Thursday, October 29, 2009

Planning our CSI unit study

During the next 6 weeks our co-op will be doing Crime Scene Investigations for science using a book similar to Crime Scene Investigations. As my good friend Tracy will tell you I am a science geek, so I am more than excited to be putting together this activity. One thing it also allows me to do, is to practice my creative thinking and writing skills. Isn't it great that we get to learn right along with our kids?! I will give you instructions on how I set this activity up as well as some good resources and activities in case you decide to do one!

Starting out:

First I will divide the kids into teams. We have a small group so it will be 3 per group. Each team will have a folder prepared with the essentials they will need.
The book I have is awesome. It gives several "cases" to refer to when setting up your own. The first step is to decide on your crime! Our crime will be the theft of our beloved microscope. We did several fundraisers to be able to purchase this item, and spent about $260 on it.

Next is our suspect list:

Since our co-op is ran during the hours of the connected mother's day out we will be using those teachers in our investigation. I will assign very specific roles and hand a script to each teacher participating. The script will have a story for them to play out, either giving the teacher an alabi or making them into a suspect. Out of all of our teachers we will have 7 suspects, one being guilty of the theft. Before we start the unit I will meet with those involved to let them know their parts.

The Crime Scene:

Our crime scene will be the cabinet in our room. It is locked with a small lock so the lock will be off and the microscope missing. The crime scene will be staged with physical evidence and will need to be roped off for a few weeks while the project is going on.

Planting the evidence:

Several of our suspects will have been at the crime scene so my class will have to be very careful about documenting physical evidence. They will have to collect fingerprints and other evidence that will be placed there when I set up the crime scene. To throw the students off and to test their listening, reasoning and deduction skills, we will stage "scenes" that will be played out by the teachers. For instance, one of our suspects motive is that she got in trouble for some bacteria that our class found on her toys in the classroom. The director will come upstairs while we are headed to the computer lab and "yell" at the teachers for not cleaning the toys properly, thus giving that teacher the motive of revenge for stealing the microscope.

CSI Lab:

We will also set up a lab area. The class will need to take fingerprints, handwritting samples and so on. The lab area will be used to study the evidence. I will go into this in more detail when I have it all set up.

Fun stuff:

Our curriculum book offers alot of fun extras to do to make the unit feel more authentic. We have badges(hall passes) that allow the kids to be out of the classroom during the activity, search warrents, and even a really neat bulletin board idea. At the end of the activity we will have a presentation and each team will present who they think is guilty and why. We also have several labs that wont be directly related to our case but are realated to CSI in general.

That's it for now! I will post again as things come together. Feel free to post suggestions or even tell us about your CSI unit study. I love getting ideas from others!

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