Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Click to open and customize your own copy of the Fingerprints Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Fingerprints, and supports the standard of examining structures to determine functions and solve problems. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Display an image of fingerprints, like this one: 

Ask students: 

  • What do you notice about the fingerprints? What patterns do you see?
  • When might fingerprints be important? 


  • Read aloud the description on the Fingerprints topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Gadgets” or “Real Life.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a crime show type of movie that explains how fingerprints are collected, analyzed, and used as evidence. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying and describing how fingerprints are left, and different ways they are collected. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme representing one way fingerprints are used in society. 


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about fingerprints. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How has understanding of fingerprints evolved over time? 
  • How has the process of collecting and analyzing fingerprints stayed consistent over time? What has changed? 
  • Why are fingerprints alone not sufficient evidence to prove someone guilty?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Fingerprints Challenge



Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments