bone, The hand bone's connected to the arm bone, The arm bone's connected to the shoulder bone, Now shake dem skeleton bones!

Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around Now shake dem skeleton bones!



The body

What is


DNA stands for DeoyriboNucleic Acid.

All living creatures have DNA. That means in some ways all living creatures are the same, but their DNA allows them to be different as well. In 1869 Driedrich Miecher discovered a very tiny, or microscopic substance in used surgical bandages. He called them NUCLEIN.

Molecular structure: A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by chemicals made in the body. Molecular structure is a combination of molecules

Its molecular structure was first identified by James Watson and Francis Crick at the Cavendish Laboratory within the University of Cambridge in 1953, Your DNA comes from your parents. This is why you are similar to your parents, but not exactly the same. The DNA in a person is a mix of the DNA from each of their parents. DNA has a shape called a double helix, which is like a ladder twisted into a spiral. The information stored in DNA is a code made up of four chemical substances called bases. They are: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA has about three billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people.

The different arrangement of the bases is what makes us different from each other, just like the way in which the same letters of the alphabet written in a different way make words and sentences.

99.9% of our DNA is the same as other humans.


Quick Facts

The Brain

The brain is an organ which controls the body. It has more than 100 billion nerves and several parts. The cortex controls thinking and voluntary movements. The brain stem controls breathing and sleep. The basal ganglia, in the centre of the brain, coordinate messages between the brain areas. The cerebellum at the base and back of the brain is responsible for coordination and balance. The brain is divided into several lobes:

lobes: Each of the parts of the cerebrum of the brain

The frontal lobes are responsible for problem solving and judgment and motor function. The parietal lobes manage sensation, handwriting, and body position. The temporal lobes are involved with memory and hearing. The occipital lobes contain the brain’s visual processing system. There is a little group of cells on each side of the brain called the amygdala (Latin for almond), which is responsible for emotion. The brain is surrounded by a layer of tissue called the meninges. The skull (cranium) helps protect the brain from injury. The spinal cord and nerves, otherwise known as the nervous system carry messages back and forth between the brain and body.

Be Good to Your Brain

The nervous system has millions of microscopic cells called neurons. Each neuron has tiny branches coming off it that let it connect to other neurons. We are born with all the neurons we need, but many of them are not connected to each other. It’s only when we learn things that neurons start connect. Our brain starts to create connections (or pathways) between the neurons, so things become easier. Your brain weighs about 3 pounds and feels like tofu. It isn’t fully developed until you turn 24 and it has the capacity to make new neural connections throughout your entire life. We have more than 50,000 thoughts every day and all of that work uses energy! Our brains use about 20% of the total oxygen and blood in your body.

Eat healthy foods. They contain potassium and calcium, two minerals that are important for the nervous system. Get a lot of playtime (exercise). Wear a helmet when you ride your bike or play other sports that require head protection. Don’t drink alcohol, take drugs, or use tobacco. Use your brain by doing challenging activities, such as puzzles, reading, playing music, making art, or anything else that gives your brain a workout!



The Brain and Child Development Different areas of the brain contribute to children’s development across the different domains. Here’s some serious science!

Neuron: Each of the parts of the cerebrum of the brain

Children learn language through experience. When grown ups read to them, neurons connect and a vocabulary builds. When grown ups and children read a favourite book again and again, the connections in the child’s brain become stronger. When they talk about the story it helps brain to develop even more. More new words are introduced so their vocabulary increases, and children start to learn conversation skills.

Emotional intelligence An understanding of others

Unfortunately, watching television or listening to a recorded story doesn’t have the same positive learning effects as live conversation. It’s the interaction of talking that wires the brain to develop language. Emotional intelligence, predicts almost all of a person’s career or work success, according to a report from the University of Georgia’s Department of

Child and Family Development (CFD). With a well-developed emotional intelligence, a person will probably make good moral standards for him or herself. A baby’s early experiences stay with them for a lifetime. They are born with the ability to learn any language, so the more they are spoken to, the quicker and more thoroughly the baby will learn that language. Babies and children also learn grammar and sentence construction better than grown ups who are learning a new language. Problem-solving skills are directly related to sight, hearing, and touch. Interestingly, a baby’s math skills are often developed in conjunction with his musical skills.

Source: The University of Georgia’s Better Brains for Babies program


Citizen Science

What is Citizen Science? Not all scientists have university degrees and years of experience. Sometimes, the pros need a little help from the rest of us, so they call on "citizen scientists" like you and me to help them with research. "Citizen Science" supports a range of research areas, but wildlife monitoring is one area that regularly benefits from our participation. Wildlife conservationists conduct surveys to understand how the natural world is changing (and how well animals are doing). They need to know, for instance, how many endangered red squirrels are living in the UK this year compared to five or ten years ago. Or, perhaps they're trying to figure out whether birds are moving out of London as climate change causes temperatures to rise.

Being outside is fun, and it has the ability to make you more creative and more relaxed.

the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ("RSPB") calls on the public during Big Garden Bird Watch. For three days, Brits are tasked with spending one hour in a local garden or park recording the birds that land in it. Schools are getting involved, too, so tell your teacher to visit Big Schools' Birdwatch to sign up your classroom.

But why do professional scientists need our help? Can't they run surveys on their own? No, not always. For one thing, they can't be everywhere all the time, plus they can't sneak into your garden to count the number of birds living in it. Besides, no one knows a particular area and its animal residents better than the people living there (you!)?

Counting birds and butterflies In England the Big Butterfly Count takes place every July/August. Each January,

The RSBP has been running the event for 40 years. Four decades of data helps RSPB scientists to see trends and patterns, and they now know that the UK has lost more than half of its house sparrows and even more starlings over the last few decades, but they've seen positive trends, too. Blue tit numbers have grown, and wood pigeon populations have risen by 800%. Wow!

Could you be a Citizen

Scientist? Citizen science isn't just good for scientists and their work: it's great for you, the participant. You'll learn new things, get handson experience working in science, and you'll have the chance to spend some time outdoors. Being outside is fun, and it has the ability to make you more creative and more relaxed. So, grab a friend, wander to the park, and see if you can spot any birds chattering in the trees or flying overhead. To find out about a whole range of citizen science opportunities in the UK, visit Zooniverse- which calls itself "the world’s largest and most popular platform for peoplepowered research." This website also provides helpful information about how citizen science works and how you can get involved.

Millie Kerr is an American writer and wildlife conservationist based in London. She loves animals big and small, and supports their protection through writing and photography. Learn more about Millie via her website (milliekerr.com) and follow her adventures on Instagram (@ millieckerr).


Be positive

Laugh Out Loud!

Laughter can actually improve your health. It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It makes healthy physical and emotional changes in the body, strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.

Children laugh many times a day, but that seems to change as they become grown ups and life starts to get more serious. By seeking out more opportunities for humour and laughter, though, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness. A good laugh relieves physical tension and stress. It relaxes the whole body, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Want to improve your resistance to disease? Get laughing! It increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Charles Dickens wrote in ‘A Christmas Carol’, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” Laughter protects the heart. It better blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against a heart attack. Maya Angelou once said, “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feelgood chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. It’s no replacement for exercise, but laughter burns calories. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you

to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment. Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer. thanks to a large study published in April in Psychosomatic Medicine. Women with a strong sense of humour were found to live longer in spite of illness, especially cardiovascular disease and infection. Mirthful men seem to be protected against infection.


Sleep well How much sleep do children need?


Below are the approximate hours of sleep needed by children of different ages, as recommended by the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic.


= Daylight = Nighttime

1 week old  8 hours  8 hours 30 minutes 3 months old  4 to 5 hours 10 to 11 hours 6 months  3 hours  11 hours 9 months  2 hours 30 minutes 11 hours 

12 months  2 hours 30 minutes  11 hours 2 years  1 hour 30 minutes  11 hours 30 minutes 3 years  0 to 45 minutes  11 hours 30 minutes to 12 hours 4 years  11 hours 30 minutes 5 years  11 hours 6 years  10 hours 45 minutes 7 years  10 hours 30 minutes 8 years  10 hours 15 minutes 9 years  10 hours 10 years  9 hours 45 minutes 11 years  9 hours 30 minutes 12 years  9 hours 15 minutes 13 years  9 hours 15 minutes 14 -16 years  9 hours 0












14 Dr Saul Konviser is very interested in treating patients that suffer from dental anxiety. His passion is Sports Dentistry, helping both amateur and professional sportspeople understand the importance of good oral health on their sporting performance. Away from my clinical practice, he is involved with a number of community oral health programmes in the UK and South Africa as a Trustee of the charity Dental Wellness Trust. Dr Saul also enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters and running the occasional marathon.

Time to Meet your Dentist Time to visit the dentist rather than wait for the tooth fairy? Here are some top tips from dentist, Dr Saul Konviser. All of these tips will help children keep their teeth healthy and strong!

Babies can visit the dentist as soon their first tooth appear. All children should visit the dentist by their first Birthday. Then they should have a routine check up every six months. In the UK, there is a useful NHS Dentist finder website.

A visit to the dentist is an opportunity to talk about any dental health questions, like how to look after children’s teeth, or the importance of eating healthily. The best role models for children are mums and dads. So they must be positive about visiting the dentist. Many dentists will have stickers and balloons to give to children at the end of the visit. Parents can plan a trip to the park after seeing the visit and make the whole experience an enjoyable one.

Cut down on sweets or juices. The more children have sugary sweets and drinks the more their teeth are under attack from harmful bacteria.

Poor dental health can affect general health. Children who have toothache or who need treatment may have pain, infections and difficulties with eating, sleeping and socialising.

Brush teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Use the right fluoride toothpaste for your age. When children finish brushing they should spit but not rinse, to make sure the fluoride is not washed off their teeth. Flouride helps to make teeth strong!

15 Why added sugar is a child’s enemy If children have sugary drinks, better at mealtimes rather than as snacks in between meals, according to advice from the UK National Health Service (NHS) The best drinks for children are water and milk. Fruit juice and squash can be high in sugar just like fizzy drinks. The sugar can cause tooth decay. Sugary drinks can be high in energy (calories), so drinking them too often can also lead to weight gain and obesity.

Free sugars The kind of sugar we eat too much of is known as “free sugar”. It’s added to food and drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices. Drinks with free sugars include: squashes, fruit juices and smoothies, fizzy drinks, flavoured milk and milkshakes. These drinks can cause tooth decay, and most contain very little to make anyone healthy. They can reduce a child’s appetite for foods that contain the nutrients they need. Diluting squash well with water will make it less sugary.

Unsweetened 100% fruit juice and smoothies. When fruit is juiced or blended, the sugar in it is released. This sugar can damage a child’s teeth and cause tooth decay. But fruit juices naturally have valuable vitamins and minerals, so doctors advise that the amount of fruit juice and smoothies should be a combined total of 150ml a day which is just over half a cup.

The healthier choice for children

good eaters and growing well, but not skimmed or 1% milk which aren’t suitable for children under 5. Children under 5 years shouldn’t have rice drinks, which might contain unsafe levels of arsenic. You can try making your own milkshakes and smoothies by blending soft fruit, such as banana, strawberries or mango, with milk or yoghurt. But remember, children should have no more than 150ml in total of fruit juice or smoothie.

Milk is a good choice. It isn’t bad for teeth. It also contains calcium and other vitamins and minerals. After a baby’s first birthday, whole (full fat) cows’ milk can be given as a drink alongside a balanced and varied diet.

150ml of unsweetened, fresh 100% fruit juice or smoothie can count as 1 of your 5 daily portions of fruit and Children can have semi-skimmed milk from the veg. age of 2, as long as they’re


Eat well

O is for Obesity This article contains a lot of number facts which are called statistics. There are also many long names of companies which have been shortened to the first letters of each word.

Obesity Having abnormal or excessive fat on your body that may affect your health. Body Mass Index (BMI) A person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in metres). A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the six most obese countries of it 35 member states, coming behind Mexico, the USA, New Zealand, Finland, Australia and the UK. The research used the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) definition of obesity as a Body Mass index (BMI) of 30 and above, and of overweight between 25 and 30. The planet has 7.7 billion people on it. More than 2 billion adults and children are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of it. That is to say, one out of every three people is heavier than they should be.



In 2016 more than 41 million overweight children under the age of five.

Being seriously overweight can lead to diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.

In 2016 more than 41 million children under the age of five were overweight. Almost half of them lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa.

Almost half of them lived in Asia

38.2% Overweight and obese of American adults are children are likely to overweight or become overweight obese. and obese grown ups. Here are some numbers to think about. 32.4%

It turns out that the main cause is people moving from the countrysie to the city, and then eating poor quality, cheap food without much physical activity to balance it. This is also known as urbanisation.

Nearly one out of every six children is overweight or obese which makes childhood obesity one of the most serious global public health challenges, especially in cities.

One quarter of them lived in Africa.

diabetes A lifelong condition where a person’s blood sugar level is too high. There are two types: Type 1 – the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Type 2 – the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high

Asian and African countries have the least overweight people. Less than two per cent of Ethiopians, Bangladeshis, Nepalese, Eritreans, Madagascaris, Vietnamese, Congolese and Indians are obese.

If you feel uncofortable with your wieght, or are being bullied about it, you aren’t alone. Try to talk to your parents or your teacher.

of Mexicans are obese, followed by New Zealanders, Hungarians, Australians and people of the UK.

Compare that with 3.7% of Japanese, followed by Indians, Koreans, Indonesians and Chinese.

Be active

The Early Start Group delivers High quality early education, family support and training services in London


Don’t be a couch potato Take a moment to think about all the things you like doing. How many involve sitting, or lying down but not sleeping? This is known as sedentary behaviour. There is scientific evidence that sedentary behaviour as a child increase the chances of being a sedentary grown up. It can also increase the risk of becoming overweight or obese. On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence based information on the health benefits of being active: Children in the United Kingdom spend about 24 hours in front of a screen every week! Here are the recommended maximum screen time.

The physical activity guidelines for children under 5 Pre-school children who can walk should be active for at least 180 minutes (3 hours) throughout the day. Children 5 to 18 years of age should be active for between 60 minutes to several hours every day. Vigorous intensity activities that strengthen muscle and bone should be done at least three days a week. For more information visit The Early Start Group Visit 10 minutes shape ups or Visit our Instagram Page @earlystartnutrition for family activity posts.

You like to move, it move it?

30 minutes for 0-2 years 60 minutes for 3-5 years

2 hours for 6 years and over (National Literacy Trust UK, 2009).

The Health Survey for England found that when families aren’t at work or school, they don;t move around as much. Families aren’t choosing activities that get them up and moving. But there are many ways to move more and sit less as a family!

• Leave the car at home. Try walking or biking instead! • Take children out after eating so they can run around • Turn off the TV. Encourage children to play! • Children love to copy adults, so remember you're their role model! • Use story time to act out actions using physical movements, encouraging children to copy and move around. • Walk to Nursery or get involved the sports day. • Plan a nature trail or outdoor event, walk, explore and enjoy nature!


Have a heart Make a fist That is the size of your heart. A grown ups heart is about the size of your two hands clasped together The heart is an organ which pumps blood throughout the body. Your circulatory system supplies oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and takes away carbon dioxide and other wastes. Usually a pumping, beating heart means you are alive. But did you know that because the heart has its own electrical impulse, it can continue to beat even when separated from the body – as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen Basically, your heart is a pump sending blood all over your body every second of every day. The human heart has four areas, or chambers: two upper chambers (the atria) and two lower ones (the ventricles). The right atrium and right ventricle together make up the "right heart," and the left atrium and left ventricle make up the "left heart." A wall of muscle called the septum separates the two sides of the heart. ‘Atrium’ is latin for ‘entrance hall’ and ‘ventricle’ is latin for ‘little belly’ The heart is located in the center of the chest, usually pointing slightly left. It beats about 100,000 times per day, or about 3 billion beats in a lifetime.

Icon made by [author link] from www.flaticon.com

eat changes b t r a e h r u o Y to match the music

you listen to

The right side of the heart pumps blood into your lungs, the left side pumps it back into your body

The Blue Whale has the largest heart of all creatures. It weighs 1,500 pounds

A woman’s heart beat is faster than a man’s by 8 beats a minute


Owning a cat is good for your heart

Vegetarians are 19% less likely to die from heart disease

Your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck for 32KM (20 miles)

Your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood around your body every minute The amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime is the same as a kitchen tap running for about 45 years

Regular exercise is the most important way to keep your heart healthy

Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart and other organs could move around inside the body

Happiness and a strong sense of emotional vitality Eating dark helps lower chocolate your risk every day of heart reduces disease

the risk of heart disease

When your body is resting, blood travels from your heart to your lungs and back in six seconds! It only takes eight seconds for it to go to the brain and back

The human heart is not ‘heart shaped’. A cow’s heart is closer to the heart shape we use to indicate the heart

The sound of a heart beat is made by the four valves of the heart closing


Quick Body Facts



Our heart pumps blood throughout your body and through all of the blood vessels non-stop. It is one of the hardest working organs in the body.

Blood is the fluid in our bodies that keeps us alive. It supports all of our bodily functions



Bones and a skeleton make us move the way they do. Without them, we would move more like slugs.

The brain is one of the most powerful organs in the body. It allows us to think, store memories

The body has a part of the brain that automatically makes us breathe.

The only time we think about our digestive tract is when we are hungry or if we are sick. Its the other brain in our body!

Our nervous system is like a network of wires sending electrical signals to the body to coordinate all of our actions.

The word immune actually means to be protected. Our immune system fights illness in our bodies.

Your nose is an important part of our everyday life. Smell is one of the five senses.

Hearing is one of the five senses. Our ears are very complex and parts of the body.

Our lungs help us breathe in and out. We assume that they will always work.

Sight and it is one of the five senses. Without it we would not be able to view a sunrise, or someone we love.


We have hundreds of muscles throughout our body, besides those we can see.

Your respiratory system brings needed oxygen into your body and then takes unwanted carbon dioxide out.

Our five senses: smell, taste, hearing, touch and seeing. Each one is fine-tuned with our brain allowing us to experience life to the fullest.

Our skin is considered to be the largest ‘organ’ of the body. An ‘organ’ is a group of tissues that work in conjunction to perform a specific function in the body.

Our teeth help us digest our food by breaking it down as we bite and chew. Teeth are small, hard, bony formations that are set into our jaws.

Alphabet News

Keep up with what’s happening in the world. Read more newspapers. You‘ll improve your vocabulary too!


Angelic voice Angel Wanjiru was born with a disorder called hydrocephalus, which means she has a bigger head than other people. It’s tough looking so different, but she's overcome bullies and health problems and is now pursuing her dream of becoming a musician. At just 14, she's produced her first album. Angel is a remarkable young lady! Source: BBC

Honey is the right medicine “Use honey first for a cough, new guidelines say,” reports the BBC, referring to new guidelines on the best ways to treat acute short-term coughs. NICE and PHE have produced new guidelines for how doctors should treat acute coughs. The guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) have been developed after looking at the best available scientific evidence. The evidence showed that honey could be effective at reducing the symptoms of acute coughs due to upper respiratory tract infections (infections of the airways), including how often people coughed and how bad their cough was. The guidance applies to adults and children over 5 years of age. It's important to note that honey is not safe for children under the age of 1.

Other remedies which were also found to give some benefit included the herbal remedy pelargonium, and cough medicines containing either guaifenesin or antitussive dextromethorphan (for those aged 12 years and over). Most acute coughs are self-limiting viral infections that will get better by themselves. And antibiotics are ineffective in treating viral infections but can still cause unpleasant side effects. Importantly we should only use antibiotics when they are really needed. Increasing antibiotic resistance may mean we might not benefit from these treatments in the future. The guideline on acute coughs is still at the draft or consultation stage, which means the recommendations may change slightly based on feedback from specialists, but they are not likely to change significantly. The National Health Service

22 Microbes are tiny living things that are found all around us, too small to be seen by the naked eye. They live in water, soil, and in the air.

Pathogen a microorganism that has the potential to cause disease.

Infection An infection is the invasion and multiplication of pathogenic microbes in an individual or population.

Health Facts

What is a Virus? Viruses are the smallest of all the microbes. They are so small that 500 million rhinoviruses (which cause the common cold) could fit on to the head of a pin. Microbes are unique because they are only alive and able to multiply inside the cells of other living things. The cell they live in is called the host cell. A few harmful microbes can invade our bodies and make us, their hosts, ill. Microbes cause infectious diseases like as flu and measles, but there is also scientific evidence that they may contribute to many other diseases such as some forms of cancer and heart disease. Microbes that cause disease are called pathogens. Here are some viruses and the illness they cause. Infectious disease

Microbe responsible

Microbe Type





Varicella zoster


German measles



An infection does not always end with disease. To cause an infection, microbes must enter our bodies. The site at which they enter is known as the portal of entry. Microbes can enter the body through the mouth and nose, also known as the Respiratory tract, as well as breaks in the skin surface. To make us ill microbes have to reach their target site in the body, or attach to the target site they are trying to infect. Then they try to multiply rapidly and avoid and survive attack by the host’s immune system.

An infection is a battle between the invading pathogens and the host. Our bodies have natural defences to fight microbes that may cause disease. The first line of defence is the skin which acts as a physical barrier to the microbes. If the skin is cut then our blood produces a clot which seals the wound and stops microbes from entering. The surfaces of the body – the skin, digestive system, and the lining of the nose – are covered by a community of microbes called the normal body flora. They help protect the host by acting as a physical barrier. The body produces several antimicrobial substances that kill or stop microbes from growing. For example the enzymes in tears and saliva break down bacteria. If microbes manage to get inside the body a type of white blood cell called Phagocytes step in to defend us. The final line of defence is called the immune response, which produces Y-shaped antibodies to battle with the invaders. Once the invading microbes have been destroyed the immune response winds down. If a person has had a disease they don’t normally catch it again because the body produces memory cells that remember the microbe which caused the disease and quickly make the correct antibody if the body is exposed to infection.

Enzyme An infection is the invasion and multiplication of pathogenic microbes in an individual or population.

23 How are viruses treated?

There is little that doctors can do to treat viruses. In most cases our body’s immune system fights off the virus. Scientists have developed vaccines that help our bodies to build up immunity to a specific virus. One example of a vaccine is the flu shot. The flu shot helps the body to develop its own defences against the flu called antibodies. Avoid Getting Infected by a virus

• Wash your hands (probably one of the most important ones). See page 27 for how.

• Don't put your hands or fingers in your mouth, nose, or eyes. • Make sure your food is well-cooked, especially meat. • Take your vitamins each day.

• Get plenty of sleep and exercise to strengthen your immune system to fight off viruses. Interesting Facts about Viruses

The word “virus” comes from the Latin word “virulentus” meaning “poisonous.” Most viruses are so small they cannot be seen with an optical microscope.

Viruses are not bacteria, fungi, plants, or animals.

The first human virus discovered was the yellow fever virus in 1901 by Walter Reed.

24 Watching a lot of TV? You might be eating too much junk food as well. Researchers from the University of Liverpool and the charity Cancer Research UK surveyed almost 2,500 children and found those who used the internet or watched commercial television for more than half an hour a day were more likely to ask for, buy or eat junk food. The researchers found links between the amount of time children spent watching TV or on the internet and their likelihood of being overweight, asking for junk food, and buying and eating certain types of junk food. Children who watched more than 3 hours of commercial TV a day were more likely to be overweight or obese than children who watched half an hour a day or less. Those who used the internet more than three hours a day were very likely to be more overweight or obese than children who used the internet half an hour a day or less.

Let the Children work it out. Cancer Research UK has called for the government to ban junk food advertising altogether on TV before 9pm and bring in similar protection for children exposed to advertising online. It’s important to note that we don’t know whether these results mean TV or internet use directly causes obesity or increased junk food consumption. Obesity and diet are complicated, and many different factors are likely to be involved. For example, parents have a big influence on children’s diets, as well as on how much TV and internet use they’re allowed.

The term helicopter parenting is based on the image of a parent constantly "hovering" over a child, allowing them little opportunity for freedom of action. A study of 422 children in the US found that two-year-olds whose mothers were overly controlling when watched playing with them, and clearing up toys afterwards, were less likely to be good at controlling their emotions and impulses at age five. They were also more likely to have emotional problems and academic difficulties at age 10. The researchers said that it may be important for toddlers to try new things and resolve problems, without their mothers jumping in. This might help develop the skills they need to control their emotions and impulses. While the conclusions – that children need time to work things out for themselves – may be correct, at least for some children, parenting is so complex that it seems unlikely that one observation of parents and children playing can capture all the complexity of bringing up a child. Source NHS


Read it better in colour Brazilian and French researchers report increased reading speed for nine and ten-year-old volunteers with dyslexia who used glasses with green filters.

The filters had no effect on the same aged children without dyslexia. The researchers decided to use yellow and green filters in the experiment. "Twelve colours are available, but we chose two because a very long test would be too demanding for the volunteers," said JosĂŠ Angelo Barela, a professor at SĂŁo Paulo State University's Rio Claro Bioscience Institute (IBRCUNESP) in Brazil and principal investigator for the project. All 36 children were asked to read passages from books suited to their reading age. The texts were displayed on a computer screen with a yellow filter, a green filter, and no filter. Their eye movements were recorded with an eye-tracking device certified for medical purposes. "A child with dyslexia has to fix his or her gaze on the words for a longer time to understand a text. Reading speed is slower as a result," Barela told. While the filters did not affect reading speed for the children without dyslexia, the eye-tracking device detected a statistically significant difference for children with dyslexia, who read fastest with the green filter.

The authors of the study stress that they did not evaluate whether the use of a green filter improved comprehension of what was read and that further research is needed to explore this dimension. The authors of the study say the improvement in reading time with the green filter might be due to changes in the visual stimuli available for central nervous system processing. The causes of dyslexia are unknown. It is more than difficulty reading, though. Many test have shown that it isn;t to do with havingbad eyesight, or being a slow learner. Read the full report at Science Direct


Stay positive

Work hard at being happy! In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. New research from the University of Reading has found that if you pay close attention to how someone speaks you can get a good idea of how a person is feeling. There are words that will make you happy. They aren’t fancy or foreign. By turning a negative into a positive, you can change how you feel by changing how you speak. 50 percent of your happiness is actually biologically determined, while 40 percent “is controlled by your thoughts, actions, and behaviours,” and only 10 percent is a result of circumstance.

In other words, how you deal with any situation is the key to being happy. You can choose to be upset or you clean the stain carry on with your day. You can practice happiness. Watch what you say, or how you say it and stop using negative words. Be positive as often as possible. Don’t compare your life to someone else’s. Be thankful for what you have and enjoy every minute of your day.

50+40+10A Circumstance 10%

Biology 50%

Where happiness comes from




Help me understand

Why do we have to wash our hands? Proper handwashing is the best way of killing germs and harmful bacteria from our hands.

It is really important to keep hands as clean as possible. The most common place at home or school where harmful germs are most likely to have spread is in the bathroom. So you should wash your hands:

Germs can spread many ways, including:

• After using the toilet

• Through coughs or sneezes

• Before touching or eating food

• On contaminated surfaces

• When they are dirty

Through contact with a sick person’s body fluids

• After you sneeze or cough into your hands

• Touching dirty hands • Changing dirty diapers • Through contaminated water and food

When children come into contact with germs, they • After using mobile phones, can become infected just by hand rails on the bus or train touching their eyes, nose, and dirty door knobs. or mouth. And once they’re Grown ups always remind infected, it’s usually just a matter children to wash their hands, but of time before the whole family adults who are usually busy have comes down with the same a higher tendency to forget to illness. wash their hands. So, wash your hands often and stay healthy!

Wash your hands properly!

Use enough soap to cover your hands

lock your fingers, Rub your hands from palm to palm one hand on top of the other and rub forward and backwards

Lock your fingers with your hands palm to palm and rub

Hold the backs of your fingers in your palms and rub

Rub your thumbs in a rotational way, back and forth

Rub your palms with your fingers in a circular motion. Dry your hands, turn off the tap with a towel.


How I write Anna McQuinn (AM) has written dozens of picture books. She tells why she’s so incredibly passionate about letting every child feel like they’re the star of the story - and in the most ordinary way. Interview by Alex Strick (AS) for BookTrust

AS: You are probably best known for your books about Lulu. These are enormously successful. When and where did Zeki first appear? AM: Well, he first appeared in the third Lulu story - Lulu Reads to Zeki - which is a ‘new sibling’ story. Every time Zeki cries, Lulu tries to soothe him with an appropriate story. Then I got the idea of giving him his own series. I think people are particularly responding to his relationship with his dad in the second story, Zeki Can Swim! A lot of us are a bit tired of seeing dads look silly in books - here, Dad is caring and competent as he takes Zeki for his swimming lesson. AS: This book sees Zeki going to swimming class with his friends, one of whom happens to have a foreshortened arm. Why did you choose this particular book to include disability in this way?

‘Lulu Reads to Zeki’ and ‘Zeki Can Swim’ cover images courtesy of Alanna Max books

AM: In a swimming pool when everyone is in swimsuits, many kinds of disability we don’t notice in other contexts become more obvious. So it didn’t feel to me contrived to introduce a little friend with a foreshortened arm. AS: You don’t include disabled characters in every book. I get the sense you are careful to ensure that you don’t just ‘shoe-horn’ something in at every opportunity? AM: Absolutely! I really want it to feel natural. Unless the story is about disability, it’s hard to include anything except a visually obvious disability. I’m not about popping someone into the background for the sake of ‘inclusion’. It felt right and natural here. AS: Where disability is concerned, the inclusivity is subtle and casual. Was this important to you? AM: Yes. There’s a very important place for books that are about difficult issues. But it is equally important for children to see children of different races, abilities, etc., in regular stories.

I feel strongly that it would be terrible if a child only ever saw someone like themselves in books that are about ‘issues’. AS: Do you think people may even miss this detail? AM: I think many people will miss it! But any child who has a foreshortened limb will notice, as will parents of children and friends and siblings - and they are the ones that are important to me. My motivation is not to be seen to be inclusive but to ensure that lots of kids who are under-represented in stories get included in mine. And it is really helpful when a website like this flags it up. AS: ‘Diversity’ has recently become a hot topic in children’s literature. As someone who has worked towards representing all children in books for over 25 years, do you feel things are finally starting to change? AM: Some recent developments are really positive, and I celebrate the fact that mainstream publishers (and I hope booksellers) are beginning to acknowledge that there is a huge hunger and market for a far greater range of stories than they might have believed in the past. It’s moving in the right direction, and hopefully the world will soon be full of stories that include everyone - as a matter of course! Pick up a copy of book any Zeki book from your local bookstore


Reviews Zeki Gets a Checkup

Anna McQuinn and Ruth Hearson

Zeki is never daunted by new experiences. Daddy and Mummy prepare him well, so he’s excited to show the doctor all the things he can do by himself now he’s a big boy: drinking from a cup; standing; clapping; playing; eating and being ever so brave. He well deserves the book and sticker he gets at the end for being such a good boy! When you are one, every day promises a new experience and when you are little, even small things are big adventures. Zeki, Lulu’s little brother, greets every new experience with a sense of adventure and a smile! Babies and toddlers just love looking at images of other babies like themselves and will enjoy seeing their everyday world in a story. Do you have books to review, or do you want to review a book? Email motherhen

“This read is not shy from embracing the realities of today rather then conforming to what has previously been done. I think this book is brilliant and we are all pleased to have been introduced to Zeki. It is a book that explores new experiences in a very inviting and simple way, embracing the diverse world in which we live.” - Mama Filz, Book Blog “Definitely one to add to the bookshelves of those with toddlers be that at home or in a nursery setting.” - Jill Bennett - Red Reading Hub A helpful way to prepare toddlers for a visit to the doctor with a character who’s easy to love. - Kirkus Pick up a copy of Zeki Cets a Checkup from your local bookstore, or from any good online stores

Just Where You Left It... And other Poems David Roche

This book is a collection of humorous poetry about how to survive school, parents and everything else that’s unfair in life. These simple and charming rhymes designed to make parents and children alike fall in love with poetry again… or maybe for the first time! It all started with a poem about the agony of poetry recitation, written by David Roche for his son. In fact, all of these poems were written for his three sons, touching on everything they might encounter growing up: exams, school meals, bullying, sports days, embarrassing Dads and nagging and know-it-all Mums were fair game. These are poems for parents, for children and for parents to read to children. They offer a witty and charming take on life for every stage of growing up. If you grew up in a world of Ogden Nash and Shel Silverstein, then this is for you. David Roche was born in London, He has been married for 30 years to his Finnish wife and they have 3 sons in their twenties. David has worked, for what seems to him an inordinately long time, as a director of HMV, Waterstones, Borders, Books etc, and also in publishing at Harper Collins. He now lives in Kingston upon Thames and has several roles related to books and writing. This is his first book. “A real delight to read - incredibly refreshing, original and 100% relevant for every parent.” “He hits the nail on the head every time and you find yourself smiling and chuckling on every page as he captures those classic moments that don’t quite come out in the happy photo albums!” Pick up a copy of Just Where You Left It... And other Poems from Amazon


The Big Word Search Find these words: Health











































































31 What’s your favourite read? A book? A magazine? A comic strip? We would love to know.

Would you like to be a reviewer for Chicken Newspaper?

There will be books to give away every term and you can keep the ones we send you to review. Talk to your mums, dads and teachers. Ask them to fill in the form below

DNA DeoyriboNucleic Acid. All living creatures have DNA but their DNA allows them to be different.


The usual food and drink consumed by an organism.


A position or opinion reached after consideration



A doctor who specialises in teeth



A process in which something passes to a different stage



School or parents email

a cephalopod mollusc with eight sucker-bearing arms, a soft sac-like body, strong beak-like jaws, and no internal shell.

Dinner House Number


The main meal of the day served in the evening or at midday.


Concerned with identifying the nature or cause of something City

Discipline Country

Post code/Zip code

A system of rules of conduct or method of practice


When one cannot perform due to physical or mental unfitness


The process of extracting moisture



Translated into promises by Chicken Newspaper

The united Nations (UN) asked the worlds leaders to make a set of promises called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will make the world a better place. We think you should know them...



All people will have enough money to live

We should all have clean drinking water



No one should go hungry


All people will be able to see the doctor


All children will go to school


Boys, girls, men and women will be treated equally

We should use natural energy like the sun and wind more



There should be less difference between rich and poor people

We will take better care of the fish in seas and oceans



We should take more care of our communities


All people should have good enough We will be more aware jobs to look after their that what we buy is families good for our Earth


We should make sure we have safe roads and bridges



We will do all we can to protect our environment

We will take better care of everything that lives on land, from plant life to animals


Everyone will live peacefully and fairly together


We will work together to make all the goals happen




We, the grown-ups, promise that all people will be able to see the doctor

Image from ‘Zeki Gets a Checkup’ courtesy of Alanna Max Books

Good news! More people live healthier lives! Not so good news; there are people still suffering or dying from preventable diseases. In order to make Promise 3 happen, we (the grown ups) will have to work very hard on giving better care to people in places that have been neglected. Read the full report Report of the Secretary-General, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018

In 2015, 303,000 women around the world died because of problems during pregnancy or childbirth. Between 2012 and 2017, almost eight out of ten births worldwide happened with the help of a skilled health person. Between 2000 to 2016 less children under five died. The number dropped by almost half (9.9 million to 5.6 million). In 2018, number of teenage women aged 15 to 19 having children is 44 births per 1,000, compared to 56 in 2000.

Unsafe drinking water, and lack of hygiene are still big causes of death worldwide (about 870,000 deaths in 2016). In 2016, air pollution inside and outside the house led to around 7 million deaths worldwide.

There is less than one doctor for every 1,000 people in almost half of all countries. The least developed countries have less than three nurses or midwives for every 1,000 people.


Report: How well we grown ups are doing to deliver Promise No: 3

The official promise No: 3 is ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.’ The promise is also to end dangerous diseases like HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 2030. It’s also to provide access to safe and effective medicines for all.


More children have been saved from illness and disease


15.6 million

Measles vaccines have averted nearly 15.6 million deaths since 2000.


Since 1990 almost half (45%) more mums survived after giving birth


2.1 million

About 2.1 million people were infected with HIV in 2013, down 38 percent from 2001.


6.2 million

Over 6.2 million malaria deaths were averted between 2000 and 2015, primarily of children under 5 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa.



Fewer children die each day than in 1990. Some of this is because they are able to get vaccinations.


Source: the SDG Fund Image from ‘Zeki Gets a Checkup’ courtesy of Alanna Max Books



Photo by Archie Binamira from Pexels

World Laughter Day World Laughter Day takes place on the first Sunday of May of every year. The first celebration was on May 10, 1998, in Mumbai, India, and was arranged by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.

Dr. Kataria, a family doctor in India, believes that a person's facial expressions can have an effect on their emotions.

World Laughter Day is most often celebrated by groups of people who get together in public places with the sole purpose of laughing.


Heroes “Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.” Jeremy Knowles, professor, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (from Alliterate)

Cecilia Payne Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College. Otto Strauve called her thesis “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.” Her mother refused to spend money on her higher education, so she worked hard and won a scholarship to Cambridge University. But, when she finished her studies the university wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman! Cambridge did not grant degrees to women until 1948. Cecilia Payne discovered what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne, after telling her not to publish). She is the reason we know about stars whose brightness changes seen from earth, called variable stars. She was the first woman to become a full professor at Harvard, and is inspiring generations of women to take up science. Cecilia Payne is our Chicken Hero!




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