Make a Handwriting Analysis! Activity

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Updated on Apr 25, 2011

A bank robber entered the bank and stopped at one of the desks. On this desk was a pad of white paper. The robber used the pad of paper to write his demands and then handed the note to the teller. After receiving the money, the robber fled the scene with the note leaving only the blank pad of paper behind.

The police have asked your child to conduct a forensic examination on the pad of paper to identify the handwriting. Here’s how to do it!

What You Need:

  • Pad of blank, white paper
  • Pencils: wooden, mechanical, colored

What You Do:

  1. Using the pad of paper write a message and press firmly on the paper.
  2. Tear off the paper with the message and do not show your child!
  3. Give the pad of paper to your child and have him scribble with pencil at a shallow angle on the blank paper that was directly beneath the sheet with the message
  4. The pencil marks will make the previous message appear. Try this technique on several pieces of paper using a variety of pencils!

Want to make things more interesting? Have family members write messages on different note pads and also remove the top page or two from the pad. When your child reveals the message through this newly learned technique, see if he can decide who wrote it based on the handwriting!

Detective Constable Jake Friesen is a member of the Forensic Identification Unit with the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service in Ontario, Canada. Jake is highly trained in many disciplines of forensic science and is a fingerprint expert in Canada.

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