Wednesday, 14 September 2011

CSI-Themed Science Lesson

I found this lesson on the Discovery Education website and adapted it a little bit. I have previously used this lesson with 10-12 year olds and it went down a treat. It's great to see their surprise when carrying out the experiment, not knowing what reaction to expect as they mix substances!

Here is the original idea from Discovery Education and below are my adapted PowerPoint and the investigation sheets.

Materials needed:
plastic cups, vinegar, water, plastic spoons, labels, PowerPoint presentation (click on the image above to download), CSI video clip, investigation sheets, bags of cornflour, bags of baking soda, newspaper (the tables WILL get wet!), video about arson dogs (extension activity)
Each pair of children will need:

  • 4 cups {two with vinegar, two with water (labelled)}
  • 2 spoons
  • One small bag of cornflour (labelled "Substance 1")
  • One small bag of baking soda (labelled "Substance 2")
  • Newspaper
  • 2 investigation sheets

Click on the image above to view / download in Google Docs
1. Play a clip from CSI (make sure it's not too gory!). If you want to be really cheesy, ask the children to come up with cheesy Horatio-style one-liners or give them a pair of sunglasses to imitate his signature move. Lead a discussion on forensic science.
2. Present the children with the crime scenario on the PowerPoint.
3. Split the class into pairs and follow the organisational procedures as outlined on the PowerPoint for the distribution of materials.
4. Allow the children to carry out the experiment, step by step, as outlined on the PowerPoint.
5. Ensure that investigation sheets are filled in and tidy materials away.
6. Recap on the evidence (as per the PowerPoint) and ask the children to draw conclusions based on this and their investigation sheets. Ask for a show of "Thumbs up/ thumbs down" to show who they think is guilty.
EXTENSION ACTIVITY: If time permits, show a video about arson dogs (plenty of clips on YouTube) and discuss their work.

If you're Irish:
Subject: Science
Strand: Materials
Strand Unit: Materials and change
Oral language developed through discussion
Drama - based on crime-solving

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emer! This blog is wonderful! I'll have my own 5th class next week and as an NQT so I'm finding all your resources soo helpful!
    I'd love a copy of the original CSI sounds like a great lesson! my email address is
    Again, thanks for sharing all your great ideas and resources..fantastic stuff! :)