Mr Bear Mystery crime lab
Printables and materials are from the GEMS Mystery Festival
For this to work smoothly I set up the Mr Bear mystery crime lab before the kids came upstairs, yes the school teacher is still very much present in me at times. Actually I kicked them out of the house for an hour or so and set up the labs. I have pictures of every single station set up, but I’m not going to bore you with all of those details.
When I did this in a public school we took two days for this, and each station was timed. Since I only had three students, it was considerably simpler, and I combined some stations that used similar materials into one place.
First off they did some chromatography to find out which pen was used, was it the felt pen, the ball point, or the ink on the stain they found at the crime scene?
Then they examined fingerprints found on the can and on the cup. There’s another GEMS unit about fingerprinting. I think I also have a mini-mystery somewhere with another fingerprint unit….
They explored the secret message to see what the person had to say. The little mirror I originally provided was too difficult, so they too the note to the bathroom.
Then the kids examined Mr Bear and discovered what clues he had on him with a tape lift. At the same station they smelled Mr Bear and the two different perfumes to see who Mr Bear smelled like (the instructions actually tell you to use an empty film canister).
The kids also tested the powder found on Mr Bear to see if it was pie powder or cookie powder (the book has the instructions on setting all of this up), my kids were quite amazed by this.
In the end I had the kids write up the results of their tests and make predictions of who stole Mr Bear. This is what I mean GEMS units are amazingly interdisciplinary and can cover every single subject you teach in the elementary school grades with the exception of history/geography.
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Supplies used for the Mr Bear Mystery crime lab
All of these are amazon links, and I’ll be honest I got my supplies either from around my house or local stores, but this gives you a quick easy way to get them
- Learning Resources Ph Paper
- Jumbo Magnifying Glass
- white paper towels (while you probably have paper towels at home, I strongly recommend white towels so as not to mess with results)
- assorted trays (this makes presentation of the materials easier, I used lots of different trays and plates)