Tag Archives: lesson plan

Fingerprint Art











Can’t get much more original than fingerprint art!

This is a wonderful way to incorporate art and technology into your forensics science lesson!

I have completed this project with students as young as 3rd grade and as old as 12th grade.  It is VERY simple!

Before beginning this project I teach about fingerprinting history, identification and actual procedure for fingerprinting.

Making Fingerprints Activity

Fingerprint Identification Chart

History of Fingerprinting 

Procedure for Fingerprint Art:

1)   Have students make a fingerprint using an inkpad and 8.5 x 11 white paper.  Have students repeat the fingerprinting process many times on the paper – to ensure at least one clear print is taken.

2)   Scan the paper containing the fingerprints – my scanner places the image directly into Picasa, which is the editing program I use.  Save the scan as an image.

3)   Open the image in a photo-editing program.

4)   Crop the image so only one fingerprint in shown.  I scanned the above example to only show the best and clearest portion of my fingerprint.

5)   This is where the “fun” comes in!  Have students play around with saturation, focus, brightness, shadows… and everything else.  The result will be a fantastic, original work of art!

6)   I printed images up for my students and placed them in a Dollar Store frame.  We displayed these during an open house!  Made a huge statement and parents loved them!


Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Art, Lessons, Resources


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False Assumptions Lesson

 False Assumptions Student Handout                     False Assumptions Teacher Handout

Purpose: Things are not always what they seem! Events can often be misinterpreted due to our tendency to attach certain meanings to words. The key is for students to recognize what the “false assumption” is in each short mystery story. The “false assumption” is what makes the solution tricky, and that many common problems are difficult to solve because we tend to assume a particular paradigm.

Background: Point out that one of the strategies of science is to recognize how easy it is to make false assumptions about the workings of nature (Earth being the center of the universe), and to devise methods for avoiding or revealing those false assumptions for what they are. This often requires a total paradigm shift…a different way of looking at the situation, in which common assumptions are critically challenged, on purpose. Encourage you students to “think outside the box” and be cleverly creative.

Procedure: Ask students to think about what “false assumption” means to them. Have an open discussion about what kinds of false assumptions scientists have made in the past, the problems this created, and how they solved the problems. Explain that science is a way to work around or through those false assumptions.

These little deceptive problem stories are presented to the class, and students are challenged to solve each problem by asking only yes/no questions.

Explain to students that their challenge is to solve each of the mysteries. Students can either as a group to solve each story or this can be conducted as a whole group lesson.  Students are allowed to ask you (the teacher) questions which can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” It is up to you how many questions each group is allowed to ask, I allow each group only one question – so they have to really think about what they are going to ask. All questions must be answered truthfully.  Encourage students to listen carefully to the other groups’ questions. Be sure to think out-of-the-box, keeping in mind the title of this assignment!

For each story, write down the answer and the false assumption.

Example Story:  A man and his son were rock climbing on a particularly dangerous mountain when they slipped and fell. The man was killed, but the son lived and was rushed to a hospital. The old surgeon looked at the young man and declared, “I can’t operate on this boy: he is my son.” How can this be?

Answer: The old surgeon was the boy’s mother           False Assumption: That the surgeon was a man.

This lesson plan is adapted from Steve Randak, 1999, ENSI.

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Lessons, Resources


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Brain Hat Activity

Great science/art activity for students!

Learn about the major lobes of the brain while utilizing multiple intelligences.  I use this activity to explain the structure of the cerebrum and cerebral cortex, learn the lobes, and learn the functions of each regions of the brain. For those who prefer the messy, gooey art… I have also made these using paper mache placed over the top of a balloon as a form, and then painted each region accordingly.   To include kinesthetic learning into the lesson – have students place the hat on their head and while you (the teacher) name off different functions (smell, balance, taste…etc.) or region.  Students will then place their hand over the proper region or corresponding area of the brain.

The lessons are endless with this project!

Click on the picture above for printable template and lesson plan!


Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Art, Lessons


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