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Customer Quotes

“Great products...one of the best curriculum's out there, great help for teaching our video class" -Christine R., Principal, Trinity Lutheran School, Kalispell, MT

"Screenwriting was awesome, our kids really loved these activities. It was also really nice to provide such a creative curriculum that addresses the standards in such a fun way." - Heather S., Director, After School, City of Fairfield, CA

“Having taught at the high school and college level, I was impressed with this curriculum. The materials and guidance were well put together and very thoughtful." - Michael L., Artist, Shea After School, Syracuse, NY

“This amazing program has enabled my students to comprehend the process of forensic science as well as the sophisticated vocabulary encompassed in the program's lessons.” - Erica T., Freehold Public Schools, Freehold, NJ

“This is a well organized course that I would highly recommend to other programs.” - Chad S., Teacher, School #18, Buffalo, NY

“The program is awesome! I’m doing it as part of an after school enrichment time. Our kids really enjoy the projects and it’s wonderful to use as everything is provided.” - Karen S.,Teacher, Olympic Middle School, WA

“This is the perfect kind of activity for afterschool. It’s fun; students learn by getting involved. Everybody wants to be a part of it!” - Kim L., Program Leader, Child and Adolescent Treatment Services, Buffalo NY

“They love it…it’s awesome. Kids are dying to get in it!” - Audrey A., Teacher, Clifford Marshall Elementary School, Quincy, MA

“The Missing Money Mystery was very easy to follow. The children had such a great time at it, we even allowed our group to re-enact the entire mystery. This mystery was fantastic, and we are looking forward to our next exercise!” - Jackie. J., Director/Detective, Hempstead P.A.L., Hempstead, NY

“The students were engaged and enjoyed the experiments. The story keeps the activities meaningful and provided an interested way to connect Florida Standards. The teacher’s manual was easy to follow and materials in the kits made it very convenient for set up. Overall, this is a great thing to do in afterschool and during the summer!” - Betty C., Teacher, Genesis Center, Leesburg FL

“Playing with Percussion offers an exciting doorway to exploring percussion, communication skills and learning about different cultures." - Sheila K., Site Leader, Accord Corp, Youth Services Division, Belfast NY

"Our kids enjoyed making their own instruments, especially sanding. Playing all those grooves at the end was a lot of fun!" - Nina P., Music teacher, Napa, CA

“The Cookie Jar Mystery was such a big hit at the middle school…which has been tough.”
-Charlie E., Teacher, Lexington County Schools, SC

"The Cookie Jar Mystery went really well, the kids talked about it for weeks.  They were very excited and intrigued with the hands-on activities and I really enjoyed teaching it!"
-Brook T.,Teacher, Lincoln Middle Schools, TN

Rogue Rodent Mystery: A Crime Scene Investigation Summer Camp Kit for Grades K-1


Price:
$699.00
SKU:
RRM600-SC
Shipping:
$35.00 (Fixed shipping cost)

Product Description

Engage your budding scientists with this intriguing mystery that really hits home when a beloved classroom pet Alice has gone missing. Your younger students can join the fun and learn all about crime scene investigation and help solve the Rogue Rodent Mystery!

Crime Scenario

A crime occurred in Ms. Hawkins’ science classroom at Cavia Elementary. Her classroom is filled with all sorts of neat things and also has a pet Guinea pig named Alice. Yesterday, Mrs. Hawkins said goodbye to her students as they headed home. She put Alice safely back in her enclosure and then went to the cafeteria to grab an afternoon snack. When she came back 20 minutes later she noticed …Alice was gone!

How It Works

To limit the suspect possibilities, Ms. Hawkins has narrowed the suspects to four—all current students of hers. Together, your students work toward the most plausible scenarios and celebrate their findings in the concluding lesson with certificates honoring their work as forensic investigators.

To learn more about scope and sequence of this course, take a look at the Lessons tab on this page.

What's Included

The Summer Camp version of the Rogue Rodent Mystery includes a comprehensive 103 page Instructor's Guide, Introductory Video on DVD, Teacher Resource CD which includes student handouts, supply list, training tutorials, and all the supplies needed to conduct experiments with your class.  

All included supplies are listed on the Components tab on this page.

Preparing to Teach

Instructors will find The Rogue Rodent Mystery easy and fun to teach. Each lesson provides 1-3 activities that teaches a new but related aspect of scientific reasoning and a particular scientific process.  The text is easy to read and understand, the set-ups are detailed and uncomplicated, and the processes and procedures are clearly explained in each lesson plan. 

In addition, you'll find video tutorials for each lesson located on the Tools for Teaching tab on this page. 

Lessons

Course Outline

The Rogue Rodent Mystery is comprised of 10 lessons, designed each to take approximately 1-hour, for a class of 30 students. 

Lesson 1 - Observing the Clues: Investigation with Your Senses 

In this first lesson, your students’ are introduced to the mystery of the missing guinea pig through a video taken immediately after realizing that Alice was missing. Students will also be introduced to the job of a forensic scientist and prepare to take on the role by practicing their skill of observation.

Lesson 2 - Recording Your Findings: Sketching the Scene 

This lesson will challenge your students to make a rough sketch of a pretend crime scene. The focus of sketching at this stage (rough) should be the inclusion of all objects, the proper positional placement and relative size of objects in the scene.

Lesson 3 - Listening to a Witness: Creating a Composite Sketch

Students will discover that a picture can replace a long verbal description and help others better understand. In science it is very common to use pictures - photographs, diagrams and graphs – to convey your process and findings.

Lesson 4 - Analyzing Alibis: Monitoring the Movement of Suspects 

In this activity, students will hear the alibis of four suspects. They will practice the skills of a forensic scientist by listening carefully to each story. Then, using matching picture cards, students will retell the details of each suspect’s story in sequential order.

Lesson 5 - Applying Physics: Studying Force and a Falling Skeleton

Students will focus on the fallen model skeleton in Mrs. Hawkins’s classroom to imagine (and predict) what happened on the day Alice was taken. By running a simple experiment, students will make a connection between a force (a rolling ball) and the resulting movement of the object (a model skeleton).

Lesson 6 - Inspecting Pattern Evidence: Comparing Shoe Prints 

For this lesson, students will focus on visible, two- dimensional prints. They’ll study the visible, two-dimensional shoe prints left behind on Mrs. Hawkins’ classroom floor. Students will try to match parts of a print to a larger pattern and measure the length and width of the shoe print.

Lesson 7 - Researching Rodents: Discovering a Guinea Pig’s Survival Needs

Students will be asked to learn more about guinea pigs to better understand how Alice came to be missing. Is it possible that a suspect took Alice home? This information will be recorded in a table. Students will use the table to make arguments about the potential involvement of each suspect.

Lesson 8 - Following Colorful Clues: Making Orange Paint 

In this activity, students will figure out which suspect was most likely to have left behind orange paint smudges by mixing together different primary colors of paint. Students will be challenged to follow a procedure in the correct order.

Lesson 9 - Weighing the Evidence: Testing the Scales of Justice 

Students will use balances to literally weigh the evidence of each suspect against one another. Not only will this give your students a chance to use a common measurement tool in science, it will provide a visual to help them formulate their own conclusions.

Lesson 10 - Considering the Confession: Understanding Misunderstandings! 

This last activity is designed to tie together any loose ends or resolve unanswered questions about the mystery. It is also designed as a celebration of the mystery solved!

Components

What's Included?

The Classroom version of the Rogue Rodent Mystery contains an Instructor Guide, Introductory DVD, Teacher Resource CD and all of the essential supplies needed to teach the course to a class of up to 30 students. 

Instructor’s Guide 

Every step is taken to provide an easy-to-follow format and informative, fun-to-read instructions for each lesson. In addition to a brief listing of objectives, materials, and set-up procedures, useful icons point the instructor to a number of key elements:

Notes for the Instructor: Brief instructor notes introduce the subject matter and challenges presented in the particular lesson. They often contain real-life, age-appropriate examples from crime in history or popular culture. 

Notes for the Students: These notes “set the stage” for each lesson by presenting brief material to read, listen to, and discuss.

Vocabulary: New and relevant terms are defined here. Note, too, the comprehensive “Glossary” at the end of the Instructor’s Guide and Student Books.

Activity Description: Here, step-by-step procedures are provided for both the instructor’s demonstration and the students’ immersion in the activity.

Wrap-up: Discussion-provoking questions and summary-type activities are designed to revisit the day’s learning and help students take their inquiry further.

Clean-up: Clear instruction on preserving and storing materials is provided to ensure kit longevity and cost effectiveness.

Other Destinations: To extend lessons and deepen understanding across disciplinary and cultural divides, relevant links to multimedia, web resources, and fun at-home or extension activities are provided here.

Teacher Resource CD

The Teacher Resource CD for the Rogue Rodent Money Mystery includes all the copy masters for student handouts, activities, lesson extensions like crossword puzzles to reinforce newly learned used vocabulary and learning aides. Links to forensic videos and other multimedia resources provide authentic lesson extensions in addition to teacher tutorials for each hands-on activity.

Course DVD

This video provided on DVD, kicks off the action where students witness what happened when their teacher Mrs. Hawkins returned from a meeting one afternoon, to find their beloved classroom pet Alice missing!

Supplies

Packed and labeled, each supply item and tools needed to solve the mystery in a organized in a way that makes the course easy to teach again and again. Among some of these materials are: crayons, markers, paint, rulers, stickers, centimeter cubes, magic paper, skeleton figures, crime scene tape and more!

The Rogue Rodent Mystery Summer Camp Kit includes:

1 x Instructor’s Guide with Resource CD

1 x Teacher Resource CD

1 x Shrink wrapped preprinted handouts

1 x Lemon scented air freshener

1 x 1,000 mL beaker

8 x Stress balls

8 x Figurines

2 x Set of blindfolds, earplugs, bandages

1 x Red Tempera paint powder

250 x Cm measuring cubes

1 x Yellow Tempera paint powder

1 x Blue Tempera paint powder

56 x 250 mL beakers

24 x Foam plates

1 x Crime Scene tape

50 x Cardstock paper

8 x Washable markers (box of 8)

16 x Spray bottles

15 x Box of crayons

1 x Mixing spoon

15 x Plastic cups

1 x Coffee scoop

36 x #2 Pencils

100 x Wood splints

10 x Rulers

1 x Pack of index cards

20 x Poster board (11”x14”)

2 x Student pan balances

1 x Masking tape

12 x Student Scissors

35 x Guinea Pig stickers

 

Tools for Teaching

Preparing to Teach

To help your teachers get off to a great start, we created the following tutorials that demonstrate activity set-ups.

Click for quick access to training resources for:

Lesson 1   Lesson 6
Lesson 2   Lesson 7
Lesson 3   Lesson 8
Lesson 4   Lesson 9
Lesson 5   Lesson 10

 

Lesson 1: Observing the Clues - Investigating with Your Senses

In this first lesson, your students’ are introduced to the mystery of the missing guinea pig through a video taken immediately after realizing that Alice was missing. Students will also be introduced to the job of a forensic scientist and prepare to take on the role by practicing their skill of observation.

 

 

Lesson 2: Recording Your Findings - Sketching the Scene

This lesson will challenge your students to make a rough sketch of a pretend crime scene. The focus of sketching at this stage (rough) should be the inclusion of all objects, the proper positional placement and relative size of objects in the scene.

Extensions:

1. Use flashlights and shadows to play with scale. Create a scene using interestingly shaped objects (model dinosaurs, block towers, cars and trucks,etc.). Give students time to experiment with the flashlight, figuring out how to make shadows of their objects on the wall. Holding the flashlight parallel to the ground, have them move the flashlight closer to and farther from the objects. What happens? The shadow of each object will increase or decrease in size the same amount — or to scale. Take this investigation further by tracing the outline of the objects as they are increased in size. Cut the images out and make a giant play scene. Discuss approximately how many times bigger the play scene is than the original scene.

2. Make sketches of other areas around school such as the playground, library or front entrance. Have students share their sketches with one another. Encourage them to describe what objects are in the sketch, the size of the objects and the position of the objects.

3. Take your sketching to the next level! Give students access to rulers and graph paper. Students at this level can use one square on a piece of graph paper to represent one inch in real life. Have them measure the length and width of an object. Then sketch the object using a 1:1 scale on the graph paper.

Lesson 3: Listening to a Witness - Creating a Composite Sketch

Students will discover that a picture can replace a long verbal description and help others better understand. In science it is very common to use pictures - photographs, diagrams and graphs – to convey your process and findings.

Extensions: 

1. Have students use their drawings of Alice to make “MISSING” posters. Encourage them to use descriptive words and art to help others identify Alice.

2. Play your own version of Guess Who? in the classroom. Have everyone stand up. The teacher will choose one student to be “the suspect.” Do not reveal who the suspect is. Have students  ask yes or no questions about the suspect (ex.Does this person have on glasses? Is this person wearing pink?). As questions are answered, students who do not match the given description should sit down until “the suspect” is the only one standing. Keep track of how many questions it takes to find the suspect. Challenge students to try to get this number as low as possible.

3. Have students spend time drawing self-portraits using mirrors. Encourage them to use descriptive words about themselves.

Lesson 4: Analyzing Alibis - Monitoring the Movement of Suspects

In this activity, students will hear the alibis of four suspects. They will practice the skills of a forensic scientist by listening carefully to each story. Then, using matching picture cards, students will retell the details of each suspect’s story in sequential order.

Extensions:

Hone your skills of deduction and reading body language by playing Two Truths and a Lie. To play the game each person thinks of three statements about themselves (ex. I was born in May. I have a pet dog. I eat pizza every night for dinner). Two of these three statements should be true. One statement should be a lie. Have students take turns sharing their statements. The class should try to guess which statement is the lie. If someone guesses the lie correctly, have them share what tipped them off. Did they already know some background on the student? Did the student change his behavior during the lie? Was it just a wild guess?

Lesson 5: Applying Physics - Studying Force and a Falling Skeleton

Students will focus on the fallen model skeleton in Mrs. Hawkins’s classroom to imagine (and predict) what happened on the day Alice was taken. By running a simple experiment, students will make a connection between a force (a rolling ball) and the resulting movement of the object (a model figurine).

Extensions: 

1. Spend time outside with a few soccer balls. Have the ball start in a stopped position between two students. Have them pass the ball back and forth to one another. As they do this, talk about the pushes acting on the ball. They should be able to identify one each time the ball changes direction, comes to a stop, or starts moving.

2. Go outside on a windy day with streamers and bubbles. Which way do the streamers and bubbles move in the air? What does this tell us about the direction of the wind? Spend time watching the movement of other things outside — leaves, grass, etc. Can you tell from which direction the wind is coming?

3. Use 10 empty 1-liter plastic bottles and a playground ball to set up a bowling alley. Why don’t all the pins fall down each time? What happens if you roll the ball to the right side of the pins? To the left side of the pins? Straight down the middle? What happens if you roll the ball slowly? Quickly?

Lesson 6: Inspecting Pattern Evidence - Comparing Shoe Prints

For this lesson, students will focus on visible, two- dimensional prints. They’ll study the visible, two-dimensional shoe prints left behind on Mrs. Hawkins’ classroom floor. Students will try to match parts of a print to a larger pattern and measure the length and width of the shoe print.

Extensions:

1. Create plastic, three-dimensional shoe prints outside! Have students walk through loose dirt, sand, snow or grass — whatever you happen to have outside. Compare how easy or hard it is to see a shoeprint in each medium. Spend time changing the amount of force you use while you walk. Tiptoe, walk, stomp and run across the ground. How does changing your gait change your print?

2. Experiment with weight and shoe prints. Lay two sheets of card stock side by side. Create one print by walking across the paper in the regular way. Create another print while holding a gallon of water. Does your increased weight change your print?

3. Provide students with play dough and an array of different textured materials. Give them time to make different impressions in the dough with the tools. How many different patterns can you create? What happens if you push down lightly? What happens if you push down with all of your weight? Use a tool to create your own pattern. Challenge students to try to replicate the pattern with the tools provided.

Lesson 7: Researching Rodents - Discovering a Guinea Pig's Survival Needs

Students will be asked to learn more about guinea pigs to better understand how Alice came to be missing. Is it possible that a suspect took Alice home? This information will be recorded in a table. Students will use the table to make arguments about the potential involvement of each suspect.

Extensions: 

1. Survey the class to find out what the most popular type of pet is. Use the results to make a bar graph. Help students discuss the results. Are these animals domestic or wild?

2. Watch live-streaming videos of guinea pigs.Spend time observing the movements, behaviors and interactions of live guinea pigs. Create a behavior observation chart with the time in the left column and a space to write in the behavior in the right column. Try to check the guinea pigs at the same time each day. Do you notice any behavioral patterns? When do they eat? When do they sleep? http://original.livestream.com/gpigs

3. Learn more about how guinea pigs communicate. This website provides video clips of different guinea pig sounds and an explanation for what each sound means.

http://guineapigsaustralia.com.au/guinea_pig_sounds.htm

Lesson 8: Following the Colorful Clues - Making Orange Paint

In this activity, students will figure out which suspect was most likely to have left behind orange paint smudges by mixing together different primary colors of paint. Students will be challenged to follow a procedure in the correct order.

Extensions:

1. Use the different colors created during the activity to paint a picture. While you are painting ask students to recall what the three original colors of paint were. How many colors do we have now? How many new colors show up as the paints mix in your art?

2. Make rainbow fruit smoothies! Choose two different colored fruit or vegetable ingredients (red=strawberries, spinach/kale=green,blueberries=blue, etc.). Add these to a blender with a little bit of plain yogurt and ice. Before blending, have students guess what color the smoothie will be. Blend, notice the new color, and enjoy!

3. Make or buy play dough in red, yellow and blue. Have students mix together small bits at a time. How many colors of play dough can you create? Build something beautiful with your new rainbow of dough!

Lesson 9: Weighing the Evidence - Testing the Scales of Justice

Students will use balances to literally weigh the evidence of each suspect against one another. Not only will this give your students a chance to use a common measurement tool in science, it will provide a visual to help them formulate their own conclusions.

Extensions:

1. Choose an assortment of objects from around the classroom. Challenge groups to put the objects in order from lightest to heaviest just based on their sense of touch. Then, use the balance and gram weights to determine how many grams each object weighs. Put the objects in the correct order from lightest to heaviest. How well did students order the items using their sense of touch?

2. Challenge students to build the strongest bridge they can out of newspaper and masking tape. Encourage them to try folding, draping, rolling and stacking the paper as they build. See how many gram weights each bridge can hold. Challenge students to re-work their bridge to hold more gram weights.

Lesson 10: Considering the Confession - Understanding Misunderstandings!

This last activity is designed to tie together any loose ends or resolve unanswered questions about the mystery. It is also designed as a celebration of the mystery solved!

Extensions:

Spend time allowing students to learn more about the career of a forensic scientist. Find biographies, career information sites and individuals to interview to learn more.

Product Videos

Rogue Rodent Mystery Crime Scene Video (02:43)
This video kicks off the action in our all new forensic learning adventure called the Rogue Rodent Mystery: A Crime Scene Investigation. Students witness what happened when their teacher Mrs. Hawkins returned from a meeting one afternoon, to find their beloved classroom pet Alice missing! This fun classroom activity includes everything you need to jump into an engaging, fun and educational activity for students in grades K-1. Request a free sample at https://goo.gl/kPNzXx
  • Rogue Rodent M...
    This video kicks off the action in our all new forensic learni...