Student Teacher


This lesson on fingerprinting takes a unique approach to a standard topic in Forensic Science. While students will learn the basics of fingerprinting, how to lift a print and learn unique characteristics of fingerprints, they will become aware of the flaws of fingerprinting. By investigating the case of the Madrid Spain Bombing students will discover a match is not always accurate.
Law, General Law, Life Science, Social Science
High School
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Game, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan
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Date Added:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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Victoria Malcolm on Dec 05, 02:31am

I think this lesson is a nice mix of practical applications and compelling discussion on social issues. If anything, I wish it had delved even more into those issue and evaluated other cases that were decided on one piece of evidence to avoid the idea that it's a cut and dry issue. There are certainly cases that have been decided on very scarce forensic evidence that many people who agree were prosecuted correctly (Or at least, in ways they agreed with). Obviously the focus here is the forensics but I think it would be great to explore some counterpoints to the case study. I think students would really enjoy this lesson because it immerses them in an interesting career and makes it clear that what they are learning has future utility. I also like that it combines hands-on experience with various sources including articles and videos.

Ryanne Dennis on Oct 30, 01:35pm

I can see piloting this lesson in a biology class and using the findings (and anticipated student excitement and interest) as a basis for an entire course on forensics. I'm sure that this lesson would go over well with any level of student simply for the fact that the topic is so interesting. Great idea!

Molly Horn on Oct 29, 12:13pm

I love that this lesson has a basis in reality! Students tend to get more into the problem solving if it has a relationship to something real. They can make the connection between what happened to the man who was falsely accused to times in their lives when they got into trouble for something they may not have done.

Madeleine Wright on Oct 21, 08:03am

This lesson is based on a true event where a man is falsely accused due to a fingerprint analysis error. Students will be hooked by the use of a real life event to investigate the science behind fingerprinting. The lesson uses an excellent mix of reading, video, and hands on activities.
Madeleine wright

Account deleted on Oct 14, 01:50pm

The two things that stood out to me about this lesson are :
1.This lesson plan incorporates a differentiated instruction in the way students can answers questions by working/discussing fingerprints in a small group or pair.
2. This lesson is a great introduction to all the elements that go into identifying fingerprints.

What I like about this lesson is:
) Students are able to integrate knowledge from a variety of subjects in this project. Students who are interested in law, anatomy and physiology or

Kim Kerns on Oct 14, 01:44pm

I never realized how complex fingerprinting is! I like that it brings to your attention fingerprinting mistakes that were made by multiple sources. Fingerprinting Labs are great and this is a very detailed and lengthy lesson plan! Great fun!

Sue Heimberg on Oct 08, 06:20pm

This is a high-interest topic that must appeal to most students. It offers both real-world situations to investigate and hands-on activities for experiential learning. The finger printing labs that are featured in 2 of the links are comprehensive, clear, and simple to carry out in any classroom.



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