This unit has been developed for a middle school (grades 6-8) science class. It is appropriate for general science, science-technology-society (STS), or biotechnology classes. Biology and chemistry are important components for this unit.
The unit has been designed with an emphasis on laboratory activities. There is a series of short lectures followed by the labs. Each lesson is based on a 40-45 minute class.
Suggested lecture notes are included for teacher use. These notes should be adapted for the grade and ability level of the students. The lessons could be easily adapted to a block schedule. In addition, the lessons could be adapted for higher level classes by presenting more in-depth lectures and including additional unknown samples for the lab exercises.
"Crime Scene" scenarios have been provided for each activity. These appear in the anticipatory set of each section's lesson plan. The "crimes" all take place in school settings. Teachers who feel these secnarios might inspire mischief on the part of their students should, of course, modify the "crimes" accordingly. Different scenarios could also be used to match the dynamics of a particular class.
The unit final is a project which
will require cooperative groups to use their prior knowledge to collect
and analyze evidence from a "crime scene."
There are several possible uses
for this lesson including, but not limited to:
In addition to the web presentation, there are printable Adobe Acrobat files for the student handouts and rubrics. These are available from the individual lesson elements.
This unit includes 20 lessons grouped into nine sections. For each section, we present a lesson plan, lecture notes, lab handouts, and homework activities. In addition, there are grading rubrics available for each activity type. The individual sections are as follows: