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Activity

Fingerprinting

Summary: 
Take your own fingerprints and identify the patterns in them.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Life Science: Animal Growth and Changes (grade 2)
Life Science: Human Body (grade 5)
Materials: 
  • soft pencil
  • paper to scribble on
  • tape
  • card or paper to press print onto
  • fingerprint identification sheet
  • magnifier
Procedure: 

Draw around your hand.
Use the pencil to scribble a dark patch on the corner of the paper.
Rub a finger in the pencil patch, making sure the bottom of the first finger joint gets coated in graphite.
Stick a piece of tape on the darkened finger, then peel it off.
Stick the tape on the card over the appropriate finger tip.
Make a print for each finger.
Find the loops, arches and whorls in the fingerprints.

Grades tested: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Teacher: 
Donna Greening
Ingrid
Jane Kemp
Teaching site: 
General Gordon Elementary
ingridscience afterschool
After School Program at Elementary schools in New York City
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

The School at Columbia