Nav Bar Home Curriculum Ideas Postcards Research Tools Treasure Hunts Web Links Web Projects Web Picks About
History  Taking Prints Classifying Prints Dusting
Who Dunnit? Home Who Dunnit? Home
Fingerprinting Fingerprinting
Teeth Impressions Teeth Impressions
Powders Powders
Foot to Height Foot to Height
Solve the Crime
Resources Resources
What are Fingerprints?

Now that you know the history of fingerprinting, let's take our own. Then, examine and classify them.

Take a magnifying glass and study the patterns on your fingers.

1. What do you notice?
2. Are the patterns the same on each finger?

Fingerprints are impressions that are created by ridges on the skin. When a person touches an object, the perspiration, oils, and amino acids on the skin are transferred to the object, frequently, leaving an impression of the ridge pattern. This is called a fingerprint. No two people have the same fingerprints, not even identical twins.

Create your own set of fingerprints.

ActivityTaking a Print

1. Rub a small dark area with a pencil point on a sheet of white paper.

2. Press and rub your right index finger in the pencil-lead dust. 

3. Place the sticky side of a piece of transparent tape on the dusted finger.

4. Take the tape with the fingerprint and tape it to a clean sheet of white paper. 

5. Label the fingerprint to identify which finger you have printed.

6. Continue the process until you have all ten fingers printed.

Fingerprints may also be taken by pressing one finger at a time into an inkpad and then pressing and rolling each finger onto a sheet of white paper. Be sure to label each print. The prints may smudge if not done carefully. Also be sure clothing is protected.

Some employers require a background check using fingerprints. View an example of a background check form with Adobe Acrobat.

Materials List

The materials you will need to take your fingerprints are as follows:

Magnifying Glass Magnifying glass
Pencil Pencil
Tape Transparent tape
Marking Pen Marking pen

Fingerprinting Teacher's Guide



Updated February 26, 2017
© 1996 - 2011 Linda C. Joseph
All Rights Reserved
All CyberBee Graphics are Trademarked

Graphics by
Darlene Vanasco/Creative Director
Erika Taguchi/Designer & Illustrator
Hosting Provided by Iwaynet