Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings

Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings

Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings logo

Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings is a curriculum, video series, and at-home activity collection that explores family history and DNA ancestry with youth, appropriate for educational settings.

Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings is a set of educational resources created to support youth ages 10-12 years old in learning about genealogy, personal and family history, and DNA. The resources include a two-week camp-style implementation curriculum, at-home activities, and a connected vidoe series. The curriculum is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and adaptable for a variety of learning settings, both formal and informal. 

Inspired by the popular PBS series "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." and shot on the campus of Penn State University, "Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings" follows 13 young people in a genetics and genealogy camp as they explore their family history and DNA ancestry with techniques never before used in an educational setting.


Curriculum | At-Home Activities | Video Series


CurriculumDesigned for a two-week intensive camp, but can be implemented by cross-content and used over a period of weeks. The curriculum provides customizable lessons, labs, and additional activity resources (i.e. family history interviews). The curriculum is reflected in the video series and provides activities and content that aligns episode-by-episode. The curriculum files are generally available as a Word document to customize, as a PDF so that the materials can be used “as is,” and as an annotated PDF with notes for implementers.


At-Home Activities: Eight at-home activities that families and youth can do to learn more about themselves and their own family, and begin to document personal family history. These activities have been adapted from the curriculum activities to be at-home friendly. 


Video Series: Access the full video series from The Seedlings PBS LearningMedia Collection or from the The Seedlings website. There are 9 episodes and accompanying activities:

  1. Introduction episode that provides an overview of the curriculum/camp.
  2. DNA extraction
  3. DNA ancestry and family interviews
  4. Observable trais
  5. Adaptations
  6. Evolution of skin color
  7. Genealogical research
  8. Classification
  9. Final presentations

Preview The Seedlings video series below: