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Activity 1-1: Fingerprinting

PLAN

Summary Students make a set of their own fingerprints and classify each print into one of four different groups. Students calculate the frequency for each pattern that occurs in the class. They learn that fingerprints are unique to each individual and can provide a valuable means of identification.

Objectives

Students:

\checkmark make a set of their own fingerprints.

\checkmark classify each print into one of the four fingerprint patterns.

\checkmark calculate the frequency for each pattern occurring in the class.

\checkmark recognize that fingerprint patterns are unique to each individual and are an example of human genetic variation.

Student Materials

  • Activity Report
  • Stamp pad
  • Magnifying glass
  • Metric ruler
  • Clear tape
  • Paper towels and soap; or packaged hand wipes

Teacher Materials

  • Activity Report Answer Key
  • Calculator
  • Graph paper
  • White paper for students to make extra fingerprints for story (Language Arts)
  • Extra student materials, especially ink for pads

Estimated Time One class period

Interdisciplinary Connections

Math Calculate the frequency of each fingerprint pattern and graph this information.

Art Draw posters for each of the four fingerprint patterns for use as class references.

Social Studies Research the history and use of fingerprints.

Language Arts Write a story describing personal traits and unique interests. Illustrate this story using a “fingerprint character” designed from the student's own fingerprint to which some arms, legs, and other personal traits have been added.

Prerequisites and Background

Students need to know how to calculate frequency.

A frequency, in this context, is the number of times a particular variation occurs in the total population or total number of observations. Frequency can be calculated by dividing the total number of occurrences by the number of observations. For example, for each fingerprint pattern, the frequency is determined by dividing the number of students with fingerprint pattern by the total number of fingerprints observed in the class.

Advance Preparation

Gather one set of student materials for each group of students.

Advise students to wear old clothes in case they get ink on their clothes. Also have large, old shirts available if students wish to put them on over their regular clothing.

Coordinate interdisciplinary activities with other teachers.

IMPLEMENT

Divide students into groups of 2 or 4, depending on the availability of student supplies.

Step 1 Discuss the four basic fingerprint patterns shown in Figure 1.3.

Steps 2-4 Demonstrate how to obtain a clear fingerprint using your own hand or that of a student. (See Step 4 of student procedures.)

Step 5 Caution students to clean hands immediately after obtaining their fingerprints.

Steps 6-9 Explain to students how to calculate frequency. You may want to share class totals with each of your classes, especially noting fingerprint patterns from identical twins.

Helpful Hints

Arrange a display area for student work (fingerprints, graphs, and fingerprint stories).

ASSESS

Use the completion of the activity and the written answers on the Activity Report to assess if students can

\checkmark make a set of their own fingerprints.

\checkmark classify each print into one of the four fingerprint patterns.

\checkmark calculate the class frequency for each fingerprint pattern.

\checkmark explain how fingerprint patterns are unique to each individual and are an example of human genetic variation.

Activity 1-1: Fingerprinting Activity Report Answer Key

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. Record your fingerprints in the table below.
  2. Which one of the four patterns is represented by your fingerprints?
  3. What is the most common fingerprint pattern in your class?
  4. It is said that no two people, even identical twins, have the same fingerprints. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
  5. Calculate the frequencies for each fingerprint pattern found in your class. List them in order from most common to least common.

Continuity and Diversity in Art Students demonstrate their knowledge of continuity, diversity, trait, and variation in a drawing, cartoon, or painting.

Wrist Variation Students measure the circumference of their wrists and then graph the results for the entire class.

Describe what everyday life would be like if there were less variety among living things. How would your life be different? What would be the drawbacks to having less diversity, and what are the benefits to having more diversity?

You may observe some of the following in students' writing. Everyday life might be different if there were less diversity because there would be the same plants and animals everywhere we went. We might only have lawns and gardens instead of forests, grasslands, wetlands, scrub lands, etc. Instead of lots of different kinds of animals (like many breeds of dogs), there would only be one of a few kinds. Life would be boring. More diversity means a variety of things to choose from in terms of plants we eat, animals we interact with, and natural places we can visit. It also means that organisms in ecosystems can change and adapt to a changing environment.

Review Questions/Answers

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. What is unique about a species?
    1. What term refers to the phenomenon of living organisms producing offspring with similar characteristics?
    2. What term refers to the phenomenon that all living organisms, even those from the same species, are different from each other?
  2. What is the difference between traits and variations?
  3. What is genetics? What are geneticists most interested in? Why wouldn't a geneticist be interested in hair length in humans?

Activity 1-1: Report Fingerprinting (Student Reproducible)

1. Record your fingerprints in the table below.

2. Which one of the four patterns is represented by your fingerprints?

3. What is the most common fingerprint pattern in your class?

4. It is said that no two people, even identical twins, have the same fingerprints. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

5. Calculate the frequencies for each fingerprint pattern found in your class. List them in order from most common to least common.

Image Attributions

Description

Authors:

Grades:

6 , 7 , 8

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Sep 30, 2013
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CK.SCI.ENG.TE.1.Human-Biology-Genetics.2.3

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