Wednesday Word of the Week: Haplogroups

Haplogroups: [human geography]
Noun: branches on the tree of early human migrations and genetic mutations of “markers” found on the Y chromosome (; the study of haplogroups is commonly used to define genetic populations.(

2011-02-07_1030627.JPGAll humans belong to a halpogroup, this enables geneticists to follow the ancestry of ancient humans all the way to the present day.  Inspired by the “tree” of human life, National Geographic and partners embarked on the Genographic Project. The Genographic Project studies where our early human ancestors came from and how humans came to populate the entire planet. Following genetic markers through thousands of human generations enables scientists to track our human origins back to Africa and to determine the pattern of routes by which humans migrated around the world. Researching the characteristics and journeys of specific haplogroups can help students understand how people from distant places are genetically related. (

2008-08-21_0000129.JPGNational Geographic Education has partnered with the Genographic Project
to develop educational materials about this fascinating scientific
research. Bring the conversation of Haplogroups to your classroom
through our interactive activities for students. All activities are
aligned with the National Standards for Geography Education, which are
outlined under the “Objectives” tab of each lesson plan. Student
activity resources include:

The Wednesday Word of the Week is just one way to start expanding the breadth of your geographic vocabulary. Some words you’ll recognize, and some will be new. Regardless of whether you know the word or not, we at National Geographic Education challenge you to use our words of the week.  Whether in the classroom, in everyday conversation, through the arts, or simply by checking out our provided links, we encourage you to make great use of our words in creative ways!
E-mail us with questions, concerns, suggestions or stories of how you have put “Haplogroups” to use in your daily life!
–Julia from My Wonderful World

3 thoughts on “Wednesday Word of the Week: Haplogroups

  1. Julia,
    Have you heard of a geography board game based on mtDNA lineage and haplogroups? I am designing and building one for my family’s christmas present this year and am wondering what’s out there already.

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