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CSI Podcasts

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Keywords: podcasts, video, digital, science, cooperative learning, group,
Subject(s): Art, Health and PE, Video, Social Skills, Technology, Geography, Podcasting, Life Science, Special Needs, Writing, Reading, Earth Science, Information Skills, Biology, Photography, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Science, Journalism, Drama, Civics, Foreign Language, Chemistry, Physics, History
Grade P-K
School: Sarracino Middle School, Socorro, NM
Planned By: Dawn Jones
Original Author: Dawn Jones, Socorro
Crime scene investigation scenarios are an exciting and novel way to present science (and many other subjects) in the classroom. I set up crime scenes in two week blocks. The scenario is based on the standards covered for that period.

Week One
The first week of the block is spent with the students gaining the background knowledge they will need for the upcoming scenario--genetics for blood typing; a knowledge of mammals and ecology for a poaching scenario; microscopes, bacteria, fungi, and protists for an epidemeological type scenario. Students use podcasts to help each other learn and review the week's material. The best of the student teaching podcasts are saved in a permanent digital reference library.

Week Two
The second week students solve the "crime" and analyze their performance. As part of their their second week analysis of the crime scene they write a Crime Scene Report and in groups, turn it into a podcast--either mp3 or with digital pictures or video, mp4 files
The podcasts are kept as part of a digital portfolio and at the end of the year, students will pick out at least one to put in a digital CSI school library.

Tests and finals are much easier to review for using the podcasts. Students are engaged, because they know the authors of the podcasts. This nontraditional, technology-rich format also helps a much wider variety of student succeed in the classroom.

The beauty of this lesson plan is that it can be used with any grade level and any subject. The teacher writes the scenario according to the objectives, standards and benchmarks, and needs of the children.
Students are always much more excited and engaged when they have technology in their hands. They will do will go above and beyond expectations in order to use the cameras and mp3 players.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
We do a lot of interdisciplinary units at our middle school. The crime scene scenario lesson plan template and the use of technology make it easy!
Materials: Flip Video, Point and Shoot, MP3 Players, Podcasting, Cause and Effect, Early Learning, Hardware Devices
Other Items: 1 Podcasting Mobile Lab, $ $3459.95 each
7 video camera (1 per group) (Flip Video Ultra), $149.99 each, total of $1049.93
7 digital cameras (1 per group) (Olympus STYLUS TOUGH-8000), $399.99 each, total of $2799.93