The perfect introduction to fingerprints activity! Your students will have a great time experiencing the Bertillon System and learn why it didn’t work – a perfect bridge to the importance of Forensic Fingerprinting.
For the Intro to Fingerprints Activity, your students will…
- Learn the history and uses for the Bertillon System
- Work in pairs to make their own Bertillon Measurement Card with eight physical measurements (head circumference, length of little finger, height, etc)
- Draw a ‘mug shot’ of their partner (my favorite part! They get so creative)
- Reflect on and discuss the flaws of the Bertillon System
- Learn the case of Will and William West
- Come to the conclusion that Fingerprints are the preferred way to identify a person!
- Introduction Google Slide: 9 slides that teach the history and use of the Bertillon System, give instructions on the activity, see student examples of Bertillon Cards, and lead discussion after the activity
- Bertillon Card, Discussion questions and Measurement Instructions: provide to students as they work in class
- Bertillon Card, Discussion questions and Measurement Instructions: designed for students who are distance learning, or use in class to save paper!
- Google Form: To help organize students into pairs of most similar height, so students can see if their other Bertillon measurements were similar or not
- Full Teaching Guide: with tips for doing the activity in class, and ideas to overcome obstacles for students working from home
Click to see a preview of the Intro to Fingerprints Activity.
Here are what some Happy Teachers have to say about this Intro to Fingerprints Activity in our Teachers Pay Teachers store:
I’ve always wanted to incorporate some activities when we talk about the Bertillion system as part of our fingerprint unit. I used this for my in-person students and they loved it! Thank you! – Michele R. April 30, 2021
Great resource for a forensics class. The students really got into creating their sketches. – Erica S. March 2, 2022
This was a fun activity before we started our fingerprint unit! – Jayme B. February 28, 2022