DNA Fingerprinting Forensics Activity for MIDDLE SCHOOL NGSS MS-LS3-1

Grade Levels
6th - 8th
Formats Included
  • PDF
7 pages
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Fun! DNA fingerprinting & forensics simplified specifically for middle school!

NGSS Science & Engineering Practice: Developing and using models

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!

Teacher Notes:

  • Generally, with time for introduction and discussion, this activity takes 2 class periods.
  • Pictures of student work of the two suspects' DNA fingerprints are provided, as well as the identity of the murderer.
  • Please note: This resource is NOT editable.
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Total Pages
7 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation. Emphasis is on using models such as Punnett squares, diagrams, and simulations to describe the cause and effect relationship of gene transmission from parent(s) to offspring and resulting genetic variation.
Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism. Emphasis is on conceptual understanding that changes in genetic material may result in making different proteins. Assessment does not include specific changes at the molecular level, mechanisms for protein synthesis, or specific types of mutations.


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