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3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Lesson Rationale: For the second lesson of the Mini-Unit we decided to specifically focus on
one specific learning expectation of the Evidence and Investigation unit of the Grade 6 Science
curriculum (Investigate evidence and link it to a possible source - E.g. classifying fingerprints
collected from a variety of surfaces) and develop it more fully.

While doing this, the related specific learning expectations and general learning expectations
related to investigation will be developed (E.g. Apply observation and inference skills to
recognize and interpret patterns and to distinguish a specific pattern from a group of similar
patterns - Grade 6 Science: general learning expectation 6-8). We chose to focus on
fingerprints first because it is an aspect of the Evidence and Investigation unit that is probably
familiar to most students, and would probably carry over the engagement from the last lesson

This lesson is intended to develop a base understanding of fingerprints and their differences
which can be applied to the case that we are solving. If we were planning out an entire unit,
the other parts of the Evidence and Investigation unit (i.e. footprints) would be given their own
lessons, or parts of lessons, as well. Lesson #3 should ideally be done soon after lesson #2 as
it shift subjects (from Science to English Language Arts) but is tied thematically to the lesson.

Lesson Lesson #2: Mini Unit Plan - Course Science

Title/Focus Introduction to Fingerprints
(investigation & evidence)

Apply observation and inference skills to recognize and interpret patterns and to
distinguish a specific pattern from a group of similar patterns (Grade 6 science: GLE
Recognize that evidence found at the scene of an activity may have unique
characteristics that allow an investigator to make inferences about the participants and
the nature of the activity, and give examples of how specific evidence may be used
(Grade 6 science: SLE #3)
Investigate evidence and link it to a possible source (Grade 6 science: SLE #4)
E.g. classifying fingerprints collected from a variety of surfaces.
Engage in exploratory communication to share personal responses and develop own
interpretations (Grade 6 language arts: GLO #1.1)
Identify, and explain in own words, the interrelationship of the main ideas and
supporting details (Grade 6 language arts: GLO #2.1)

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Distinguish among facts supported inferences and opinions while using note-taking or
representing to assist with understanding ideas and information, and focusing topics for
investigation. (Grade 6 language arts: GLO #3.1)

At the end of the lesson students will be able to:
1. Identify the main terms for understanding different types of fingerprints (delta, whorl,
arch, loop, composite). (Remembering)
2. Interpret and record their own type of fingerprints. (Understanding & Applying)
3. Share and compare their fingerprints with a classmate. (Applying & Analyzing)
4. Discuss the unique nature of individual fingerprints. (Understanding & Applying)


Fingerprints Worksheet, one per student - Edmonton Public Schools Grade 6 Evidence
and Investigation Resource Collection (1996) Pages 65-66
Mini notebooks that each student can use to collect evidence (should already have
from lesson 1)
Whiteboard and markers
Smartboard with ability to project digital worksheets (access to the internet to access
the sheets)
Clear Tape
15 Magnifying glasses (if possible to assist some learners)
Edmonton Public Schools Grade 6 Evidence and Investigation Resource Collection
(1996) Pages 18-20, 65-66 (Digital Copy)
Computer, projector and screen/SMART Board
Have a sink, soap and paper towels in the classroom (for washing hands)
Principal Pocus Letter #2 on fingerprints (One for the teacher to read aloud to the class)


Ensure lesson is performed as the last class of the day to take part in class exit oral
quiz. (See conclusion)
Each student will need a pencil and ten pieces of clear tape (prep the tape prior to
Students will pair together to compare fingerprints and discuss the differences, allow
students to find their own partner and ensure discussion remains on topic.
Photocopy/print worksheet before class and collect at the end of the class (ensure their
name is on it) the worksheet is found on Page 65-66 of the Edmonton Public School

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Grade 6 Evidence and Investigation Resource Collection (1996). Print a couple extras
in case of loss or destruction.
Prepare a digital copy of pages 18-20 from the Edmonton Public School Grade 6
Evidence and Investigation Resource Collection (1996) and get it ready on the projector
before the start of the lesson (starting on the bottom of page 18). Keep projector turned
off until needed.
Student should remain in desk until worksheet is given with instructions.

Introduction Time

This lesson is designed for an 45 minute Science class. It operates from a

learner centered ideology with lots of hands-on experiential learning. 5 mins
Welcome the class - remind the students that the search is still on
for the Candy Thief
Discuss any feedback found in the exit slips from lesson 1 Explain
how you developed your inferences about the 5 objects you
encountered today.. Address problems or questions. Clear up any
misunderstandings viewed within the exit slips.
Read the 2nd letter from the principal
Notify the students that at the end of the class in order to leave they
will be partnering up and answering questions learnt within the
Explain what activities we will take part in today: We will briefly
discuss what we already know about fingerprints, followed by an
exercise where we will learn about the various categories of
fingerprints, and finally we will use that knowledge to examine our
own fingerprints. By the end of this lesson we should be able to
answer the questions: Are our fingerprints unique? How can we tell
one fingerprint from another?

Body Time

Assess previous 1) Class discussion about fingerprints, ask the students 5 min
knowledge / some of the following: What do we know about our
introduce key fingerprints? Have you ever heard of fingerprints being
concepts used for anything? Has anyone ever seen fingerprints
used in movies or on TV? How do they use them? Have
we heard about them on the news? As the discussion
continues: Do you think that our fingerprints are
unique? How might we determine this?

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

2) Write key words/concepts on the board as they come

up, such as the fact that our fingerprints are unique,
that they can be used to identify people, and that this
can be determined through fingerprint analysis, and

Categorization Explain to the class that the majority of 10 minutes

fingerprints fit into 4 main categories (Arches,
Loops, Whorls, Composites), and that we will be
examining at what makes these categories unique.
Turn on projector to display the bottom half of
Page 18. Explain that one of the primary
characteristics that differs between different
fingerprint categories is the number of deltas that
they have and point out the triangle shape of the
deltas (refer to the images on the bottom of Page
18 to demonstrate what deltas look like).
Move on to the first category of fingerprints,
Arches, and scroll down to the top half of Page 19.
Ask the class the following questions: What does
this type of fingerprint look like? (a hill, wave, arch
etc.) Do you see any deltas in these prints? (they
should see none).
Repeat this process for Loops, W horls and
Composites, repeat the same questions but
change the second to How many deltas do
you see? (Loops have one, Whorls have
two, Composites have an indeterminate
number, but in this example there are 3)
Also discuss how not all fingerprints fit into
these four categories and can be even more
unique but for our purposes we will just
focus on the four categories.

Activity: explore Introduce the activity. Explain that we will be using what 15 minutes
your we just learned to analyze and categorize our own
fingerprints fingerprints. Go through the 4 steps on how to take
graphite prints. Have the materials at the front of their
rows and hand them out once you are done doing your
explanation. Demonstrate how to do one fingerprint print.

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Handout the worksheet. Allow students to move from

their desks if they need more workspace.

Walk around and observe the conversations happening.

Listen for proper term usage (whorl, loop, arches,
composite, delta, investigation, hypothesis, evidence, culprit
etc.), assist with the proper technique (if help is needed),
check to ensure their observations are proper ( ex. Does
that look like a whorl or a loop pattern to you?).

Potential adjustment: If students are having a hard (or

messy) time get them to abandon the graphite step and
observe their fingers (using the magnifying glass) and
sketch their fingerprints.

Pair and share Find a partner to share your worksheet with. Ensure 5 min
your partner has their name on their worksheet!
Compare how your fingerprints are different than theirs.
Are their classifications correct? Are there any tricky
prints? Does anyone have exactly the same prints?
Explain that fingerprints are uniquely ours, and that even
if we both have fingerprints in the same category there are
tiny differences that make them unique. Just like our
personalities and interests.

Conclusion Time

Bring the class back to their seats and get them to hand in their worksheet 5 mins
(hand it to the front of the row/group). Remind people to put their names on
it! Remind students they may want to wash their hands after the assignment.

Review, ask the class, how are fingerprints going to help us get closer to solving
the mystery of the candy?
Ensure students understand that fingerprints are unique and their
individuality allows fingerprints to be a good source of evidence in an
investigation. Stress that fingerprints are unique to each person.
Tell class that in order to leave class today they (and their partner) need to
answer a question right. Its should be rapid fire questions - first people that
you see raise their hand and answer correctly (quietly) get their things and line
up to the door to leave. The questions are:
Are fingerprints uniquely ours? (ensure this gets asked first so
everyone hears the answer!)

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Name one of the main patterns of fingerprints. (Ask this until you get
all four: Arch, Loop, Whorl, Composite)
What identifying feature of fingerprints did we use to help us classify
them? (Delta)
What is a composite fingerprint? (a combination of the other patterns)
What do we use fingerprints for?
Who can sketch what an arch looks like? (get them to draw on the
board) (ask this for loop and whorl)
If you burn your fingers will your fingerprints change? (Bonus
Question! We didnt actually cover this Answer: yes!)
Do we have the same patterns on all of our fingers?
What profession uses fingerprints?
How might fingerprints be used in police work?
Do identical twins have the same fingerprints? (Bonus Question!
Answer: no)

Observe students completing activity, ensure they are using proper terms and
classifications of fingerprints. (learning objective #1 & #3)
The uniqueness of fingerprints: discussion & verbal quiz (learning objective #4)
Post-activity, check the worksheets for accurate understanding of the material covered
today. Clear up any misunderstandings at the beginning of the next lesson (either
individually or with the group). (learning objective #2)

Additional Notes:
Collect and use the worksheets to check for formative understanding. Hand back the following
class, follow-up individually with students if there are concerns.

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Principal Pocus October 23, 2017

6455 Macleod Trail S
Calgary, AB
T2H 0K8

Dear Ms. Hardys Grade 6 class,

Thank you so much for the work you have done so far investigating the evidence. Ms. Hard has
said you have been doing an amazing job, however I still need your help. The candy thief is still
out there and we need more evidence to narrow down the suspects.

New information has been found. We dusted the handle and found a fingerprint and we need
the class to learn about how to identify different types of fingerprints to better analyze the one
that we have.

Once you understand the different types of fingerprints, Ms. Hardy will collect the suspects
fingerprint from me for your next class. While you are learning about fingerprints Ill collect the
prints from the teachers that were located in the school at the time of the robbery.

Keep up the fantastic work Grade 6. We are counting on you to solve this case.

Thank you and good luck,

Principal Pocus

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Example of what a magnifying glass looks like.

3501 Mini Unit Plan: Lesson 2 Josh Pidkowa | Alison Armitage | Madeleine Hardy

Process of collecting fingerprints. Image source: