*Gasp!* What happened Mrs. Rigsby!?!

Ohhhh I have been wanting to tell you all about what we have been doing the past two weeks! Cassandra from Primary Scribbles and I have been doing book clubs to finish up our school year. We love introducing the kiddos to mysteries! I went searching for mystery books in 3rd and 4th grade rooms. Luckily, was able to find 3-5 copies of a mystery book, enough for the whole second grade!
Cam Jansen is our go to for mysteries! "Click!" Our students read their books for 10 minutes a day. Then they would fill out their case file and mystery journal that summarized what they read. We used {Amy Lemon's Mystery Mini Unit}. I just love all of her awesome activities, and so do the students! 
To wrap up our mysteries, we decided it would be fun to let the kids be the detective! Earlier this year, we attended the {high ability conference}in Indianapolis. They told us all about this STEM activity and gave ideas on how to set it up. 
I headed to Wal-Mart to get the snacks and equipment we would need to set the mystery up!
Equipment:
Soft brushes: I bought some make up brushes but you could probably find soft paint brushes too!
Cocoa: This is for the dusting
Flour: Used to make good footprints
Snacks: or something that is stolen or eaten
Lotion: to give you "sticky fingers"
When I got to school, I took everything out of the bags and set it in plain sight of the kids. As they walked in, they saw this spread of snacks and drinks. Of course, I told them it was for Field day, which was the following day. We went about our morning and they went to special. As soon as they were gone, the fun began! 
I sprinkled chip crumbs and Oreos ALL over the floor, even on one student's desk! I just made a huge mess!!! It was the most fun for me, throwing food everywhere!
I spilled the flour, which was for a science activity(not even a lie!) and put some juice on the floor. Then we headed to get our "criminal."We had our Title One teacher put on some lotion, and touch everything! She also put her feet into the flour and walk right out the door. I added some caution tape to spice up the scene too. 
Then the kids came back.... 
They were totally freaking out!!! I loved it! Once I finally got them settled down(10 minutes or more, not even kidding!), we made a list about what we knew about the crime scene already. They were very observant, mentioning the shoe prints, ring on the table from a cup, and the directions of the footprints. I did a little leading to fingerprints, but not much! I showed them a {YouTube video} about a crime scene similar to ours. We stopped it after the finger print part. Then I demonstrated how to take fingerprints. We used only one finger because we would need to practice taking off a small part of the finger from our evidence. Doing our own finger first was good practice. 
To take fingerprints:
First we wiped our desks off with a Lysol wipe and let it dry. We didn't touch our desks until we were done fingerprinting. Then I drew a small box with a dry erase marker on the students' desks. That was where they were going to put their fingerprint, so they couldn't misplace it. 

We used lotion to get our fingers oily, don't rub it in completely. The students put one finger in the box, when we do it next year I will have them do their whole hand too. Then I passed around my make-up brushes and cocoa for students to dust their prints. 

They don't want to rub the prints, just kind of stab at it with the brush. You will have to blow the excess cocoa off the print, and your room will smell like Willy Wonka's Factory! It's amazing! I passed around my tape dispenser and the students rubbed a piece of tape over the print. 
They took off the tape and put it on a piece of construction paper I had ready for them. Then they labeled this their print. 
We passed around our magnify glasses to look closer at the ridges and waves in our prints. 
Then it was time to do the same to our evidence! I told the students, who were in their mystery groups, that they would go out into the school group by group to fingerprint a couple teachers. I gave each student in the group a job. 
The jobs were: 
1. iPad photographer: 
2. Holder of the suspect list
3. Finger printer
4. Duster

The photographer had to get a good picture of the scene and of the footprint. They took the iPad around with them to compare shoes. Then the finger printers came to get the prints from the evidence. They were chosen as finger printer because they did the best in their groups taking their own fingerprint. 
Each group took turns going out into the halls to do their jobs. We did notify the staff ahead of time, so they were expecting the kids to invade their classrooms. The duster held the lotion, just in case, and each finger printer carried white construction paper to place the print. 
I'm so grateful our staff is so cooperative with it comes to things like this. Second grade is not a quiet, calm class, but they sure did a great job! After all the teachers were fingerprinted, we came together as a group to talk about the shoe prints and fingerprints. They narrowed it down to two teachers, one was even the right one! The shoes really helped us figure out who the culprit was. The kids loved getting to take the role of detective! We did a journal entry on what they learned from their mystery books and from being the detective themselves. Most agreed, it was a tough, but fun job. 
Now if only the teacher could have stayed out of the evidence for lunch...Good thing they didn't catch me! I would have been in trouble!



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