Introduction to DNA Fingerprinting Activity


Use a paper-based model to learn more about DNA Fingerprinting and the use of DNA in forensics.

Grades 7 and Up

So much fun! This DNA fingerprinting activity is simplified specifically for middle school!

In this activity, students will:

  • Read a silly (not scary) murder mystery. The scene is set for students to figure out who killed Mr. Henry Lord Whippleton. There are two suspects… and one of their DNA fingerprints will match the DNA found at the crime scene!
  • Get an introduction to DNA fingerprinting with a 1-page introduction and a tiny bit of practice.
  • “Process” the two suspects’ DNA (involving cutting and pasting paper DNA strips) to make a DNA fingerprint for each suspect.
  • Compare the DNA fingerprints they have generated to the one found at the crime scene. Mystery solved!

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Teacher Notes:

  • Generally, with time for introduction and discussion, this activity takes 2 class periods.
  • Please note: This DNA fingerprinting activity is NOT editable.
  • NGSS Science & Engineering Practice: Developing and using models
  • Answer key provided.
  • Check out more resources in the DNA and heredity section of our shop!


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