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

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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 Rogue Rodent Mystery Summer Camp Kit includes a comprehensive 103 page Instructor's Guide, Teacher Resource thumb drive 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. 

Instructor's Guide Preview

Page through the preview below and simply click the three dots to view in full screen.

Student Book Preview

Page through the preview below and simply click the three dots to view in full screen.

 Need a quick quote? Click here 

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 Summer Camp Kit version of the Rogue Rodent Mystery contains an Instructor Guide, Introductory DVD, Teacher Resource thumb drive and all 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.

Online Resources

Our companion site  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, found here.

Introductory Video

This video 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 1 x Lemon scented air freshener
1 x Crime Scene Video 1 x Shrink wrapped pre-printed handouts
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 25 x Foam plates
1 x Crime Scene tape 50 x Posterbaord/cardstock set
6 x Washable markers (box of 8) 16 x Spray bottles
12 x Box of crayons 1 x Mixing spoon
15 x Plastic cups 1 x Coffee scoop
36 x #2 Pencils 100 x Wood splints
15 x Rulers 1 x Pack of index cards
20 x Poster board (11”x 14”) 2 x Student pan balances
1 x Masking tape 12 x Student Scissors
30 x Guinea Pig stickers 1 x Teacher Resource Thumb Drive

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.

 

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 figurine).

 

 

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 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.

 

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!

 

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