This activity is designed to be conducted over a period of several weeks. My plan is to set aside "CSI" time every Friday. I am doing this with my 5th grade students but it can be applied with older students as well.
Students are introduced to a scenario in which the victim has been murdered and the suspected criminal has dumped some of their personal items in a nearby body of water. The three suspects live near two different bodies of water (one freshwater and one saltwater). The students’ job is to use replicas of the missing items to determine what body of water they think the criminal used based on the density of the objects and the water. Once they’ve determined that, they can narrow down the suspect pool. The second scenario tells them that the police believe the criminal used a packing box from their work. So, the students are provided with three possible containers. They need to now test the density of the containers and items. Having the correct body of water and container will lead them to their killer. Within this zip folder you will receive the following documents:
- An Arrest Warrant and Example Arrest Warrant - This is where students will write out an arrest warrant for the suspect they think committed the crime. They will need to back up their claim with evidence from the case study.
- License – I printed these license images out on cardstock, wrote out the victims’ name on each, laminated them and had the students use these as a replica driver’s license.
- Teacher Materials - What you need for the whole case study.
- Student Materials - A worksheet that can be given to students to remind them about what materials they have available to use.
- Suspect Cards - Provides information on the three suspects including their name, job and “address,” in relation to the two bodies of water alibi.
- Scenario - This is the "introduction" sheet you will provide to the students.
- Scenario 2 – This introduces the second part of the unit – getting the density of the containers with the missing items in them.
- List of Clues - Details what clues need to be provide as reference samples and what clues need to be placed at the crime scene.
- Outline - Discusses a week to week schedule, what the students will learn about, an overview of the case and additional resources that can be used.
- Evidence Labels - These labels are meant to be printed on a 30 label sheet. These are the labels that students will put on each one of their evidence tubs/envelopes/containers.