This activity is designed for a single 45 minute class period. However, it can be extended to two class periods (or more) if you want your students to present their findings.
The mystery hinges on your students' ability to use the f=ma formula and critical thinking in order to solve the crime, including whodunit and what weapon the perpetrator used. There are other aspects of the case that can be solved, such as the position of the victim just before the attack and the time of the attack.
Students will be given an Investigator’s Report and a Notes page. I found that having students work in groups of 5 provided the best conditions for success. I gave each group a file folder that contained the four reports (Blood Analysis, Autopsy, Suspect Interviews, and Evidence Log), and assigned a group leader to delegate tasks and read the introduction to the group.
I recommend using 1 version of the case (there are 6 total) all day if you are using this for the first time, unless you have time to become somewhat familiar with HOW the cases are solved.
In this document, you will find:
1) Teacher’s Script
2) Blunt Force: Introduction
3) 6 different versions of each report (for different class periods)
4) Investigator’s Report worksheet
5) Notes worksheet (regular and accommodated)
6) Investigator’s Report KEY
1) Create a crime scene in your classroom. Have students wait in the hall before entering the class. Have a strip of crime scene tape posted near the door that students can (easily) walk under in order to enter your room.
The crime scene does not have to be set up in any particular way, as it is just a visual “extra” to add to the fun and fantasy of the mystery.
2) Have 2 meter sticks at each group table so that students can better visualize how tall 1 meter is. (note: they will NOT need to actually measure anything)
3) Provide calculators. Even though students are not allowed to use them on standardized tests for science, this is an activity that requires knowledge of HOW to use the formula and the ability to think critically. Unless you are planning to allow 2 full class periods for students to solve all aspects of the crime, they will not have time to do all of the calculations by hand AND solve the crime.
4) Provide highlighters to all students so that they can highlight important parts of each report that they may choose to use in their creative story of what happened the night of the crime.
5) Be ready to provide some guidance at the very beginning and again once they have all of the calculations complete.
6) I got my students donut holes as a snack, since they were such hard-working detectives!
7) Have FUN!
***NOTE**** if you like this idea, but you do not need 6 different investigation outcomes, check my products page for a less expensive version of this mystery.