In this forensic summary lesson, students use their deductive reasoning and logical thinking skills to determine the probable culprit. They transfer the information and results from each lesson onto a chart for comparison, analysis and summary. This activity allows your budding forensic scientists to compare all the evidence in relation to all of the suspects. As part of the activity, they also determine if class or unique evidence is more important and why. Among the unique evidence, they are asked to decide if one is more important than another and why. Such questions are important because some evidence, as the students will likely to observe, is purely circumstantial—it suggests only the presence of a suspect at the crime scene, not his or her inevitable guilt.
The activities in this lesson address Next Generation Science Standards practices of Analyzing and Interpreting Data and Engaging in Argument from Evidence. In addition, they address Common Core State Standards CCSS.ELA Literacy.CCRA.SL.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy. CCRA.SL.4, and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1. See the Standards Matrix included in the appendix for more detailed information.