Crime Scene Investigations: Real Life Science Labs for Grades 6-12
“What could be more motivational than turning your students into super sleuths to learn scientific principles and techniques? This unique resource gives students the chance to become crime scene investigators with 68 lessons and labs in life, physical, and earth sciences as well as critical thinking.
Like real-life forensic scientists, students observe carefully, think critically, conduct lab tests, document results, and try to meet the burden of proof to solve crimes ranging from check forgery to murder! All 68 lessons and labs include complete background information for the teacher and reproducible student worksheets."
The first section of the text is a critical thinking course. It includes 17 lessons and labs that reinforce skills of observation, experimentation, and logical thinking.
The second section is the chemistry/physics section. It includes 14 lessons and labs that apply the principles of chemistry/physics to identify unknown substances, recognize patterns, and determine the chain of events.
In the third section, your student will study life sciences. It includes 20 lessons and labs focusing on evidence left at crime scenes by living things and teaches principles of inheritance, DNA analysis, skeletal structure, and characteristics of hair and skin.
The final section of the book covers earth science, archaeology, and anthropology. It includes 17 lessons and accompanying labs that feature unidentified remains, mummies, skeletons, and more, and demonstrates how reconstruction of past events can influence the outcome of a criminal investigation.
This curriculum would require some teacher prep. As the teacher, you have to prepare the crime scenes for your students. The lesson is presented as a mystery surrounding a crime, and it needs to be solved through research and forensic investigation. The vast majority of the labs require normal household items. There are maybe 4-6 labs that require special equipment which contains some weird stuff that can purchased through science supply stores, but most of those weird items and chemicals will only be used for those few labs. If you were to purchase all of the lab equipment, you might find yourself spending a couple hundred dollars. I have 2 suggestions: 1) Do this curriculum as a co-op and split the costs with other homeschool families, or 2) skip those few labs. Reading them will still be fun, even if you can’t do them. For a printable lab supply list, click here. Just remember that the vast majority of the "expensive" equipment will only be used a handful of times throughout your study.
Crime Scene Investigations can be used as your primary science curriculum for the year or as a supplemental lab book for other sciences.
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