Fun! Not too complicated for middle school!
This activity starts out with students reading a silly (not scary or gory) murder mystery. The scene is set for them 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!
After the story, students are introduced to DNA fingerprinting with a 1-page introduction and tiny bit of practice. The explanation is simplified for a middle school audience. Students then "process" the two suspects' DNA (involving cutting and pasting paper DNA strips) to make a DNA fingerprint for each suspect. They then compare the DNA fingerprints they have generated to the one found at the crime scene. Mystery solved! 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.
Pages to Print:
Introduction, Instructions and Analysis (1 page front/back)
DNA Samples (to be cut up, 1 page front only)
DNA Fingerprints (1 page front/back)
Murder Mystery Story and DNA sample obtained by police (1 page front/back)
Also check out our popular DNA/Chromosome Test (middle level).
Find more DNA & Chromosome resources in the DNA/Chromosomes Section of Our Store.
Also check out the Reproduction and Heredity Section of Our Store.
Highlights of Our Related Resources::
Boy/Girl Karyotype Activity
DNA Mutations Activity
Structure of DNA Quiz
Create a Paper Model of DNA
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Easy to follow, effective, and always standards-based.