Theme: All About Me

Fingerprints


Objective: Children will observe the uniqueness of their fingerprints and create pictures.

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What You Will Need

  • Magnifying glasses – 1 per child
  • Black ink pads – 1 per 2 children
  • White drawing paper – 1 sheet per child

What To Do

  1. Discuss with the children about their fingerprints (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
  2. Distribute magnifying glasses.
  3. Encourage exploration of the features of fingerprints (see Did You Know?).
  4. Distribute ink pads and paper for the children to make fingerprints on.
  5. Encourage the children to print all of their fingers.
  6. Compare the different fingers that were printed.
  7. Have the children trade papers and examine another child’s fingerprints, describing similarities and differences.
  8. Allow the children to make pictures using the ink pads and their fingerprints.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • What do your fingerprints look like?
  • How do you think we could examine our fingerprints?
  • Describe how your fingerprint looks.
  • Now that you made a fingerprint on paper, describe how it looks.
  • Describe what is the same/different about the two fingerprints.
  • Why do you think we have fingerprints?

Explore, Extend and Integrate

  • Challenge the children to find places in the classroom where they may leave fingerprints behind. (Most likely, door knobs, windows, and mirrors.)
  • Make magnifying glasses available in the science center for children who wish to further observe.
  • Make ink pads and paper available in the art center.
  • Try printing toes or making footprints; compare them with fingerprints and handprints.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children describe their fingerprints?
  • Could children compare the similarities and differences in the fingerprints?
  • Were children able to create a picture using their fingerprints?

Did You Know?

Fingerprints are unique. Our fingerprints have patterns that are very complex. Typical fingerprint patterns include loops, arches, and whorls from the ridges in our skin. Even though our fingerprints all have patterns, they are different from the fingerprints of anyone else in the world.

Learn More »


Vocabulary

  • fingerprint
  • examine
  • loop
  • arch
  • whorl
  • ridge

Child-Friendly Definitions »


Common Core State
Standards Initiative

These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.**

Learn More »

Did You Know?

Fingerprints are unique. Our fingerprints have patterns that are very complex. Typical fingerprint patterns include loops, arches, and whorls from the ridges in our skin. Even though our fingerprints all have patterns, they are different from the fingerprints of anyone else in the world. 

A fingerprint is an impression left by the ridges on the surface of our fingers. These impressions can be left behind when they come into contact with a surface that will take a print like a mirror or doorknob. Residue left on the skin such as perspiration, grease, blood, paint, oil, or ink can leave a print behind. Because fingerprints are so unique, they are widely used as a form of identification. 

Vocabulary

  • fingerprint – a mark made by the tip of a finger on an object that it has touched.
  • examine – to look at in a close, thorough way.
  • loop – the rounded shape made when something curves back and crosses itself.
  • arch – a rounded structure over an open space.
  • whorl – a circular arrangement around a center, or a coiled shape.
  • ridge – a long, narrow, raised section at the top of something.

Lesson Tips

- Have the children wear smocks to protect clothing.

Books

- Funny Fingers, Funny Toes by Laura Damon

- Piggies by Audrey Wood and Don Wood

- Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

- Busy Fingers by C. W. Bowie

Important Legal Disclosures and Information

*While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed. 

**There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.