of resources. You can begin by taping an episode or two of "Forensic Files"
to show how actual
forensic scientists solve cases and have students fill out this
as they watch the program.
Check out their forensic
TV's "The Backpack
is aimed at middle school students.
- Canada's "Virtual Museum"
has another simple
of the Stolen Artifacts"
presents, along with other evidence, a DNA profile to help students
solve the case.
use a virtual lab to create a DNA fingerprint in NOVA's "It
Takes a Licken"
mystery. See the activity below that goes with this.
- Watch "A
Link for the Missing – DNA
'Fingerprinting'" from the Secrets
of the Sequence series
and complete student handout, "Create a DNA Fingerprint" .
Besides questions from the video, students do the NOVA
activity, "Create a DNA Fingerprint."
- "Anastasia—Dead or Alive"
is a NOVA
classroom activity that uses the shape of
an ear to determine if Anna Anderson is an Anastasia impersonator.
- In "Who Ate the Cheese?"
simulate electrophoresis and DNA fingerprinting to solve the mystery.
- Have students
watch the NOVA
video "The Boldest Hoax"
about the Piltdown hoax and have them
do the accompanying activity. Using the student
student teams will determine whether
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin, Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, or
Martin Hinton perpetuated the hoax.
- The NOVA
activity, "Hunt for the Serial Arsonist,"
students use the "At Your Fingertips"
handout to determine which fingertip
pattern is the dominant one in the class. They compare their
results to the general population.
the "Last Flight of Bomber 31" NOVA
activity, the objective is to identify which members of a family share
the same mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). An anthropologist has
found a few human bones at a site in South Africa.
Investigators think they might belong to a Nobel Prize-winning dung
beetle biologist who disappeared in Africa. Since the bones
have been exposed to severe weather for many years, the only DNA that
may be salvageable is mtDNA. Students use the pedigree chart
in the "The Hunt for mtDNA"
handout to determine which family
members of the missing biologist are eligible to donate mtDNA for
"Wanted -- Butch and Sundance"
activity gives students an opportunity to think like forensic
anthropologists. Student's use the "Identifying the Skeletons"
to determine if bones found belong to missing explorers.
- Play trueTV's
games that include "The
along with others.
- Try this
wordsearch puzzle with
students do this "Forensic Science"
and the Badge"
is a WebQuest
activity that presents 6 different cases and their evidence for
students to solve the crime. Each student group could be
assigned a different case, but at least one computer connected to the
internet for each group would be a necessity unless the teacher printed
out each scenario. These are the teacher pages.
- Try this
middle school activity, "Winter Wonderland: Who Thawed Frosty?"
and scoring rubric .
- "Measurable You"
Bertillonage, an anthropometric measurement system developed to
identify and track people in the penal system in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries. It includes a "Bertillonage Measurement
and a student "Anthropometric
Measurements" sheet .
"Entomology in Action"
introduces students to the blow fly's life cycle and the accumulated
degree hour (ADH) used by forensic entomologists for estimating the
time of death. All the materials needed for the activity are
included in PDF form.
- In "DNA--a Molecular Identity"
learn about what DNA is and several different DNA typing techniques. In
Lesson 2, students examine three different situations where DNA typing
was used to carry out justice. Students also identify and evaluate
different uses of DNA typing techniques and its possible benefits and
misuses. Again, all materials needed are in the PDF format.
- If you live close to NYC, take
your students on a field trip to Discovery
Times Square for CSI
The Experience. It opens October 1, 2011 and goes through
March 4, 2012.
- In the "FORENSICS: Murder at the Toy Store"
mystery, students use a microscope to observe trace evidence, extract
DNA, create shoe transfer patterns, and examine online evidence to
determine "Who dunnit."
- In trueTV's
Forensics In the Classroom "The
students do an indicator enzyme test,
hair analysis, and blood, chromosome, and DNA analysis to solve the
- As an
introduction to the unit, I had students:
about "Hair Evidence"
and do the accompanying worksheet .
Maria Ferraro added fiber evidence to this worksheet .
about "Forensic Serology"
and do the accompanying worksheet .
about "DNA Evidence"
and do the accopanying worksheet .
- For "The
Cafeteria Caper" I created:
worksheet for the "Mystery
from the "Important Terms"
with answers .
improved "Investigative Report" form
(Mirosoft Excel document).
is a middle school
forensic mystery that uses fingerprinting, a white powders lab,
correlation of foot size to height, and do teeth impressions to
identify the culprit.
do DNA electrophoresis in this "DNA Detectives"
reactions are used to
what food caused Stan's near life-threatening reaction in "Food Forensics: A Case of Mistaken
- In trueTV's
Forensics In the Classroom
paper chromatograpy, handwriting
analysis, and hair analysis are used to solve the crime.
- To access the "Forensic Metrics"
lab, you need to
be an NSTA member. It is a middle school activity designed to
make learning the metric system more interesting.
- "A Case of Murder"
is a forensic
science unit that includes hair analysis, blood analysis, ink
chromatograhy, and DNA fingerprinting labs.
of the Crown Jewels" is
a classroom activity that allows
students to explore how the unique sequence of bases in DNA can be used
to identify individuals. It includes a pre-lab activity, a
laboratory preparation guide, extension activities, and a post-lab
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- CSI The Experience: Web Adventures
has many student activities: http://forensics.rice.edu/html/educators.html.
Teacher Magazine contains
many classroom activities, mysteries, puzzles, etc. and is FREE: http://www.theforensicteacher.com/Home.html.
- Shows how the
FBI investigates a crime: http://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids-investigate
- "FBI Youth"
presents different aspects of
agents work and includes games: http://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids
- The FBI's
handbook of forensic services is
- "The Smoking
Gun" profiles many crimes: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/
science online teacher's guide: http://www.shodor.org/workshops/forensic/
- "A Crime
Against Plants" lesson: http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/plcr.les.html
- "Putting DNA
to Work" is a Flash acitivity
that demonstrates how DNA is used to solve a crime: http://www.koshland-science-museum.org/exhibitdna/crim01.jsp
- A forensic
Proofs--Forensic Views of the
includes exhibitions, galleries, and education resources on forensics: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/visibleproofs/index.html
- Mr. B's
Forensic Science page has projects,
and interesting examples of student work: http://www.nbsd.org/Schools/High%20School/Teachers/gbentivegna/forensics/index.htm
- "Detectives in
the Classroom," a middle
high school epididemiology curriculum: http://www.montclair.edu/Detectives/
Detectives" presents three true cases
involve DNA fingerprinting, as well as a demonstration of how to make a
DNA fingerprint: http://www.dnai.org/d/index.html?m=1
- At "Science
Mystery" Each mystery takes the
of an illustrated short story, with the reader included as a character
in the narrative. The opening establishes the setting, characters, and
the problem(s) to be solved. In the middle pages, the reader gathers
data ("clues") about the problem by talking to characters, performing
experiments, and so on.: http://www.sciencemystery.com/
Mystery Spot" contains several mystery activities from Access
Science Spot" has a whole page of forensic ideas: http://www.sciencespot.net/Pages/classforsci.html
can learn about many aspects of forensic science from the CSI
televisions series' "Web Adventures": http://forensics.rice.edu/
Adairis a retired senior criminalist and past president of the
Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction (ACSR) who has written a new
e-book entitled Planning Your Career in Forensics for students,
teachers, guidance counselors, parents, and others wanting to enter the
profession profession or mentor someone who does. His e-book can
be found on Amazon.com for $2.99: http://www.amazon.com/Planning-Your-Career-Forensics-ebook/dp/B008HU6ME8