Lesson Title: Forensic Sciences

Lesson Title: Forensic Sciences

Author: Brittany Burrows

Lesson Title: Forensic Sciences

Suggested Grade Level: 9-12

Estimated Lesson Time: 50 minutes

Student Prior Knowledge:

-Basic knowledge of the skeletal system
- Prior knowledge of Casey Anthony and 911 cases
- Ability to watch/hear audio and analyze content
- Prior knowledge of scientific method and scientific claims

Standard: 1.SC.912.L.16.10 Discuss the technologies associated with forensic sciences and biological profiling.
2.SC.912.N.1.3 Recognize that the strengths and usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.
3. SC.912.N.1.6 Describe how scientific inferences are drawn from scientific observations and provide examples from content being studied.

Goals: Students will be able to discuss the technologies associated with forensic science and determining biological profile on a skeleton, analyze a 911 phone call and video, and reach their own opinion of the Casey Anthony trial and forensic anthropology, and evaluate a crime scene and use critical and logical thinking to argue their group's scientific claim about the crime being called in and show the importance of scientific argumentation in science.

This activity integrates skills learned in anatomy with forensic science concepts relating to the biological profile of human skeletons and can be addressed to assessing modern human age, sex, ancestry, and stature to help forensic anthropologists identify remains. Students will leave with more knowledge on the field, their body, and on certain recent cases that have been popular in the media.

Objectives/ I Can Statements:

Students will write their own claim on Casey Anthony's innocence, learn about biological profiling of a human skeleton through lecture and handouts, explain how this helped forensic scientists in the 911 attack, and analyze their own crime scene.

Task- Create claims on cases through scientific data.


  1. - Copy of Determining Biological Profile Process Adjunct Display for each student (made by teacher)
  2. -Audio of 911 Phone Call of Casey Anthony Trail:
  3. - Website of Case studies to show to class: (3 groups)


(Each of these pieces of ‘evidence’ will just be printed out pictures, placed in a bag for students to visualize the ‘crime scene.’)
-Crime Scene A: “Burglarized Bronco Fan”:

(Group 1)

• couch

• coffee table• wall hanging hook, on which one could hang a clothes hanger• clothes hanger

• television

• something to represent one door frame and one window frame (could be

cardboard cut-out of a door)

• clear plastic or blue cellophane cut into pieces to represent broken window glass

• two different pairs of men’s shoes

•one pair of women’s shoes

•powdered footprints (cornstarch, baby powder, chalk, etc.)•hair (some human, some cat)

•pizza sauce

•animal blood
•cigarette butt with lipstick print

-Crime Scene B: “Cyanide Cocktail”: (Group 2)

• couch

• coffee table

• something to represent one door frame (could be cardboard cut-out of a door)

• one pair of men’s shoes

• one pair of women’s shoes• powdered footprints (cornstarch, baby powder, chalk, etc.)• hair (some human, some cat) • red food coloring

• “animal blood”

• 4 martini glasses (one with lipstick print)• martini shaker (optional)

• chalk or tape to make outline of body

• kitchen bar• cutting board and knife • napkin• vial containing white powder (flour or cornstarch)

• lemon cut into wedges

-Crime Scene C: “Hacked High –Tech Lab”:

(Group 3)

• desk

• desk chair

• computer

• box of tissues

• crumpled tissue with lipstick print

• garbage can

• something to represent one door frame (could be cardboard cut-out of a door)

• clear plastic or blue cellophane cut into pieces to represent broken window glass

• three different pairs of women’s shoes

• powdered footprints (cornstarch, baby powder, chalk, etc.)

• hair (some human, some cat)

• red food coloring

• animal blood


  1. We/ Class will review over main concepts of previous lesson. (3minutes)
  1. I/Teacher will allow students to get into groups of 2, allow them to take out a sheet of paper, and prepare yourselves for this. Is everyone familiar with the Casey Anthony trial? This is the 911 phone call made by Casey's mother. I want you to make a scientific claim about what you think happened to Caylee, her daughter, and on Casey's innocence/guilt. You need to back this claim up with evidence from this phone call. Pick a couple students to share what they wrote. (10 minutes)
  1. I/ Teacher give out copies of Biological Profile Display to each student.
  2. We/Class will go the display, and at the end do a writing activity.
  3. You/students will independently write about their 911 experience/I75 experience (where they were/ how you heard of it), and how the biological profiling of the skull and pelvis, for example, could help forensic anthropologists identify bodies on the scene. (15-20 minutes)
  1. I/ teacher will split class into 3 groups. Give each group a case with the paper evidence.
  2. You/Students will read activity paper, answer the 3 questions, and discuss as a group what they believed happened at their crime scene. Then each group will present their findings to the whole class. (30 minutes)
  3. You/Students will turn in their 911 writing, so I/Teacher will be able to further evaluate each student by their discussions and their participation in case studies.

Assessment: Students will be evaluated by their participation and discussion during class and case studies, and they will turn in their 911 writing.

Extensions & Adaptations:
Advanced students:

-More advances students will be expected to discuss more, and give more through written responses at the end of class.

-English Language Learners (not only Spanish!):

Videos and handouts will have the text and instructions written out for them, in case they did not understand oral instructions, and also I will be checking on them repeated during class to see if they are following along well.

-Struggling students (below grade level)

Most difficult activities are put in group setting for these students, and group members will be expected to give more help in discussion and understanding on content. Assistance will be provided for students who are having trouble comprehending or reading any assigned activities while teacher is circling classroom.
-Students with identified learning disabilities

Visual representation of discussion, video, and audio will be made available with written out instructions. Directions will be oral stated, written, and gone over once more individually with the student.

Reflections: N/A