Scavenger Hunts



Icon for general audience scavenger hunts, icon of a rope Search and Find — General

Icon for elementary school scavenger hunts, icon of a seed Seed — Elementary

Icon for middle school scavenger hunts, icon of a sapling Sapling — Middle School

Icon for high school scavenger hunts, icon of a tree Tree — High School


Roots of Knowledge panel depicting a cow in a field.


Throughout world history, human and animal lives have been intertwined. From the first domesticated animals in 8000 B.C., animals and humans have lived and worked side by side. Domestication is a process that takes place over several generations, in which humans and animals change and adapt to each other, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. Humans also selectively bred animals to pass down desirable traits, such as friendliness in the first wolves that lived with humanity. After an animal species is domesticated, they are connected to humanity and need to be cared for by humans, as opposed to trained wild animals that can still, theoretically, return to the wild and survive. Roots of Knowledge celebrates both wild and domesticated animals and their interactions with humanity throughout history.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, human and animal relationships began to change and adapt: cats, dogs, and other pets adjusted to having their owners home more often; animals returned to urban spaces in response to the absence of human activity; mountain goats occupied Welsh streets and ate flowers from gardens and windowsills; sea turtles in Brazil hatched and entered the ocean without human intervention; and whales returned to shipping lanes in the Mediterranean Sea, due to the reduction of shipments that allowed the water to clear and become more hospitable for sea life. These extraordinary changes between animals and humans may be temporary or last for lifetimes, but one thing is clear: as time goes on, humanity’s relationship with the animal kingdom will continue to evolve.

Roots of knowledge panel depicting books on a shelf

Banned Books

“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance." - Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

According to Oxford Languages, censorship is “the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.” Book banning is a form of censorship where individuals in power ban books from the general population. These bans include but are not limited to the removal of books from stores, schools, and libraries. Throughout history, book banning has been enacted by parents, teachers, churches, and governments. Books are banned for many reasons. In 2020, commonly cited reasons included profanity, age-inappropriate content, material that threatens a government, or other content deemed inappropriate.

Banned Books Week celebrates books that have been banned or are currently banned. First celebrated in 1982, Banned Books Week was established after the Supreme Court ruled in Island School District v. Pico that schools have limited authority to ban books based on content. Today, this national event urges individuals to fight against censorship and highlights the value of free and open access to information, while encouraging people to read banned books. Fulton Library and Roots of Knowledge encourage you to research book banning, censorship, and read banned books all year.

Roots of Knowledge panel depicting prominent musicians Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and American authors Langston Hughes and Zora Hurston

Black History

What began in the United States as Negro History Week in 1926 turned into a month-long celebration by 1970. Today, it is known as Black History Month and is celebrated in February. Black History Month is observed in several countries around the world in October, including Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

In the years following its inception, Black History Month was met with enthusiasm and the creation of Black history clubs, resulting in an increased focus on Black history in education. However, there has also been concern that Black History Month limits the celebration of Black history to only one month, rather than incorporating Black history into the mainstream historical study. To combat this, Roots of Knowledge seeks to highlight Black history and provide tools for awareness and learning. This scavenger hunt draws attention to important figures and events in Black history, and—as always—we encourage you to celebrate Black history all year.

Roots of knowledge panel depicting a civil rights protest

Civil Rights

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most well-known civil rights activists from living memory; his legacy of fighting oppression and discrimination with civil disobedience inspired people from around the world. This scavenger hunt not only draws attention to Martin Luther King Jr. and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century, but also various global movements in different time periods.

Throughout history, many individuals fought valiantly to change the world for the better. The fight for civil rights and equality has been fought for generations and continues today with activists like Malala Yousafzai and the many others willing to put their safety at risk in the name of civil rights. Roots of Knowledge seeks to honor all those—in the past, present, and future—who put the good of others above themselves.

Roots of knowledge panel depicting a plague doctor treating patients

Haunted History

Whether it’s the ancient and religious origins of All Hallows’ Eve, works of literature by Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe, or festive traditions that include trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns, our haunted history scavenger hunt will engage Roots of Knowledge visitors of all ages.

Roots of knowledge panel depicting a member of the Navajo (Diné) tribe

Indigenous Peoples' History

Indigenous peoples are groups who are native to a particular place for many generations, before the arrival of non-Indigenous people and colonizers. Around the world, there are many terms for Indigenous peoples, including Native, Aboriginal, Indigenous, First Nations, and autochthonous. Groups who maintain traditional aspects of their culture are often referred to as Indigenous. Indigenous groups are found all over the world, with over 5,000 groups of Indigenous people who speak over 4,000 languages.

Despite the large number of Indigenous communities around the world, Indigenous peoples still face threats to their sovereignty, cultures, languages, political rights, and resources. In 2007, the United Nations—in an effort to protect and define the individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples—ratified the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). The vote to ratify UNDRIP resulted in 144 favorable votes, with only four opposing: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States—all countries with colonial pasts. These countries later endorsed UNDRIP, but only in non-legally binding and informal ways.

Roots of Knowledge showcases Indigenous peoples from all over the world and attempts to honor their valuable, and often overlooked, contributions to the world. We can all support Indigenous peoples by fighting against human rights violations, advocating for health care for Indigenous populations, fighting against racial and ethnic discrimination, honoring and valuing Indigenous cultures, and supporting their environmental rights.

Roots of knowledge image depicting the Statue of Asclepius

Medical History

Throughout world history, medical understanding has significantly grown. Early societies such as China, Egypt, Babylon, and India were the first societies to introduce medical diagnoses. In India, Sushruta, the “Father of Indian Medicine” or “Father of Plastic Surgery,” wrote possibly the oldest text on cosmetic surgery and—between Charaka Samhita and Astanga Hridaya—also wrote an installment of the Great Trilogy of Ayurvedic Medicine. His Sanskrit writings included surgical procedures such as anesthesia for painless operation, hemorrhoidectomy (the removal of hemorrhoids), lithotomy (the removal of stones from the bladder, kidney, or urinary tract), rhinoplasty (nose reconstruction), and the dissection of cadavers. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates authored or coauthored an extensive series of books on anatomic knowledge and healthy living called the Hippocratic Corpus. From this compendium of medicine came the Hippocratic Oath, a pledge by which modern doctors swear to uphold medical ethics.

When the microscope was invented during the Renaissance, medicine advanced further. The microscope was instrumental in changing the explanation of disease to the current germ theory. The discovery of antibiotics by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1929 changed the medical field, as it was the first treatment discovered by scientists. By WWII, penicillin could be mass-produced and saved the lives of many soldiers who contracted bacterial infections. Research continues in the modern day with new treatments and rapid medical discoveries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed medical research advance in real time. Who knows when the next ground-breaking medical discovery will occur? Only time will tell.

Roots of knowledge panel depicting a sleeping woman from Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema’s painting World of Dreams rest above a photograph of American poet Emily Dickenson

National Poetry Month

The American Academy of Poets created National Poetry Month in 1996. National Poetry Month—which was inspired by the success of other month-long U.S. celebrations, such as Woman’s History Month and Black History Month—increases appreciation of poetry in the U.S. Each year, the American Academy of Poets invites students and teachers to participate in its Dear Poet educational project. Dear Poet invites students from grades 5–12 to write letters in response to award-winning poets, encouraging students to read and write poetry. To learn more about Dear Poet, visit the American Academy of Poets’ website.

Poetry is defined as “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm"(Merriam-Webster) The genre encompasses a wide array of poetic styles such as, simple prose, lengthy epic poems, and endearing Haikus. Poetry is a part of the human experience and is a way for people to connect. As such, it is featured prominently in Roots of Knowledge. This month, we encourage you to participate in National Poetry Month by enjoying and appreciating poetry and poets.

Roots of knowledge panel depicting Emmeline Pankhurst and her fellow Suffragettes

Women's History

Women’s history is human history. Throughout recorded history, women’s contributions have been minimized in science, literature, math, art, medicine, government, and more. The National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA), an American non-profit organization that honors women’s history, asserts that Women’s History Month is meant to bring attention to the remarkable women who have changed the world and “re-write” them into history.

Women’s History Month is an annual event that highlights the contribution of women to history and society. The celebration began in the late 1970s as Women’s History Week in Sonoma County, California. It soon spread throughout the United States and into other countries throughout the world. Women’s History Month is celebrated in March to coincide with International Women’s Day March on March 8. By celebrating Women’s History Month, we honor those brave and valiant women who fought for generations to secure the vote for themselves and the women who would come after.

Roots of knowledge panel depicting a dove!

World Religions

Émile Durkheim, a prominent French sociologist during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, defined religion as "a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community…" Religion is a common thread throughout the human family; across the world, there are approximately 4,300 religions. The term “world religions,” however, typically refers to the largest and most widespread religions, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Christianity. While designing Roots of Knowledge, the artists sought to honor many religious traditions from across the world and time periods.

This scavenger hunt focuses on world religions, commemorating global holidays celebrated in the winter months. These holidays include those commonly known within the United States, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, as well as lesser-known holidays in the states, such as Diwali, Eid-al-Adha, and Las Posadas. For instance, Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival (also called the Festival of Lights) in mid to late November, during which those celebrating wear new clothes and share treats with friends and family. Eid-al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, is an important Islamic festival celebrating the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son. Celebrations include families dressing in their finest clothes, performing prayer in a large congregation, and sharing food with family, friends, neighbors, and the poor. In Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of the U.S. Southwest, Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration rooted in Christianity. During the celebration, groups move from house to house with candles, stopping at each house to pray. The procession ends at home or church, with celebrations of caroling, feasting, and pinatas.