Be Naturally Curious
Science and Nature Mini-Courses for Kids

Discovering DNA


Discovering DNA

DNA.  We all have it and we know it’s important. It tells our bodies how to work. But what exactly is it and what is a double helix?  Come along with Desi DNA and learn how DNA is built and where it is found.  Make your own DNA model, act it out with your friends, and even learn how to extract DNA from fruit in your own kitchen.  With Discovering DNA, learning about this important topic becomes a piece of cake for elementary aged kids!

Mini-course is provided as a 25-page PDF, along with a separate Science Tool Kit PDF to use to collect your badges.

Prefer a printed mini-course? Discovering DNA is also available as a beautiful workbook here on

Course Contents

  • Story: What is DNA? Learn about the DNA double helix, where it is found, and why it is so important for all living things.
  • Activity 1: Build Your Own DNA Model. Make your own double helix with candy, fruit, and toothpicks.
  • Activity 2: Base Pairing with Buddies. Can you and your friends (or stuffed animals) figure out who pairs with whom in this movement-based activity?
  • Activity 3: Help Watson and Crick. A DNA molecule is just like a puzzle—learn how all the pieces fit together.
  • Activity 4: See DNA for Yourself! Extract DNA from fruit in your own kitchen.  All you need is rubbing alcohol and ice.
  • Curiosity Connector.  Use these links to see all kinds of neat DNA models and interactive games.
  • Tools for Your Tool Kit. See if you can answer all the questions about DNA to earn Tools for your Science Tool Kit.
  • Glossary. Learn the scientific terms used for this important biological molecule.

Concepts and Ideas

Discovering DNA includes the following Disciplinary Core Ideas as described in the Next Generation Science Standards:

Structure and Function (LS1.A), Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms (LS1.C)

How to Purchase

After checking out and purchasing the mini-course via PayPal, you will receive an email from Be Naturally Curious with a link to download the mini-course PDF. Your PDF will be stamped with your name and transaction number. You will also receive a link to download a free Science Tool Kit PDF. Please print this and use it to collect your Tool badges.

Illustrations by Charlie Alolkoy.



Discovering DNA

Jennifer Burbank

About Jennifer Burbank

Jen is a science educator, writer, and mom. She traded her classroom for the fun and adventure of being a stay-at-home mom to four energetic kids. Jen spent most of her time as an undergraduate studying Ecology but also developed a love for the lab and molecular biology. She had the opportunity to start a high school Biotechnology program and has since earned her MS in Biology. She loves learning, teaching, and writing about all things science. Jen and her husband are raising their family in the country in beautiful northern Utah and she loves to take pictures, ski, and trail run.

© Be Naturally Curious 2018