Thumbprint Autobiography

I’m fascinated by fingerprints.  Smitten, really.  I love the idea that we are all 100% unique, that we can be identified by the tiny ridges and patterns of our skin.  We are who we are.  There’s a whole lot more to me than just my prints though.  I am unique.  I am not just like any other person who has ever lived on this planet.  And that, to me, is awesome.


I wanted my kids to pause for a moment or two to think about what makes them unique.  What makes them who they are?  Is there anyone else out there exactly like them?  One of my deep hopes for my kids is that they will learn to feel 100% comfortable in their own skin.  That they will be satisfied with themselves, their choices, their accomplishments, and their goals.  We are all a work in progress, but there’s just something tremendous about those amazing people who really truly LOVE themselves.  Not in an arrogant sort of way, just in a confident and optimistic one.  In the sort of way that gives you the confidence to not even THINK about bowing to peer pressure or feeling like you have to dress or talk or act a certain way to just fit in.

I thought a thumbprint autobiography would be a perfect platform for talking about these ideas and writing down some things that make my kids who they are.

We started by making a bunch of thumbprints on a sheet of paper.  We used washable markers, but you could use an ink pad as well.  It took some doing to get it just right.  We found that pressing lightly was the key to seeing lots of cool lines.


Once we printed a whole bunch we chose our favorite print and cut it out.


I quickly scanned them into our computer.


Then I printed it out nice and large so the kids could easily reference it and see their lines.  You could skip this step and just look at the small one, but my kids sure adored seeing their HUGE thumbprints!  Now start with a large, fresh sheet of paper and begin telling about yourself along the lines of your thumbprint using a thin sharpie marker.  It doesn’t have to be perfect; just use the thumbprint as a reference.  Add some colored pencil doodles that represent who you are.


I loved that this project was art, writing, and a really good life lesson all in one.  I didn’t tell my kids what to write about themselves at all.  It was fun to see the way they thought of themselves pour out on the page.Thumbprint-autobiography-Art

If you like this project, come check out the Layers of Learning boards on Pinterest.  You can find us on the Layers of Learning Pinterest Page.  We have everything under the sun that relates to teaching and homeschooling, and we’re constantly scouring the internet for more cool ideas to pin and try out with our kids.  Come join the fun!

One Comment

  1. I am a 5th grade teacher and we are now learning the features of Literary Non-Fiction.
    I wanted my kids to do their autobiography. I also wanted something unique to complement their writing. I was going to use a cube, but your finger print is so perfect that I will use it. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *