This fun Halloween-themed lab is perfect for a middle school science or high school freshmen class. I do it every year, and it continues to be a big hit with students! Here's the synopsis:
Students enter the classroom to find the substitute teacher, Mr. Breakabeaker (their actual teacher dressed up as someone else), and a letter at their desk describing the crime scene in which their regular teacher has been kidnapped. They must perform several standard tests for biological macromolecules (starch, lipid, glucose) on "suspect samples" (werewolf slobber, witch blood, and ghost slime). They compare their results against the evidence found at the crime scene (an unidentifiable blob) to determine who kidnapped their teacher. At the end, students discover the blob is actually composed of all of the suspects' samples. Mr. Breakabeaker then "discovers" a letter left from the real teacher simply stating that she's taken the day off to go trick or treating with her friends, and the whole thing was a misunderstanding. The teacher has also left a little treat behind for the students.
The purchased file comes zipped with a printable, ready-to-go PDF version of the lab, along with an editable word document version. It also contains the recipes for stock solutions and other materials needed, and word document versions of the two letters you'll need for the students at the beginning and end of the lab.
Supplies required to execute the lab:
- Vegetable oil
- Green & red food coloring
- Powdered gelatin
- instant mashed potato flakes
- Lugol’s iodine solution (found in most science chemical cabinets)
- Benedict’s solution (found in most science chemical cabinets)
- Brown paper bags
- Heat-proof container for water
- Hot plate
- 4 test tubes & 1 rack for each group
Although this lab is still awesome without any further set up, I can personally attest that it's even BETTER when the teacher really gets into character! Try affecting a foreign accent for Mr. Breakabeaker's role, and wear a wig and glasses! Decorate the room with crime scene tape and fake bloody handprints on black paper covering the windows. Have a cauldron of bubbling dry ice at the front of the room, set up flickering flameless candles, and play creepy haunted house sounds during the lab!