By: Laura M. Sanders Arndt
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Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene!
2008 Winner of the AEP Distinguished Achievement Award
The Distinguished Achievement Award, from the Association of Educational Publishers, recognizes each year’s most outstanding materials in the field of teaching and learning.
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
based on 2 reviews
|Grade Level:||Middle School, High School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Lesson 5: Hair Identification
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
[Read the full review]
With Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene!, your students investigate an actual crime, learn the science behind animal-species identification, and find out about efforts to fight real-world threats against wild animals.
The book is designed to be engaging for both you and your student-detectives. It’s also easy to use. The material is divided into four clear sections:
1. Background about crimes that threaten wild animal species around the world.
2. Eight forensic training lessons about antlers and horns, blood typing, DNA fingerprinting, fingerprints, hair identification, pH and pH indicators, mammal skulls, and tracks and trace fossils.
3. An investigation simulation based on a real wildlife crime: the illegal shooting and dismemberment of a bear. Students work in teams to review crime scene reports, conduct interviews of suspects and witnesses, analyze evidence, and bring charges before a “prosecuting attorney.”
4. Teacher strategies for evaluating individual students and student teams.
Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene! is an ideal complement to middle and high school courses in biology, environmental science, general science, and criminology. It provides a high-interest, real-life format for learning a variety of scientific concepts and skills that correlate with the Standards. It also gives students reason to genuinely care about preserving the wildlife and ecosystems they’re studying.
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Scientific habits of mind
|Intended User Role:||Curriculum Supervisor, High-School Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Assessment of students, Classroom management, Curriculum, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies
Scientific and Law Enforcement Advisers
About the Author
About the Illustrator
Wildlife Crimes Overview
Training in Forensic Techniques
Lesson 1. Antlers and Horns
Lesson 2. Blood and Blood Typing
Lesson 3. DNA Fingerprinting
Lesson 4. Fingerprints
Lesson 5. Hair Identification
Lesson 6. pH and pH Indicators
Lesson 7. Mammal Skulls
Lesson 8. Tracks and Trace Fossils
Investigating and Solving a Wildlife Crime
Preparing for the Wildlife Crime Investigation
Investigation Day 1: Has a Wildlife Crime Been Committed?
Investigation Day 2: Interviewing the Cast of Characters (Suspects and Witnesses)
Investigation Day 3: Sharing Interview Notes
Investigation Day 4:
• Forensic Lab Tests of Evidence
Investigation Day 5: Forensic Lab Tests Continue
Investigation Day 6 and 7: Summarizing Findings and Charging Suspects
Investigation Day 8: Presentation of Case to the Prosecuting Attorney
Assessment and Evaluations
Appendix A: Bears: Loved Alive or Dead!
Appendix B: Meet the Experts
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 19 correlations with the National Standards.
- Life Science
- Regulation and behavior
- Behavior is one kind of response an organism can make to an internal or environmental stimulus. (5-8)
- Diversity and adaptations of organisms
- Millions of species of animals, plants, and microorganisms are alive today. (5-8)
- Molecular basis of heredity
- In all organisms, the instructions for specifying the characteristics of the organism are carried in DNA, a large polymer formed from subunits of four kinds (A, G, C, and T). (9-12)
- Interdependence of organisms
- Living organisms have the capacity to produce populations of infinite size, but environments and resources are finite. (9-12)
- Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening current global stability, and if not addressed, ecosystems will be irreversibly affected. (9-12)
- Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Ask a question about objects, organisms, and events in the environment. (K-4)
- Communicate investigations and explanations.
- Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
- Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Populations, resources, and environments
- Causes of environmental degradation and resource depletion vary from region to region and from country to country. (5-8)
- Risks and benefits
- Individuals can use a systematic approach to thinking critically about risks and benefits. Examples include applying probability estimates to risks and comparing them to estimated personal and social benefits. (5-8)
- Important personal and social decisions are made based on perceptions of benefits and risks. (5-8)
- Natural resources
- Increasing human consumption places severe stress on the natural processes that renew some resources, and it depletes those resources that cannot be renewed. (9-12)
- History and Nature of Science
- Nature of science
- Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. (5-8)
- Scientists do and have changed their ideas about nature when they encounter new experimental evidence that does not match their existing explanations.
- Nature of scientific knowledge
- Because all scientific ideas depend on experimental and observational confirmation, all scientific knowledge is, in principle, subject to change as new evidence becomes available. (9-12)
- Content Standards
- Quality Teaching
- Deepens educators’ content knowledge, provides them with research-based instructional strategies to assist students in meeting rigorous academic standards, and prepares them to use various types of classroom assessments appropriately. (NSDC)
- Teaching Standards
- Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
- Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
- Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers
- Encourage and model the skills of scientific inquiry, as well as the curiosity, openness to new ideas and data, and skepticism that characterize science.
||Reviewed by: Douglas (, ) on July 19, 2008
||Must have for 4th-8th grade science classes. Kids loved it, helped make connectioons to real life CSI.
||Great Resource for Any Science Classroom
||Reviewed by: Melinda Fleckenstein (Jennings, KS) on November 1, 2007
||I absolutely love this book. Since I am fairly new to teaching I love all the resources I can get and this one is great. There are so many different ways it can be used in the classroom and it really gets the students involved.
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