Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

CSI: Setting Up a Forensics Science Class Crime Scene

You will need:
  • large roll of white paper (enough to cover about a 7 foot by 10 foot space
  • Washi tape
  • 1 paintbrush
  • a container to hold the paint and brush (an aluminum pan is fine)
  • 1 clear plastic cup
  • about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 empty cola can
  • 1 comb with a few hairs in it
  • Caution tape or string to rope off the crime scene
  • Some black washable tempera paint
Steps to making the crime scene:
  • Decide where the crime scene will be and roll out the paper to cover the area, taping pieces of paper together, if necessary.
  • Divide the paper into 6-8 sections. I used washi tape.
    Let the elements, such as the body outline extend out into a few sections.
  • Have someone lie down on the paper and mark around to make a body outline.
    This crime scene has two distinct shoe prints and some dog prints, too!
  • Place the paint container on one corner of the scene, add some paint to the container and then put the paintbrush in the paint to get some on the brush. Leave the brush in the container with the paint.
  • Make a series of footprints on the paper that go from the paint container at one end of the paper, up to and passing the body outline. (You could instead use the footprint pages from the GEMS Mystery Festival Teacher's Guide.)
  • Make a secret note using a brown marker, that says something such as "The deed is done." 
  • Take the plastic cup and put one or two thumbprints on it by rubbing the thumb on the bridge of the nose or on the temples to pick up extra natural skin oils and then press the thumb onto the cup. The print should be very faintly visible at this point.
  • Being careful not to disturb the fingerprints on the cup, add approximately 1/2 inch of cola to the cup. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon baking soda until it is dissolved. 
  • Place the cup and a soda can on the crime scene.
  • Add the comb with the hair on an empty space on the crime scene paper (we put ours in an evidence bag so we wouldn't lose the hairs in it.)
  • Add  a little baking soda to an empty spot on the crime scene paper.
  • Add any other details you would like to the crime scene.
  • Set up four chairs, one at each of the corners, and run Caution tape through the chairs. 
Now you are ready for your crime solvers. Next week I will show you how to get your students started, how to map a Crime Scene Map and how to break down the crime scene.


  1. AWESOME! You are always so creative.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Ha ha ha ha ha, this looks so familiar.

  3. Oooops, I hadn't yet read this post when I wrote my last comment! Thank you, thank you! This is brilliant

  4. This is so clever! Could be a great playdate :)


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