1st Edition

Crime Scene Detective Using Science and Critical Thinking to Solve Crimes (Grades 5-8)

By Karen K. Schulz Copyright 2006
    82 Pages
    by Prufrock Press

    Watch the excitement ripple through your classroom as students use their intellect to find out who committed the "crime" at your school. Enliven your students as they practice critical thinking skills. Students are often taught skills such as the scientific method, scientific research, critical thinking, making observations, analyzing facts, and drawing conclusions in isolation. Studying forensic science allows students to practice these skills and see theories put into practice by using circumstances that model real-life events, meanwhile letting students explore a variety of career options.

    This exciting unit includes:

    • background information on forensics,
    • exploration of careers in forensic science and law enforcement,
    • a simulation involving a fire in the school library, and
    • instructions for writing your own crime scene simulation.
    To crack the case, students examine evidence left at the scene, interview suspects (staff members), and use critical thinking to connect all of the clues and eliminate suspects. Students will feel like real investigators with this true-to-life simulation.

    Let your students solve more mysteries with Mystery Disease, Mystery Science, Detective Club, and The Great Chocolate Caper.

    Grades 5-8

    General Information Information for the Instructor Lesson Plans Pre-Simulation Information Criminal Investigations Criminal Investigations Information Forensic Careers Forensic Career Presentation Forensic Career Worksheet Forensic Career Assignment All Kinds of Evidence Assignment Planning Guide Grading Rubric Crime Scene Simulation The Case of The Blazing Books Overview and Motive Preparing Materials Gathering Evidence Setting up the Labs Setting up the Scene Viewing the Crime Scene Student Procedures Questioning Procedures Teacher’s Role Examining Evidence Charging a Suspect Supporting Materials Chart of Roles Sample News Article Witness Role Description Suspect Role Description Suspect Evidence Request Suspect Handwriting Sample Suspect Identification Card Suspect and Witness Profiles Detective Report Forensic Laboratory Materials Evidence Request Card Evidence Log Blood Evidence Procedures Blood Report Procedures for All Other Labs Fingerprint Report Arson Report Shoe Print Report Hair Report Handwriting Report Creating Your Own Simulation Customizing the Simulation Appendix Arson Motives Fast Facts on Fires


    Karen K. Schulz received her bachelor's degree in elementary education and mathematics from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1984. She received a master's degree in teaching from Webster University in 1989. In 1996, she earned her gifted certification from Webster University. She currently teaches at Wildwood Middle School in the Rockwood School District. Schulz has been teaching middle school gifted education since 1993.

    Over the years, Schulz has presented her forensic science curriculum at numerous gifted education conferences. In 2001, Schulz received the national Education's Unsung Hero Award from ING Northern Annuity for her work in developing a forensic science curriculum for her classroom. In the fall of 2005, she won a national competition sponsored by Olympus America and Tool Factory, for her continuing work with forensics in the classroom. Schulz lives in Ballwin, MO, with her husband Jim, their daughter Taylor, and their son Matthew.

    This book presents a highly engaging unit combining criminal investigation, careers in forensic science, and types of evidence. In the culminating activity, students and faculty participate in a simulation of a school-wide arson investigation. Critical analysis of evidence, inference in questioning suspects, determining reasonability of relevant information, and drawing conclusions are among the critical thinking skills honed by students as they work to crack the case and discover the true criminal.

    This workbook is so well thought out that if a teacher had the time and cooperation of the [school] staff to conduct the simulation, it would undoubtedly be an educational experience students would not only benefit from but also remember for a lifetime.,Tina Forester,Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, 5/1/04