Welcome to The Cookie Jar Mystery An exciting adventure in the world of forensic science!
The Cookie Jar Mystery is a fun, forensic science mini-course consisting of six separate modules designed to engage middle school students.
In Mrs. Johnson’s classroom, a curious crime has taken place: her favorite cookie jar has been broken and not surprisingly, some of her delicious, homemade cookies have been eaten! As a scientist and teacher, Mrs. Johnson realizes that this unfortunate incident provides a “teachable moment”—an opportunity to teach students how to use the tools of forensic science, understand the crime, and find the guilty party! In The Cookie Jar Mystery, instructors and students participate in the investigation, aided by the clues and developments in the case revealed in the ongoing story of Mrs. Johnson’s classroom. Although every module moves students closer to a final conclusion and the guilty suspect, each module is fully selfcontained,providing a complete science module/lab, all of the activities and assessments to support student understanding, and an engaging chapter in the story of the crime.
Module Structure in Five Easy Steps: Teaching Forensic Science
1. Overview: Easy classroom set-up, list of materials to acquire, background information for the teacher, and learning objectives.
2. More to the Story: Engaging Students:A stand-alone, read-aloud “chapter” in the ongoing story of the middle-school crime: the breaking of Mrs. Johnson’s cookie jar, the theft of cookies, and the pursuit of justice.
3. Hands-On Activities: Experiments that range from developing observation skills to fingerprint detection, understanding DNA and much, much more!
4. Data Collection and Analysis: Students develop a working theory of the crime by recording their experimental data on handy,activity-related “case notes”, then discussing their findings with their fellow classroom “detectives.”
5. Assessment, Standards, and Extensions: Strategies on how to assess student understanding, procedures and content of each learning activity are included. A standards correlation sheet clearly demonstrates how The Cookie Jar Mystery’s activities
meet national standards in Science and ELA. Module extensions, resources, and additional reading are recommended in each module. Each module contains a glossary of terms introduced.
In Module 2: Always Leave a Note—Handwriting and Ink Analysis, Students examine the most obvious clue: the note left behind at the crime scene. They explore
handwriting analysis by comparing the note to suspects’ writing samples and then conduct chromatography tests on the ink in the pens found on each suspect.
Each lesson comes with a complete supply list and all the handouts for each activity. Many of the supplies needed are found in most classrooms, other can be found at science suppliers or your local grocery store.