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Lesson Plan #:AELP-INT002
Submitted by: Eileen Eibl
Endorsed by: Dr. Donald Descy, Mankato State University Date: February 25, 1997

Grade Level(s): 6


  • Interdisciplinary
  • Social Studies/Sociology

Description: Students will talk about everyone being a individual. They will make their own fingerprints and use them in cooperative groups. In their cooperative groups they will make crime scene and solve each others crimes using the fingerprints.

Goal: Children gain will experience in group work.


  • Students will all make their own fingerprint.
  • In their cooperative groups, students will write a crime scene.
  • In their cooperative groups, students will solve and submit the criminals of the crime scenes.
  • Background Information: This lesson can be used when talking about peer pressure and how it is OK to be different. I created it to force students to use each others uniqueness and work in groups. This is great for cooperative learning.

    Concepts covered in the lesson: Students will:

  • Understand everyone’s individuality.
  • Work with each other.
  • Use scientific skills.
  • Materials: black ink pad, sheet of paper covered with 2×2 cm squares. Procedure:

    Day 1:

  • Teacher will talk about everyone being unique and explain that everyone in the whole world has their own fingerprint. Note: Can even bring up that there are some common patterns of fingerprints.
  • Teacher will demonstrate to the class how to make their own fingerprint.

    a. Roll finger left to right over an ink pad.
    b. Roll finger with ink on it left to right over one square 2×2 sheet.

  • Have students make their own fingerprint on a practice sheet. Then on a square.
  • They must all write their name above or below their fingerprint.
  • The class can do this throughout the day or teacher can allow a few students at a time.
  • When all fingerprints are finished, teacher will make enough copies for how many groups he/she will have for the next day. Number of groups will vary according to class size.
  • Day 2:

  • Teacher will briefly remind class of the fingerprints they made the day before.
  • Teacher will explain to the class that he/she must get through all the directions of the activity before they start anything!!
  • In groups of four or five, they will make up and write a crime scene that is about one page long. Everyone in the group must write one paragraph of the crime scene.
  • The only guide line is to have their crime scene end with the only evidence being this fingerprint.
  • After crime scene is written, everyone in the group must go through and critique it for: spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. Students should make a check mark at the top once it has been read through.
  • Their groups must decide and agree on who in their group will be the criminal. They cannot tell anyone else who their criminal is.
  • The group must make a good fingerprint of their criminal, in secret, and put it at the end of their final draft of their crime scene. Teacher must set up ink pad for students to be able to make their print in private.
  • Before they begin, teacher will remind them nobody can tell another group who their criminal is!!!!
  • Teacher will divide class into groups of four or five.
  • Groups will hand these in to teacher and teacher will make copies for each group to have one of each others crime scenes.
  • Day 3:

  • Class will get back into same groups.
  • Teacher will pass out one sheet with everyone’s fingerprints and names on it. Also, pass out the packet of each groups crime scenes.
  • In their groups, they will go through each crime scene and figure out who the criminal was that left the prints.
  • Remind the groups that everyone has something to offer and they should work with each other. Each person in the group must read at least one crime scene to the rest of the group while doing their detective work.
  • They will hand them in to the teacher. When the teacher has received all of them, he/she will go over the correct answers.
  • The group with the most correct gets a prize.
  • Assessment:

  • Teacher will assess objectively the made up crime scene, grammar, and whether or not everyone contributed to the writing.
  • Possibility assess the quality of everyone’s fingerprint.
  • Go through their final conclusions on who the criminals were.