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In this scientific method lesson, students analyze prepared trash to find evidence of a crime
Title – Trash to Treasure
By – Staycle Duplichan
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 9th grade Physical Science
Standards Addressed: Louisiana Framework
(Foundation skills, strands, and Benchmarks)
- 2-problem solving
- 3-resource access and utilization,
- 4-linking and generating knowledge
Science Standards and Benchmarks 9-12
- Science as Inquiry: The students will do science by engaging in partial and full inquiries that are within their developmental capabilities.
- SI-H-A2 designing and conducting scientific investigations; (1,2,3,4,5)
- SI-H-A4 formulating and revising scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence; (1,2,3,4)
Language Arts Standards and Benchmarks 9-12
- Standard Three Students communicate using standard English grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and handwriting.
- ELA-3-H1 writing legibly; (1,4)
- ELA-3-H2 using the grammatical and mechanical conventions of standard English; (1,4,5)
- ELA-3-H3 spelling accurately using strategies and resources (e.g., glossary, dictionary, thesaurus, spell check) when necessary. (1,3,4)
- Standard Four Students demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning and communicating.
- ELA-4-H1 speaking intelligibly, using standard English pronunciation and diction; (1,4)
- ELA-4-H6 participating in a variety of roles in group discussion (e.g., active listener, contributor, discussion leader, facilitator, recorder, mediator). (1,4,5)
Students analyze prepared trash to find evidence of a crime. The general goal is to demonstrate how to investigate using problem solving.
- 1 – Students will analyze prepared trash.
- 2 – Students will construct a pretend family model.
- 3 – Students will present their findings to the class.
Required Materials: Teacher prepared trash.
- Possible ideas:
- 1 – a bag of baby bottles, diaper bags, toy packages, tickets to family outings, pet supplies
- family profile: a couple with a baby
- 2 – work clothes, tool belt, boxes from a mechanic shop, men’s magazines,
- family profile: a single working man
- 3 – empty medicine bottles, empty lotion bottles, cassette of an older music groups,
- family profile: an elderly couple
- 4 – school supply packages, cleaning packages, tickets to family outings, pet supplies, vacation brochures
- family profile: a big family with school age children
- 5 – empty men’s cologne, tie, empty sports drink bottle
- family profile: a single man with a office job
- 6 – diner receipts, movie receipts, vacation brochures,
- family profile: a couple without children
- Other various items: rope, mask, gloves, cleaning items, rental car flyers, hotel information, missing person’s flyers
Anticipatory Set (Lead-In): This activity could follow a lesson on the Scientific Method.
Related Web Pages:
- Experimental Science Projects:
- Steps in the Scientific Method
- by Lambert Dolphin
- The Scientific Method
http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm Step-By-Step Procedures:
- Discuss the steps of the scientific method. Ask the students to brainstorm different ways of collecting evidence.
- Set up the activity by explaining to the student’s that there has been a carjacking near the school. Students go through trash and answer the following questions:
- 1 – What is the family profile? Married, single, children
- 2 – Could this trash show evidence of a crime?
- The students present their pretend family profile to the class.
- The class discusses if they agree with the family profile. The class also discusses if there is any evidence to show a crime.
- 1 – Ask someone from the Police Force to discuss detective work as a career.
- 2 – Buy fingerprint kits from any science company. Have the students analyze fingerprints from the trash.
Plan For Independent Practice:
The students could research how crimes are investigated.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
The closure would be the discussion that follows Day 2.
Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):
- * Teacher will model and repeat directions when needed.
- * Hands on activities will be performed by the students to reinforce the lesson.
- * Directions will be read out loud before the students break up into groups.
Extensions (For Gifted Students):
Students will be allowed to use the library to extend their learning on any topic that interest them.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
The English class can read a Sherlock Holmes or any mystery book.
I have used this activity for many years with different classes. I do not place specific evidence that would lead to a specific crime in each bag. I allow the students to use their imagination. Every group has found evidence to support a crime! Different classes will look at the same trash and find evidences for different crimes.
It did take time to collect the trash. I gave different family members and businesses a bucket and asked them to throw away trash that would support this activity. Everybody wants to help when it comes to school!
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