CSI Activity for Classrooms

How our crime scene investigation/CSI game works as a classroom activity

This is a group game where the kids (ages 10 to 16) become CSI detectives and solve a crime.

OVERVIEW:  As the facilitator you will need to set up a crime scene. All the kids will be able to view, photograph and document the evidence left at the scene. Once they have completed their viewing and taken careful notes, they’ll visit 6 forensic labs.

The object of the game is to visit all the labs and compare their collected evidence against the crime databases to see what they can find out about the victim and the suspect. After visiting all the labs they will need to sit down and go thru their answers to see if they can identify the suspect. 

From: Katie Heter, Science Teacher

RE: Operation Crime Scene Investigation game adaptions for an 8th grade class

I am using your game with an 8th grade CSI unit. Each class will have one murder so each investigation will be a little different.

THE PREP AND THE ADAPTIONS:

Classroom activity: CSI girls working the caseEach period will spend some time at the crime scene.  I am going to give them 5 minutes each to view the scene and take pictures, then they are going to go back into my room to choose which evidence to collect and what questions they want to ask the first officer on the scene.

The next two days they are going to be able to go through stations and look at the evidence.  We are doing bludgeoning so with the tool marks lab they are going to use Playdough to make impressions of the different items I have there and measure them.  That way they can match their findings to the size of the weapon on the ME report.  I figured I would plant it on the guilty party when we arrest them.

I also changed your DNA lab so it has one unknown sample that won’t match anything in “the system”.  I am going to let them run one more test on that sample.  I will give them options but one of them will be gender so we can establish male or female murdered, thus eliminating half the class.

CSI evidence: bike tracksFor the impression lab I can’t realistically do shoe prints as you have done in the kit because I have to set it up for 7 classes to be able to use so I am doing bike tires.  I took a survey of the class to see what kind of bike they ride BMX or Mountain or racing so I could “run” a bike tire through the blood.  Then later the kid can ask suspects what kind of bike they ride so we can narrow down our list.

I am leaving the fingerprint lab the same with just prints from the victim there.

Here’s how I updated the card included with your kit:

CSI Evidence Record

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trace evidence I am also leaving the same.   I am going to make them get two signed subpoenas, one for phone log and one for email information.  I have another teacher going to be the judge and she will make it difficult for the kids to get the subpoenas signed.

CSI classroom game: The victimAt the morgue, I printed out an autopsy report and filled it out by hand so it was a bit sloppy.  I included on a note to the side that the attack was from above and the right of the victim indicating height and handedness.  Hopefully kids will notice and further eliminate the leftys and shorter kids.

THE RESULT:

The game went great.  The kids really loved it.  It was a great way to end the year.  Through the game students were able to limit the number of kids down in every class.  If they were getting stuck with too many options I told them we found a hair sample that was of a certain decent so they could get down to two or three kids.  We then arrested them and planted the corner of the email on one of them.  Had a great time.

Learn more about Operation Crime Scene Investigation including how the game is played, examples, prep time, what’s included and what you need to provide. 

Click here for other classroom games and activities by Haley’s Games and for a 10% discount coupon code.

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