Table of Contents

Preface
.................................................................................................... iii
Introduction .................................................................................................... ix
Lesson 1:
Heads Up
Observation Skills ..................................................................... 1
Lesson 2:
Beyond the Naked Eye
Handwriting Analysis ............................................................... 9
Lesson 3:
Think Ink
Ink Chromatography ..............................................................19
Lesson 4:
Evidence on the Move
Locard’s Principle ....................................................................27
Lesson 5:
The White Stuff
White Substances and Toxicology ........................................35
Lesson 6:
Pull Some Strings
Fiber Analysis ..........................................................................41
Lesson 7:
Hair We Go
Hair Samples ............................................................................49
Lesson 8:
Follow the Grain
Pollen Analysis ........................................................................57
Lesson 9:
Make an Impression
Bite Marks ................................................................................63
Lesson 10:
Shoo-In
Shoe Print Evidence ................................................................69
Lesson 11:
Bloody Brilliant
Blood Types .............................................................................77
Lesson 12:
One of a Kind
Fingerprint Evidence ..............................................................83
Lesson 13:
Crack the Code
DNA ..........................................................................................93
Lesson 14:
Let’s Talk
Questioning Our Suspects ...................................................101
Lesson 15:
Who Dunnit?
Examining & Analyzing All the Evidence ........................113
Glossary
..................................................................................................119
Appendix
Standards Alignment .............................................................123
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Instructor’s Guide

i

Preface
Welcome!
The Cookie Jar Mystery: A Study in Forensic Science
is a 15-activity course for students in grades five
through eight. It is designed to ignite curiosity and
stimulate authentic learning by creating real-life
contexts ranging from lab analyses to field work to
criminal investigation. The Cookie Jar Mystery has
been used enthusiastically in more than 45 states,
stimulating young minds and engaging young hands
for many years. In fact, thematic integration—over
an extended period of hands-on engagement—
forms the driving concept behind all Community
Learning’s courses. The Cookie Jar Mystery is aligned
to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
disciplinary core ideas for grades 5-8. In addition, the
activities included in this unit align to the Common
Core Learning Standards, including the Grades
6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science &
Technical Subjects. For more information on the
standards please see the Standards Matrix provided
on page 127.

Who Can Teach The Cookie Jar Mystery and
Where?
Instructors are supported by easy-to-manage
materials and step-by-step plans. No specialized
knowledge is required to launch the course, making
this entertaining forensic science mystery ideal
for after-school programs, intersession programs,
museum groups, summer camps, youth groups, and
clubs . . . anywhere young people are gathered.
“The Cookie Jar Mystery had my students fully
engaged in a hands-on learning experience. Each
session my students came with more questions
and an eagerness to dig into the exercises to piece
together the puzzle.”
t Robert K., Middle School Science Teacher,
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education

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Hands-on Enrichment in Science and
Critical Thinking
The call for hands-on activities that build critical
thinking skills, confidence, competence, and science
literacy can be heard on the national, state, and local
levels. To be sure, educators and officials in both
the public and private sectors point to the critical
role ongoing, quality after-school programs play,
especially programs with a focus on science, math,
and reading—the same skills now tightly linked to
the economic productivity of our society.
The Cookie Jar Mystery exposes students to this
and more. The course sets up scenarios that invite
students to solve problems creatively, think critically,
work cooperatively in teams, and use evidence,
models, tools, and scientific techniques effectively.
“Children don’t stop learning when the last bell
rings. That’s why ongoing, quality after-school
programs are so important, and why school leaders
need to consider how in-school and after-school
learning are connected.”
t Vincent Ferrandino, Executive Director of the
National Association of Elementary School
Principals

Bringing the Mystery to Life
A crime has occurred in Mrs. Randall’s classroom!
Her favorite cookie jar was broken and some of her
homemade cookies were eaten. While breaking a
cookie jar and snitching a few cookies are hardly
serious crimes, they are nevertheless crimes that can
be solved using a forensic science approach. Mrs.
Randall turns this misfortune into opportunity and
calls in a “Chief Crime Scene Investigator” (your
course instructor) to lead her “forensics team” (your
students) in how to use the tools of forensic science in
analyzing clues left at the crime scene. Each student
member of this team is a “Crime Scene Investigator”

Instructor’s Guide

iii

Preface
tasked with solving the mystery through scientific
observation, sample examination, analysis, lab work,
testing, interviews, and field work.
To draw the students into the mystery, the instructor
sets the stage by recounting Mrs. Randall’s intriguing
tale. In advance, the instructor creates names for
the four student suspects—names that students
will find believable and relatable. These names
replace “Suspects 1 – 4” used throughout the course
materials. The suspects are three girls and one boy,
and two of the girls are sisters. Having the instructor
choose the names allows the course to be taught
again and again, as this approach prevents incoming
students from discovering prematurely who
committed the crime.
“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.”
t Erika T., Teacher, Freehold Public Schools,
Freehold, NJ

Making the Most of Each Lesson
With all the necessary materials provided in a
convenient, lightweight carryall, and the setups,
processes, and procedures explained in detail,
instructors will find The Cookie Jar Mystery easy
and fun to teach. Each lesson provides an activity
that teaches a new but related aspect of scientific
reasoning and a particular scientific process. None
of the labs require special handling or complicated
setups.
After familiarizing themselves with the lesson,
vocabulary, and intended outcome of the activity,
instructors set up their classroom so that it is easy
for students to work in groups of two or four. Clear
guidance is provided in each lesson on how to set
up the demonstration area with all the relevant
materials at hand.
Any necessary safety precautions specific to
individual lessons are also provided. The instructor

iv

Instructor’s Guide

The Cookie Jar Mystery
should be sure to know where emergency help and
supplies are located.
Each lesson activity that the students accomplish
becomes part of their “crime scene portfolio” and
contributes, ultimately, to solving the mystery.
Because of this, instructors need to review the
corresponding pages in the Student Activity Book in
order to guide students in completing their part of
the activity.

Course Kit Components
Each course kit contains an Instructor Guide, 20
Student Activity Books, and all of the materials and
tools necessary to teach the course to a class of 20
students.

Course Kit Contents
Packed in easy-to-manage carryalls, every material
or tool needed to solve the mystery is organized in
a way that makes the course easy to teach again and
again. Among some of these materials are:
t pocket microscopes
t fingerprint “ten cards”
t hand lenses
t shoeprint papers
t simulated blood samples
t hair and fiber samples

Instructor’s Guide
Every step is taken to provide an easy-to-follow
format and fun-to-read instructions for each lesson.
In addition to a brief listing of objectives, materials,
and setup 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.

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The Cookie Jar Mystery

Preface

Notes for the Students

over time. The books serve as companions to the
Instructor’s Guide and contain reports, charts, places
to attach samples, and areas to record observations,
as well as a full glossary of terms used in the course.

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 rear of the
Instructor’s Guide and Student Activity 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 are designed to
summarize 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 Directions, Discussions and
Destinations
To extend lessons and deepen understanding across
disciplinary and cultural divides, relevant links to
multimedia, web resources, and books are provided
here.
Trial Evidence
If the instructor plans to take the mystery to its
conclusion and use the follow-up course, The Cookie
Jar Case: A Role-Play Mock Trial, instructions are
provided here on how to save evidence for the trial.

Student Activity Books
Designed for students to record their discoveries
class after class, the Student Activity Books acquire a
narrative quality that keeps the young “Crime Scene
Investigators” engaged in scientific investigation
Copyright © Community Learning LLC. All rights reserved.

Companion Resources
When you adopt The Cookie Jar Mystery: A Study in
Forensic Science, your instructors will have access
to a number of companion resources. A Teacher
Resource CD offers tips, lesson extensions, and
other great ideas for the classroom. Word search
and crossword puzzles help reinforce newly learned
and used vocabulary. Links to forensic videos and
other multi-media resources provide authentic lesson
extensions. Immediate support, including resupply
materials and additional Student Activity Books,
is always available from the experts at Community
Learning.
To extend the mystery and bring it to an authentic
conclusion, order the follow-up course, The Cookie
Jar Case: A Role-Play Mock Trial. Here, students
follow the legal steps to charge a suspect formally
and bring him or her to justice.
“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.”
t Kathy S., Middle School Teacher, Olympic
Middle School, WA

About Community Learning
Our mission is to provide interactive course kits
created around high interest, thematic topics that
engage students in expanded learning through
hands-on activities and projects. Developed by
subject experts with decades of teaching experience,
our courses provide full support for administrators
desiring an engaging, academically enriching
program for their staff and students.

Tell us what you thought of your teaching
experience!
Share your thoughts
Instructor’s Guide

v

Introduction
Instructor’s note: please read this to students prior to beginning the course or, if this is not possible, at the
first lesson. This will help to build intrigue for The Cookie Jar Mystery.

The Cookie Jar Mystery

Mrs. Randall is a science teacher. She enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies and sharing
them with her students. One morning when Mrs. Randall entered her classroom, she
found her favorite cookie jar in pieces on the floor. She had baked cookies the day before,
but now only a few pieces of broken cookies were left on the floor, next to the pieces of
the cookie jar.
Mrs. Randall loves to teach, and she loves to use science to solve mysteries and answer
questions. She decided to use “forensic science” to solve this mystery of the broken cookie
jar, and she got her students to help her. Now she wants you to use forensic science to
solve the mystery, too!
So what is forensic science? Forensic science is
science that relates to the law. The word “forensic”
means anything related to the handing out, or
administration, of justice. You will look at the clues
left in Mrs. Randall’s classroom and use forensic
science to decide who broke the cookie jar and ate the
missing cookies.
On the morning that Mrs. Randall discovered the
broken cookie jar, she entered her classroom from the
door at the back of the room. She set some books and
papers on the work counter, then she checked on the
plants her students were growing on the windowsills.
It was when Mrs. Randall got to the front of the
classroom that she saw her favorite cookie jar on the
floor in pieces. The door to the storage cabinet where
Mrs. Randall usually kept the cookie jar was open, and
pieces of cookies were scattered between the cabinet
and Mrs. Randall’s desk. It was a mess.
Mrs. Randall stopped by the front work table while
she thought about what she should do. She knew it
was important not to touch anything that could give
clues about who had broken the cookie jar. But she
had to get ready for her class to arrive. She decided to
look at everything carefully and take notes about what
she found. She took a digital photo of the crime scene.
Then she put anything that looked unusual or out of
place into a box so she could look at it all carefully
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later. She also made a map that showed the layout of
the “crime scene.”
Here is what she found on the floor: fragments of the
broken cookie jar, pieces of cookies, lots of crumbs,
and an old science test. A couple of pieces of broken
cookie jar looked as if they had something on them.
Mrs. Randall swept the floor and looked at everything
in the dustpan carefully. She noticed some hair and
maybe some threads or tiny, tiny pieces of material.
She put it all in plastic bags to analyze later.
When Mrs. Randall went to her desk with the box, she
found something else: a note and a half-eaten cookie!
She put the note and the half-eaten cookie in the box,
too. She wondered, who could have done this? Later,
she decided it had to be one of four suspects, students
who had the opportunity to be in her classroom while
she was out. The suspects are:
#1_____________________________(male);
#2_____________________________(female);
#3_____________________________(female); and
#4_______________________(female, sister of #3).
You will be a Crime Scene Investigator to help solve
this mystery. Your instructor will be your Chief. Are
you ready to solve this mystery?
Instructor’s Guide

ix

Lesson 1

Heads Up!

x

Instructor’s Guide

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Lesson 1

Heads Up: Observation Skills
Objectives
Students will:
t Test their observational skills and abilities to
describe an event accurately
t Compare eyewitness accounts of the same event
t Demonstrate the importance and validity of
eyewitness reporting
Materials
Instructor:
t 1 set of “practice pictures” per team
t The Cookie Jar Mystery crime scene photo
Students (per group of four):
t 4 Student Activity Books
t 4 red pens
t 4 pencils
Preparation
1. Prearrange to have a non-class member,
preferably an adult, visit your class (see details
under Activity 1).
2. Prepare student supplies for each team.
3. Have photo of The Cookie Jar Mystery crime
scene ready to display where the group can see it.
4. Organize students in teams of four.
5. Place practice pictures #1 and #2 face down on
the table in front of each team of students.
Notes for the Instructor
As consumers of such popular television programs
as Law and Order and the old Perry Mason
mysteries, adults are well acquainted with the notion
that eyewitness accounts frequently differ from
person to person. How is this possible?
As an introduction to The Cookie Jar Mystery, Lesson
One is focused on observation skills. This lesson
lays the groundwork for understanding the role of
eyewitness testimony and suspect statements in
solving a mystery. Eyewitness testimony is very
unreliable because people often have their attention
focused elsewhere and miss events. Further, people’s
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fear or anger can often interfere with their ability to
make shrewd observations.
In the first activity in this lesson, students will have
the opportunity to witness a crime in the classroom.
Because the appearance of the “criminal” will be
unanticipated, students may not realize that they are
expected to notice details about the visitor in the
classroom. This is the same position witnesses may
find themselves in when a crime takes place in front
of them.
The subsequent activities will lead students to think
about their observation skills. What strategies might
they employ to become more effective witnesses?
You will guide them through observations,
discussions, and an analysis of two different
photographs. Further, students will be introduced
to The Cookie Jar Mystery when they study a photo
of the cookie jar crime scene. These activities are
provided to stimulate your students’ abilities to
recall and accurately describe various situations.
The students will begin to understand that there are
many different sources of information in a crime
scene investigation.
The activities in this lesson address Next Generation
Science Standards practice of Planning and Carrying
Out Investigations. In addition, they address
Common Core Learning Standards CCRA.SL.1. See
the Standards Matrix provided on page 127 for more
detailed information.
Notes for the Students
We are often in a hurry. Many situations occur around
us daily that we do not notice. Much of what we think
about a person is based on appearance and gestures—
how a person looks, walks, stands, positions his or her
head, and moves his or her hands. With just a quick
glance at a stranger, how much do we notice? How
well do we really observe events?
One tool in crime investigation is the statement of
an eyewitness. An eyewitness is someone who was
Instructor’s Guide

1

Lesson 1
at or near a crime and saw something happen that
may have to do with the crime. Perhaps the witness
saw someone running from a crime scene. Perhaps a
witness got a license plate number. Perhaps a witness
is a crime victim. Normally, investigators try to talk
to all kinds of witnesses to begin to understand what
happened.
People who think they can help the police solve a
crime often provide valuable details of what they
think they saw or heard. But many witnesses to
a crime can provide different details: one person
might remember a smell or sound, another might
remember the way someone said something. These
reports don’t always match. In many crimes, witness
reports conflict—they don’t match. One person
might say, “The man was six feet tall!” Another
person might say, “Oh, no. The robber was very
short!”
Let’s test our observational skills by looking at some
pictures.
Vocabulary
Eyewitness: a person who was at or near a
crime scene when the crime took place and tells
investigators what he or she saw.
Forensic evidence: any physical thing that may be
used in a criminal court to convict or clear a person.
Observation: the act of perceiving the environment
through one or more of your senses.
Suspect: one who authorities think may have
committed a crime.
Activity 1: Eyewitness Reporting
20 Minutes
1. Prearrange for a non-class member, preferably
an adult, to knock on the classroom door. Ask
your visitor to alter his or her appearance slightly,
perhaps by rolling up a pant leg, putting a shirt
on backwards, or wearing an unusual hat. The
visitor could also display a distinguishing
characteristic, such as a tattoo or limp.
2. Begin reading “Notes for the Students” section
to class. While you are doing so, you should be
2

Instructor’s Guide

Heads Up: Observation Skills
interrupted by the prearranged visitor.
3. Once you have opened the door, the visitor
should engage you (the teacher) in conversation
briefly and follow you to the desk or lab
bench. When you are distracted by retrieving
something such as a stapler, the visitor should
surreptitiously “steal” something from your
desk (perhaps an apple, a bag of cookies). The
entire encounter should last about 30 seconds,
and no longer.
4. After the visitor leaves, ask the students to turn
to page 2 in their activity books. Under Activity
1: Eyewitness Reporting, they should record all
the details they noticed about this individual:
size, hair color, clothing, mannerisms, walk,
actions, etc.
5. How closely were students paying attention?
They were not prepared to be paying attention,
just as an eyewitness would not be prepared for a
crime about to happen.
6. Students may add in red pen all the details that
they personally missed but have learned from
their partners.
7. Ask one student in each group to share
something that most learners missed. Did the
students notice that the visitor took something?
8. Be sure to finish reading “Notes for the Students.”
Activity 2: Practice Pictures
15 Minutes
1. Ask students to position themselves so that
when photos are turned over for viewing, all
group members can see clearly.
2. Ask one student to turn over photo #1 for 20
seconds. All students should examine the photo
carefully. After the period of study is complete,
ask students to turn photo #1 face down and
answer questions on Activity 2: Practice Pictures
found in their activity books on page 3. Allow
time for students to answer questions before you
move on to the next photo. Repeat for photo #2.

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Heads Up: Observation Skills
3. Ask students to compare their responses for
photo #1. Allow some time for discussion of
responses. Are the students more observant now
that they have been asked to be?
4. Using a red pen, students should place a line
through any errors they made. Repeat for photo #2.
5. Display or pass around The Cookie Jar Mystery
crime scene photo so everyone can see it. Ask the
students to observe the photo for clues. After a
few minutes, take the photo back and ask
students what they saw that may be pertinent to
solving the mystery. Read the introduction to the
mystery on page ix if you haven’t already done so.
6. Conduct a discussion centered on the question,
“How valid are eyewitness accounts of an event?”
7. Ask students to list the areas of criminal
investigation that were discussed today:
eyewitness reporting and forensic evidence.
Which of these methods is most reliable?
8. Refer to the crime scene photo during future
lessons as needed.
Clean-up
10 Minutes
1. Make sure the room is back in order.
2. Collect and store all materials.
Other Directions, Discussions and
Destinations
1. To make The Cookie Jar Mystery more fun and
exciting, you can mock up a “crime scene” in your
room. Locate a cookie jar, cookies and catsup
or red dye. Carefully break the cookie jar on the
floor so that it looks like it was knocked over.
Drip a small amount of artificial blood on a piece
of the jar. Now for the fun part: partially eat a few
cookies and drop them around the broken cookie
jar to look like a thief did it. If you want to make
it even more realistic, you can add some hair and
black fabric threads taken from the materials in
the upcoming lessons. Let the class look at the
“crime scene” for a few minutes and then see
what they can recall later.
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Lesson 1
2. Developing our powers of observation often
starts with improving our memories. Here’s an
old parlor game that’s still played today:
Memory Story
1. Gather together 15 or 20 items from around the
house, the classroom, or the supply box. A pencil,
key, comb, spoon or cup could be among these.
The 15 items should be random. Put these items
together on a tray and cover them. Then gather in
small groups around the tray. Remove the cover for
30 seconds and ask each member in the group to
try to commit to memory all of the items. After 30
seconds, cover the items, and ask each person to
write down as many items as they can remember.
• Some won’t remember every item, and some
will. Ask the people with the best memories
how they remembered the items—often
you’ll discover that they’ve constructed a
“memory story” to help them remember what
they’ve seen.
• For example, Karen told the following story:
“I just put it together like this when I saw
the items: I thought to myself, I need a key
(key) to open the door to the kitchen, where
I would go to the drawer and get a spoon
(spoon) to stir my coffee (cup); as I drink my
coffee, I often make a list of the things I need
to do (pencil) which include combing my hair
(comb), etc.”
2. Have a group discussion of witness reporting
based upon students’ personal experiences. For
example, consider two students describing to the
principal their own account of what transpired in
a cafeteria incident.
3. Inquire if any students or parents ever witnessed
a car accident. Did they provide a report for the
police? What was the result?
And try these observational skills tests on the
Internet:
t Here’s some fun: can you find nine people in
this picture? www.orderofthewhitelion.com/
Miscellaneous@/Observationpowers.html.
Instructor’s Guide

3

Lesson 1
t Watch a crime. Be a witness! Then take the
crime scene quiz at http://www.youramazing
brain.org.uk/asp/eyequestion1.asp.

Heads Up: Observation Skills
Notes

You can find more resources and the most
up-to-the-minute links by visiting our website
at CommLearning.com, clicking on Cookie Jar
Mystery course kit, then Tools for Teaching.

4

Instructor’s Guide

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Lesson 1

Activity 1: Eyewitness Reporting
What did you just witness (see)?

Approximately how tall was the person?

What color was his/her hair?
Describe the clothing this person was wearing.

What other details did you notice?

How did the person walk? (fast? slow? big or little steps?)

What did this person do in your classroom?

What else did you notice?

Student Book

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2

Instructor’s Guide

5

Lesson 1

Activity 2: Practice Pictures
Picture #1
Look at the first picture for 20 seconds and then answer the following questions:

1. What did you see in the picture?

2. How many cars are in the picture?
3. How many trucks are in the picture?
4. How many people are in the picture?
5. Was anyone in danger?

Student Book

6

Instructor’s Guide

3

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Lesson 1

Activity 2: Practice Pictures
Picture #2
Look at the second picture for 20 seconds and then answer the following questions:

1. What is happening in this picture?

2. Where is it taking place?
3. How many vehicles are in the picture?
4. What was the person wearing?

Enlarged photo of Cookie Jar Crime Scene
1. What do you notice in the scene?

2. What do you think will be important to remember?

Student Book

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4

Instructor’s Guide

7

Lesson 3

think ink

18

Instructor’s Guide

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Lesson 3

Think Ink: Ink Chromatography
Objectives
Students will:
t Begin to assist Instructor in collecting evidence
in Crime Scene Evidence Envelopes for Mock Trial
t Examine the techniques used in
chromatographic analysis
t Compare ink samples from the four suspects’
pens to the ink used on the crime scene note
Materials
Instructor:
t 4 pens, belonging to suspects #1, #2, #3, #4
t 1 measuring cup
t salt
t 1 teaspoon
t 1 chromatography paper per group (to be marked)
t 1 chromatographic chamber (plastic cup)
t 1 foam plate
t 1 straw (cut in half)
t 10 blank strips of chromatographic paper
t 1 pencil
t 1 pair of scissors
t 5 paper clips
t 1 roll of tape
t 2 chromatographic cardstock sheets for Exhibit C
t 2 Crime Scene Evidence Envelopes
t Student Activity Books
Students (per group of two):
t 1 ruler
t 5 chromatographic chambers (plastic cups)
t 1 foam plate (to hold plastic cups)
t 5 straws (cut in half)
t 4 blank strips of chromatography paper
t 1 chromatography paper (marked by the instructor)
t 5 paper clips
t 1 pair of scissors
t 1 roll of tape
t 2 paper towels
Preparation
1. Prepare student supplies.
2. Prepare demonstration area; lay out materials for
2 sets of Exhibit C (Activity 1) for the Mock Trial.
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3. Locate Crime Scene Evidence Envelopes, one
labeled “Defense” and one “Prosecution”. At end
of lesson, slide one copy of Exhibit C (completed
Activity 1) into each envelope and retain for
Mock Trial.
4. Mix two teaspoons of salt into two cups (473 ml)
of water and stir until dissolved. Make more salt
water solution as needed.
5. Following instructions under Activity 1, steps #5,
6, and 10 and using Pen #4, discretely mark
sufficient pieces of chromatography paper (1
per group). However, rather than label it #1, as
instructed in step 5, label it “CS” for Crime Scene.
6. Organize students into groups of two.
7. Help students set up chromatographic chambers.
Place the five plastic cups on the foam plate to
reduce spills. Students should pour about ½ inch
of salt water into each of the 5 chambers.
8. Remind students not to discard foam plates.
These will be used again in the White Substance
Analysis lesson.
Notes for the Instructor
In this lesson, students will compare the black
ink found on the crime scene note with the black
ink from suspects’ pens. This form of evidence is
considered class evidence because many people
could have owned (and used) a similar pen.
Chromatography is the science of separating
chemicals as they are carried along by a liquid.
When we expose a piece of paper with ink on it to a
solvent, the ink spreads across the paper when the
ink dissolves. A banding pattern of the parts of the
ink mixture is called a chromatograph. Some inks
are water soluble, so you can use water as a solvent.
Students will be using chromatography paper. Its
consistency is similar to that of a coffee filter.
Students will use a salt water solution as the solvent.
Black ink is made by mixing several different colors.
Certain types of ink adhere to the chromatography
Instructor’s Guide

19

Lesson 3
paper better than others. If the ink does not stick
well to the paper, it will travel faster in the water.
Bands of color will appear as the ink separates. The
band of color that is farthest from the original dot is
the ink that is least attracted to the paper. The denser
the ink, the slower it travels. Inks that are not water
soluble are often alcohol soluble; with these you
can use isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol as the
solvent to create your chromatograph.
Reminder: In this lesson you will need to
prepare two copies of Exhibit C (Activity 1:
Chromatographic Analysis) to retain in the
Crime Scene Evidence Envelopes (one copy in
each envelope) for the Mock Trial.
The activities in this lesson address Next Generation
Science Standards practices of Planning and
Carrying Out Investigations and Analyzing and
Interpreting Data. In addition, they address
Common Core Learning Standards CCRA.SL.1,
CCRA.SL.4, RST 6-8.3. See page 127 for more
details.
Notes for the Students
Chromatography is a tool of science used to
determine the composition of an unknown
substance. As a special solvent (liquid) travels
through the unknown material, that material may
separate into bands of color. Each band represents
a specific chemical found in the unknown material.
The color bands that separate and the order of
separation can be used to identify the unknown
material.
The process is quite complex. The rule is
simple. When two unknown materials undergo
chromatographic analysis and are compared, they
will produce the same bands of color in the same
order, if the two unknowns are identical.
Crime investigators who specialize in forensic
science use chromatography to identify different
inks. This may help them detect if a document has
been forged or if the amount on a check has been
changed. When the document was supposedly
written, did the kind of ink discovered on the
20 Instructor’s Guide

Think Ink: Ink Chromatography
document in question exist? Has more than one pen
been used in creating the document?
The chromatography used in this activity is called
liquid chromatography. Another process, called gas
chromatography, actually vaporizes the unknown
material and then analyzes the result.
Black pen ink is composed of special combinations
of many different colors of ink. Each manufacturer
has its own special formula. The note left on Mrs.
Randall’s desk was written in black ink. Can one
black ink sample be distinguished from another?
Can the pen used to write the note left in Mrs.
Randall’s room be identified? You will soon find out.
Vocabulary
Chromatography: the science of separating
chemicals as they are carried along by a liquid.
Class evidence: evidence that will not positively
convict a suspect but will provide additional
information that might be presented at trial.
Solvent: a liquid (in our lesson, salt water) that is
used to separate the chemicals (in the ink samples)
into bands of color. Each band represents a specific
chemical.
Activity 1: Chromatography
35 minutes
Please Note: Successful chromatography involves
leaving samples undisturbed while the salt water is
separating the pigments in the ink.
1. Read “Notes for the Students” section to class.
2. Invite students to a demonstration area
where you will show them how to construct
a lab chamber and how to prepare the
chromatography paper for analysis.
3. Place a plastic cup on the foam plate and pour
1/2 inch of salt water solution into the cup. This
is the lab chamber. Next you’ll prepare a piece of
chromatography paper.
4. Cut a straw in half. (The students will need to cut
three straws in half.)
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Lesson 3

Think Ink: Ink Chromatography
5. Draw a line in pencil across the narrow width of
the chromatography paper, approximately 2
inches from the bottom of the strip. Draw a
similar second line at 2.5 inches. Still using
pencil, label the strip #1 at the top edge of the
strip.
6. Using Pen #1, make a dot of ink (about 1/2 the
size of a pea) in the middle of the lower (2 inch)
pencil line.
7. Using one 1/4-inch piece of tape, adhere the top
of the paper to the middle of the straw. Tightly
twist the paper around the straw stopping just
above the 2 1/2 inch pencil line. Secure by
placing a paper clip over the rolled paper and the
straw. The ink dot should be exposed. Carefully
place the strip into the cup, resting the straw on
the cup. DO NOT SUBMERGE THE INK SPOT.
8. Ask students to return to their seats to make
their lab chambers and prepare the paper.
Students will be working in groups of two. Each
group will have five plastic cups on their foam
plate. One member of each group should prepare
two straws and the other three.
9. Following steps 5 and 6, students should prepare
four pieces of chromatographic paper. Each
piece should be marked with a dot from a
different pen using Pens # 1- 4; they should be
labeled 1-4 accordingly.
10. Students should receive a prepared crime scene
strip from you. (A strip treated as in steps 5
and 6 but marked with Pen #4 and labeled “CS”
for “Crime Scene.” The students should not
know which pen was used to mark this sheet.)
They should prepare this strip for analysis as
well.
11. Ask the students to mark the papers and twist
the straws but wait to dip them until the entire
class is ready and the activity can be timed. Tell
students to try to keep the paper twisted tightly
on the straw before putting it into the salt water.

minutes or until water reaches within 1/2 inch of
the top of the paper. Some of the inks will begin
to separate into different colors as the salt water
moves up the paper.
13. During your waiting time, read “Forensic
Careers” (on the following pages and in Student
Activity Books) aloud. Allow time for questions
and discussion.
14. After the 10 minutes, have students remove the 5
strips and place them on double thick paper
towels to dry. (Note: save the plates, they will be
reused.)
15. After the strips dry, carefully cut the tape and
adhere them to Activity 1: Chromatographic
Analysis Results page in their Student Activity
Books on page 18 in the correct location. Be
careful not to cut off the suspects’ numbers.
16. Ask students to answer the questions on
Activity 1: Chromatographic Analysis Summary
found in their activity books on page 19.
Wrap-up
15 minutes
Forensic scientists are also using a new advanced
process called capillary electrophoresis (CE). This
method is automated and very fast. It separates ink
into its different pigments, and the results can be
stored in a database for other forensic investigators
to use. This technique can also be applied to food
dyes, textile dyes, and ink-jet dyes.
Discuss the students’ results. Some of the inks
may not have separated at all. Perhaps they would
separate if a different solvent was used. Although
the patterns of colored ink might not be exactly the
same length, if the colors are in the same order, the
inks are a match and probably from the same brand
of pen.
Make two copies of Exhibit C to retain in the Crime
Scene Evidence Envelopes for use in the Mock Trial.

12. When everyone is ready, have the students dip
their papers. Let strips “develop” for at least 10
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Instructor’s Guide

21

Lesson 3
Clean-up
10 minutes
1. Ask students to empty their 5 chambers into the
sink, discard cups and return bins.
2. Please wipe off foam plates and clean measuring
cup; they will be reused in Lesson 5.
Other Directions, Discussions and
Destinations
There is another form of chromatography (color
analysis) called gas chromatography. Molecules of
a substance are vaporized before they are analyzed.
Research this method.

Think Ink: Ink Chromatography
simply so that the attorneys, judges and juries
can understand. Before a new forensic scientist
is allowed to testify in court, a mock or pretend
court is held so the scientist can see how it feels
to be in court and practice speaking so others can
understand.
Even now, you can start to prepare for a career in
forensic science. Here’s how:
t Join the debate or drama club. Maybe you can
act in a school or community play. Volunteer
to read out loud. These activities will help you
learn good public-speaking skills.
t Do your best in your math and science classes.

Get a complete overview of the chromatographic
process at www.rpi.edu/dept/chem-eng/BiotechEnviron/CHROMO/chromintro.html.

t Learn to take really good notes.

Great photographs show you how your lab should
look at www.yesmag.bc.ca/projects/paper_chroma.
html.

t Work hard in English class because good
writing skills are a must.

Forensic Careers
Forensic science is a career in which the love of
science can help society, public health, and public
safety. Forensic scientists’ work may reduce the
number of cases coming into our court system
by helping decision makers before a case goes to
court. The facts presented by forensic scientists
from their scientific investigation may help
attorneys, a grand jury, or a judge reach decisions
about crimes and trials.
If you are interested in a career in forensics, it helps
to love science and want to fight for justice. You
need to be curious and good with details, accurate
at recordkeeping, enjoy working in teams and
putting the pieces of a puzzle together. You even
have to be confident in your public-speaking skills.
Can you think of other skills that would be
important for a forensic scientist?
Forensic scientists often serve as expert witnesses
in court proceedings. They must be able to explain
complex scientific and medical information
22 Instructor’s Guide

t Read the newspaper. Look for articles that
relate to science and forensics.

t Explore what you are curious about and read,
read, read.
If you do all of these things, you will be ready
for college. A career in forensic science usually
requires a minimum of two years of college. Many
forensic scientists have advanced degrees. They
love their field and want to continue studying,
always learning and discovering the newest
information.
Many of these scientists work in laboratories and
visit crime scenes. Forensic scientists can also work
in morgues, hospitals, police departments, or
universities. They may be independent consultants
or employed with the federal, state or local
government. Branches of the military have criminal
investigation divisions. One branch of the Federal
Emergency Management Association, FEMA, is
called Disaster Mortuary Operations Response
Team (DMORT). Members of this team are sent to
disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to help
local forensic teams.
One of the divisions of forensic science is called
forensic engineering. An engineer uses the

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Lesson 3

Think Ink: Ink Chromatography
principles of math and science to design or build.
The forensic engineer applies engineering to the
purpose of the law. For example, if there was a car
accident, the engineer might be asked, “Why did
the vehicle roll over? Were there defects in the car’s
design or manufacturing?”

Notes

Can you think of other questions a forensic
engineer may be asked? (Why did the plane crash?
Why did the building collapse? Why did the dam
flood?) A forensic engineer may be asked to testify
to these questions in a civil or criminal court case.
Forensics is a vast and ever-growing field. There
are photographers and image enhancers, speech
scientists, computer specialists, administrators,
accountants and more. Artist-sculptors are even
employed to make facial reconstructions. You may
have seen on the news or read about skeletons
that have been discovered. One area of forensics
that is very exciting is forensic anthropology.
Unknown grave sites are occasionally uncovered in
construction areas. Often a forensic anthropologist
will be required to determine how long the body
has been lying in its resting place and then begin
identifying the individual. Forensic anthropologists
can determine a skeleton’s sex, age at the time of
death, race, dental hygiene and even what type of
job or role the person may have held.
What clues or evidence would a forensic
anthropologist examine in order to determine the
occupation or role an individual may have held?
(Indicators may include wear and tear on the
skeletal structure. Broken bones may indicate hard
labor or abuse.)
Learn more about career possibilities and the
many specialized occupations available in the
field of forensics. Visit the American Academy
of Forensic Science at http://aafs.org/choosingcareer.
You can find more resources and the most
up-to-the-minute links by visiting our website at
CommLearning.com, clicking on Cookie Jar Mystery
course kit, then Tools for Teaching.
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Instructor’s Guide

23

Lesson 3

Activity 1: Chromatographic Analysis Results
EXHIBIT C
Tape each of chromatographic strips in the space provided. The salt water may not have traveled exactly the
same distance for each sample. This affects the color spread. Look for similar colors, not the amount of color.

Crime Scene
Note

Pen #1

Pen #2

Pen #3

Pen #4

Student Book

24 Instructor’s Guide

Page 18

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Lesson 3

Activity 1: Chromatographic Analysis Summary

Crime Scene
Note

Pen #1

Pen #2

Pen #3

Pen #4

CS and 4
The same pen was used to write both notes.

1. Which pens have identical colors and order in their inks?
What does this imply?

2. Do you think this evidence is conclusive?

No

Someone else could have used the same type of pen. Also, another pen
of the same brand with similar ink could have been used. This is class evidence, which is
further discussed in Lesson 7.

3. Why or why not?

Student Book

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Page 19

Instructor’s Guide

25

Lesson 5

the white stuff

34 Instructor’s Guide

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Lesson 5

The White Stuff: White Substances and Toxicology
Objectives
Students will:
t View, describe and analyze four white substances
t Match one substance with the substance found
on the suspect’s clothing
Materials
Instructor:
t 1 bottle of iodine solution & dropper
t 1 bottle of vinegar
t 1 permanent marker
t 10 dropper bottles for filling
t 1 measuring cup of water
t 5 plastic bags filled with white powders
t 1 ziplock bag for disposing of chemicals and
portion cups
t Student Activity Books
Students (per group of four):
t 5 pieces of black paper
t 1 foam plate
t 1 hand lens
t 5 portion cups
t 1 permanent marker
t 1 dropper bottle of water
t 1 dropper bottle of vinegar
t 5 wooden splints
t 4 pencils
Preparation
1. Before students arrive, fill one dropper bottle
with water and one with vinegar for each group.
Using a permanent marker, label these with a
“W” or a “V.”
2. Create a station (you must monitor this) that
houses the master supply of the five white
chemicals (provided in labeled plastic bags).
3. Assemble student supplies and hand them out
when students arrive.
4. Organize students in groups of four.
5. Circulate to encourage student care in labeling,
drawing and describing powders.

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6. Students should discard portion cups, black
papers, and white substances into ziplock waste
bag. The bag can then be discarded.
7. Do not let students throw away foam plates.
They will be reused.
Material Use and Safety
Instructor should handle iodine solution very
carefully. It can stain skin and clothing. If spilled,
rinse quickly with water. Do not contaminate or mix
powders. Store iodine upright with lid sealed.
Notes for the Instructor
A poison is generally considered to be any substance
that can cause injury or death to a living thing. If
the circumstances warrant it, a toxicologist may be
called to a crime scene. A toxicologist checks body
fluids and organs for the presence of alcohol, drugs,
and poisons. If they are found, they are identified
and measured.
In addition to testing the injured or deceased at
the crime scene, a forensic toxicologist must also
consider anything that was recorded about physical
symptoms of a person at the crime scene. Were
they conscious? Groggy? Extremely agitated? He/
she must investigate evidence from the crime scene,
such as bottles of medicine, powders, or any other
chemicals. Once all the data is collected, these
scientists must determine which toxic substances
were found, how much were found, and what
effect(s) they may have on a person.
Toxicologists often use blood and urine samples
to test for drugs and poisons. Drugs can be found
in urine for a longer time than in blood. Toxin
levels are usually higher in urine than in blood.
Additionally, hair can tell the story of drugs or
poisons. Chemicals in the bloodstream can be
transferred to growing hair. If one’s hair is dark and
coarse, larger amounts of toxins will be found in the
hair. If two people who consumed similar amounts

Instructor’s Guide

35

Lesson 5

The White Stuff: White Substances and Toxicology

of a drug or poison are tested, the person with the
darker, coarser hair will have more toxins in his/her
hair than a person with lighter-colored hair.
Samples taken from a living person are more difficult
to interpret than samples taken from a deceased
individual. A living person’s drug levels drop rapidly
as the drug or poison is processed in their body and
eliminated. Drug and poison levels do not change
much in a dead person.
In this activity, students will analyze the chemical
characteristics of four harmless white substances.
They will attempt to match one of these substances
found at the crime scene to a suspect. None of
the substances are deadly but instead are used as
examples of trace evidence.
The activities in this lesson address Next Generation
Science Standards practices of Planning and
Carrying Out Investigations and Analyzing and
Interpreting Data, as well as the disciplinary core
idea PS1.A. In addition, they address Common Core
Learning Standards CCRA.SL.1, and RST 6-8.3. See
page 127 for more details.
Notes for the Students
Today we will look at a mysterious white substance
that was found at the cookie jar crime scene.
Forensic scientists often need to work carefully to
determine what type of material has been found at
crime scenes and if it is poisonous.

the presence of arsenic, a deadly poison. This was
the first time a chemical test was used to determine
if death was caused by a toxin (poison) entering the
body of the victim.
One of the jobs of toxicologists today is to analyze a
victim’s body to determine if a poison was present in
large enough amounts to cause death. To find toxins,
the toxicologist examines human body tissue. The
liver, the liquid inside the eyeball, fingernails and
even hair can show the presence of different toxins.
If a person who is being tested for toxins is alive,
blood and urine samples are most often used. Our
bodies process drugs and poisons rather quickly, and
we continually eliminate toxins; therefore, there is
only so much time available to test for these. If the
person being tested has died, time is not as much
of a concern. Drug and poison levels do not change
much in a dead person.
Substance identification can be important in the
analysis of a crime scene. As we have said, a white
powder was found at the cookie jar crime scene. A
similar powder was collected from the clothing of
one of our suspects. Is this the same powder? Can
the powder be matched through chemical testing?
Let’s get started so we can find out.
Vocabulary
Chemical indicator: a chemical that changes color
showing the presence of some unknown material.

Toxicology is the study of poisons. As real scientists
do, we will treat the white powders today as if they
are possibly dangerous, although they are actually
harmless.

Crystal: a natural formation of a chemical. This
could be a small cube like an individual piece of
sugar or salt.

Drug identification is a very important part of
forensic science. Fatal (also called lethal) doses of
drugs have been studied since ancient Greece when
Socrates drank an extract of hemlock which led to
his death. Various types of death by poisoning are
studied by a forensic chemist called a toxicologist.
Drugs may not always be the cause of a death but
they may be a contributing factor in a death.

Toxin: a poisonous substance that is a specific
product of the metabolic activities of a living
organism.

In 1775, Karl Scheele discovered a way to test for
36 Instructor’s Guide

Toxicology: the study of poisons.

Activity 1: Chemical Summary
40 minutes
1. Read “Notes for the Students” section to class.
2. Ask students to use the permanent marker
to label the five portion cups as follows: S#1
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The White Stuff: White Substances and Toxicology
(Sample #1), S#2 (Sample #2), S#3 (Sample #3),
S#4 (Sample #4), C.S. (Crime Scene Sample).
3. Invite student groups, one at a time, to the
chemical distribution center. They should bring
a foam plate to carry the five empty labeled
cups and five wooden splints. Using a clean
wooden splint each time, students should scoop
a small amount (pea size) of each sample from
its container and place it in the corresponding
portion cup. It is important that students use a
clean splint for each chemical.
4. After students return to their seats, they should
place one portion cup at the top edge of each of
the five pieces of black paper.
5. Next, students should scoop a very small amount
from each portion cup onto the sheet of black
paper. They should examine each sample with
the hand lens.
6. On the Activity 1: Chemical Summary Chart
in the Student Activity Book on page 30, have
students fill in the first and last squares for each
sample by describing and sketching each one.
7. Have students add five drops of water to each
sample in its cup and stir. Does the sample
dissolve (seem to disappear)? Students should
record the results on the activity sheet.
8. Have students add two drops of vinegar to each
sample in its cup. Do any bubbles form? In which
sample(s)? Students should record the results.
9. Personally walk around to each group and add
two drops of iodine to each sample in the cup.
Does the brown color remain or does it change to
blue-black? Record the results on the activity sheet.
Wrap-up
10 minutes
1. Ask students if they remember Locard’s
Principle. It states that when you enter a crime
scene you leave something of yourself behind.
When you leave a crime scene, you take
something from the crime scene with you.

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Lesson 5

2. Refer students to the activity sheet. Do any of the
four powders match the one found at the crime
scene?
3. We are treating these white powders as if they
were toxic substances. Discuss some of the
things a scientist should not do when testing
substances. (A scientist should never sniff,
touch, taste, or look too closely at a suspicious
substance. Discuss why.)
4. We have been officially informed that the
substance found on the suspect is not poisonous
or harmful in anyway. What might it be? How
did it get on the suspect’s clothing? Hint: students
in Mrs. Randall’s school take a series of classes
called “Home and Careers.”
Clean-up
10 minutes
1. Ask students to place portion cups, black papers,
and remaining white substances into ziplock
waste bag.
2. Throw away the ziplock bag.
3. Have students return all reusable materials (foam
plates can be wiped clean and reused).
Other Directions, Discussions and
Destinations
1. Chemical indicators help us to identify the
presence or absence of certain chemicals. A
diabetic uses an indicator to check for the
presence of sugar in his/her urine or blood.
Students could interview a pharmacist to find out
about glucose test strips.
2. Swimming pools are tested with chemical
indicators. Is there a pool in your community?
Students could ask the individual in charge or
a lifeguard how and why the water is tested.
Toxicologists look for the chemical properties of
unknown substances and in poisons. What
do you know about poisons? Check out www.
poison.org/current/.

Instructor’s Guide

37

Lesson 5

The White Stuff: White Substances and Toxicology

3. You can learn a poison prevention song (a
“jingle”) in English or Spanish by visiting www.
poison.org/jingle/.
Learn all about a career in toxicology (and check out
the other science career links) on this USDA page
http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/USDA/careers/
toxicologist.html.
You can find more resources and the most
up-to-the-minute links by visiting our website at
CommLearning.com, clicking on Cookie Jar Mystery
course kit, then Tools for Teaching.
Notes:

38

Instructor’s Guide

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Lesson 5

Activity 1: Chemical Summary Chart

Sample #3

Sample #4

Crime Scene
Sample

crystals

powder

powder

powder

yes

yes

no

no

no

Reaction with vinegar forms
bubbles (yes or no)

no

no

no

yes

no

Color after iodine added
(brown or blue-black)

brown

brown

blueblack

brown

blueblack

Sample #1

Sample #2

Appearance of sample
(powder or crystals)

crystals

Dissolves in water (yes or no)

(salt)

(sugar)

Sketch what you see

(corn starch) (baking soda) (corn starch)

No Sketch No Sketch No Sketch

1. Compare samples on the chart.

2. Which suspect could have been at the crime scene? #3

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Page 30

Instructor’s Guide

39

Glossary
Agglutination: the clumping of blood cells due to
the introduction of an anti-serum.
Arch pattern: the ridges of the fingerprint that enter
from one side, make a rise in the center and exit on
the opposite side of the print, having the appearance
of a capital letter “A.”
Arrangement: how the letters and words of
handwriting are placed on the page, including
spacing and alignment.
Blood type: the type of blood you have. It will be
either A, B, AB or O.
Canines: the teeth located on either side of the
incisors; they look like “fangs” on both the top and
bottom of your jaw.
Cause and effect: two things interacting with
each other producing change. For example, if two
people bumped into each other, they would each
transfer something (trace evidence) to the other. The
bumping would be the cause; the transfer of evidence
would be the effect.
Chemical indicator: a chemical that changes color
showing the presence of some unknown material.
Chromatography: the science of separating
chemicals as they are carried along by a liquid.
Class evidence: evidence that will not positively
convict a suspect but will provide additional
information that might be presented at trial.
Comparison microscope: a microscope that allows
side-by-side comparisons of two slides.
Contact: the physical touching of two persons or
a person with an object. If contact is made, trace
evidence can be exchanged.
Content: includes the spelling, phrasing,
punctuation, and grammar of the written document.

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Cotton: a fabric made from the cotton plant.
Cross-transfer: the shared exchange of something
(hair, fibers, blood, etc.) between two people or
objects that have come in contact with one another.
Crystal: a natural formation of a chemical. This
could be a small cube like an individual piece of
sugar or salt.
Dactyloscopy: the study of using fingerprints to
identify someone.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): a self-replicating
material present in nearly all living organisms as the
main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of
genetic information.
DNA profile: the specific pattern of DNA bands that
appears when a sample of your DNA is chemically
analyzed. These DNA bands are specific to an
individual (unless you have an identical twin).
Electrophoresis: the process of passing electricity
through a gel box and separating DNA into separate
bands.
Eyewitness: a person who was at or near a
crime scene when the crime took place and tells
investigators what he/she saw.
Fingerprint: sweat glands in your fingertips make
a water-based oil solution that coats the ridges of
your fingertips. As these ridges make contact with
a surface, oil is left behind and it creates a copy or a
partial copy of your print.
Forensic evidence: any physical thing that may be
used in a criminal court to convict or free a person.
Forensic odontology: the handling, examination
and evaluation of dental evidence.
Forensic palynology: the science of analyzing pollen
and spores to help solve criminal cases.

Instructor’s Guide

119

Glossary

The Cookie Jar Mystery

Form: the shape of letters and their slant, which are
analyzed in a questioned document.

Means: a resource to do something. A suspect has a
gun therefore he has the means to kill someone.

Gel box: the scientific equipment used to get a DNA
profile.

Molars: teeth located behind the premolars. They are
wide and flat for grinding food and are located on
the top and bottom of your jaw.

Incisors: the front, flat-edged teeth on the top and
bottom of your jaw.
Interrogation: the rigorous examination of suspects
thought to be guilty of a crime.
Interviewing: the collection of testimony or
accounts about circumstances relating to a criminal
investigation.
Known handwriting: a document that is
handwritten or signed and known to be written by
the suspect. This is used as a comparison against the
questioned handwriting.
Laboratory: a place where evidence can be sent for
analysis by crime scene investigators.
Latent prints: fingerprints that are made only by the
sweat that is on our finger ridges. These prints can be
seen by dusting with a powder.
Latent shoe print: a present but invisible print.
Line quality: the thickness of the line caused by
the type of writing tool and the pressure used while
writing.
Locard’s Exchange Principle: whenever two objects
(or persons) come in contact, trace evidence will be
exchanged between them.
Loop pattern: ridges of the fingerprint that enter
from the left or the right, re-curve and pass out the
same side they entered, appearing somewhat like a
rounded knob.
Man-made fibers: fibers made from materials
other than plant or animal products, such as a
combination of chemicals. Examples include nylon,
polyester and satin.

120

Instructor’s Guide

Motive: an inner drive or reason that causes a
suspect to commit a crime. For example, a man
felt his neighbor was always raking leaves on to his
property, therefore he cut down all his neighbor’s
trees in the middle of the night.
Naked eye: a term that means looking at something
without magnification.
Natural fibers: fibers created from plant or animal
products. Examples include cotton, linen, silk and
wool.
Non-request handwriting: an example of the
suspect’s known handwriting that was written prior
to the date of the questioned document.
Nylon: a man-made fiber with long thin fibers
(strands).
Observation: the act of perceiving the environment
through one or more of your senses.
Opportunity: a combination of circumstances that
are favorable for a purpose. For example, freshly
baked brownies were left on the counter when the
boy came home from school and there was no one
around to tell him not to eat them, so he did.
Perpetrator: a person who commits a crime.
Person of interest: a person who might have
committed a crime. There is a suspicion of guilt but
no real proof.
Pollen: the powdery material produced by a seedbearing plant.
Pollen print: a specific mix of microscopic pollen
grains and spores from plants in a particular
geographic region.

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Glossary

The Cookie Jar Mystery
Polyester: a man-made fiber similar to satin but
stronger.

Silk: a fabric made from the cocoon (larval home) of
a silkworm.

Polymorphic: DNA sequences which vary between
different individuals.

Solvent: a liquid (in our lesson, salt water) that is
used to separate the chemicals (in the ink samples)
into bands of color. Each band represents a specific
chemical.

Premolars: teeth located behind the canines. They
are wide and flat for grinding food and are located
on the top and bottom of your jaw.
Primary transfer: the transfer of something, such as
hair or fiber, directly from the part of the body where
it is growing or the fabric itself.
Pyrolysis: burning fibers to see what types of gases
are produced. This helps scientists determine what
the content of a fiber is.
Questioned handwriting: a document that is
handwritten or signed and is suspected of being
altered, forged (falsely signed), or perhaps a ransom
or crime scene note.
Request handwriting: an example of known
handwriting that is obtained from the suspect and
written under supervision (as in, “Please write down
where you were…”)
Rh Protein: another substance found in your blood
cells. If you have it present, you are Rh positive, if it
is not present, you are Rh negative.
Ridge pattern: the wavy pattern produced by the
cells growing on your finger tips. This ridge pattern
causes fingerprints, which are unique to every
person.
Satin: a man-made fiber similar to nylon with long
thin fibers.
Secondary transfer: the transfer of something that
falls off (such as hair or fiber) and is then transferred
from clothing or objects.
Serology: the study of the properties of serums.
Several examples of serums are blood, saliva and
sweat.

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Specialized evidence: evidence that can positively
convict a suspect of a crime.
Suspect: a person with the means, motive and
opportunity (no alibi) to commit the crime. A
suspect seems more likely to have committed the
crime than the person of interest.
Ten Card: a form containing fingerprints of all five
fingers from the left hand and the fingerprints of all
five fingers from the right hand.
Toxicology: the study of poisons.
Toxin: a poisonous substance that is a specific
product of the metabolic activities of a living
organism.
Trace evidence: small amounts of hair, skin, fabric,
or any other material which may link a suspect to a
crime scene.
Tread pattern: the pattern that appears on the
bottom of a shoe or in a tread mark made by a tire.
Unique evidence: points to one individual.
Visible prints: fingerprints that can be easily seen
because they were made by fingers that are dirty or
oily.
Whorl pattern: the ridges of the fingerprint that are
circular and look like a bull’s-eye target.
Wool: a fabric made from the soft, curly hair of a
sheep. Before it is made into wool, the hair is oily
and tangled.

Instructor’s Guide

121

Notes

122

Instructor’s Guide

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Appendix
Standards Alignment
All of us have a stake, as individuals and as a society,
in scientific literacy. An understanding of science
makes it possible for everyone to share in the richness
and excitement of comprehending the natural world.
Scientific literacy enables people to use scientific
principles and processes in making personal decisions
and to participate in discussions of scientific issues
that affect society. A sound grounding in science
strengthens many of the skills that people use every
day, like solving problems creatively, thinking critically,
working cooperatively in teams, using technology
effectively, and valuing life-long learning. And the
economic productivity of our society is tightly linked to
the scientific and technological skills of our work force.
Many types of individuals will play a critical role
in improving science education: teachers; science
supervisors; curriculum developers; publishers; those
who work in museums, zoos, and science centers;
science educators; scientists and engineers across the
nation; school administrators; school board members;
parents; members of business and industry; and
legislators and other public officials.
t Richard Klausner, Chairman
National Committee on Science Education Standards
and Assessment
t Bruce Alberts, President
National Academy of Sciences

The Cookie Jar Mystery helps learners meet the
National Science Education Standards (NSES) as well
as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
and the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS).
Preparing our schoolchildren for future scientific
careers and research is at the heart of the effort to
promote a standardized way of evaluating science
learning, teaching and programs in the United States
today. To support that preparation, many schools
are turning to activities outside of the traditional
classroom.
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The Cookie Jar Mystery, a 15-activity program that
excites learners about the challenges and processes
in forensic science, is adaptable for after-school
programs, for youth groups and summer camps, for
museum and intersession programming.
The NSES encourage the development of activities
throughout our communities to support high
achievement. Among the strong recommendations
of the NSES are the following areas of emphasis:
t Engaging in activities that investigate scientific
questions and extend over a period of time
t Using many skills: procedures, thinking skills,
managing data, using technology and lab tools
t Gathering students in groups to engage in
problem solving and to use evidence to defend
their conclusions
t Publicly sharing results with classmates and
teachers
In The Cookie Jar Mystery, students are exposed to all
of these new instructional emphases, and experience
science learning in an atmosphere characterized by
high interest and developmentally appropriate ideas.
Ideally suited for learners in grades 5-8, The Cookie
Jar Mystery activities meet many of the specific
content standards described in the NSES, both in the
K-5 and 6-8 standards sets. Below we highlight just
a few of the key standards that “get a workout” when
learners are engaged in The Cookie Jar Mystery’s
forensic labs and investigations.

National Science Education Standards
CONTENT STANDARD A:
As a result of activities, all students should develop:
t Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
t Understanding about scientific inquiry
Help students achieve these standards through the
Instructor’s Guide

123

Appendix
following practices or procedures:
t Scientific investigations involve asking and
answering a question and comparing the answer
with what scientists already know about the world.
t Scientists use different kinds of investigations
depending on the questions they are trying to
answer. Types of investigations include:
describing objects, events, and organisms;
classifying them; and doing a fair test
(experimenting).
t Simple instruments, such as magnifiers,
thermometers, and rulers, provide more
information than scientists obtain using only
their senses.
t Scientists develop explanations using
observations (evidence) and what they already
know about the world (scientific knowledge).
Good explanations are based on evidence from
investigations.
t Scientists make the results of their investigations
public; they describe the investigations in ways
that enable others to repeat the investigations.
CONTENT STANDARD B:
As a result of the activities, all students should
develop an understanding of:
t Properties of objects and materials.
t Position and motion of objects.
t Scientists review and ask questions about the
results of other scientists’ work.
t Objects have many observable properties,
including size, weight, shape, color, temperature,
and the ability to react with other substances.
Those properties can be measured using tools,
such as rulers, balances, and thermometers.
t Objects are made of one or more materials, such
as paper, wood, and metal. Objects can be
described by the properties of the materials
from which they are made, and those properties
can be used to separate or sort a group of objects
124

Instructor’s Guide

Standards Alignment
or materials.
t Materials can exist in different states--solid,
liquid, and gas. Some common materials, such as
water, can be changed from one state to another
by heating or cooling.
t The position of an object can be described
by locating it relative to another object or the
background.
t An object’s motion can be described by tracing
and measuring its position over time.
CONTENT STANDARD E:
As a result of activities, all students should develop:
t Abilities of technological design.
t Understanding about science and technology.
t Abilities to distinguish between natural objects
and objects made by humans.
IDENTIFY A SIMPLE PROBLEM. In problem
identification, children should develop the ability to
explain a problem in their own words and identify a
specific task and solution related to the problem.
PROPOSE A SOLUTION. Students should make
proposals to build something or get something to
work better; they should be able to describe and
communicate their ideas. Students should recognize
that designing a solution might have constraints,
such as cost, materials, time, space, or safety.
IMPLEMENT PROPOSED SOLUTIONS. Children
should develop abilities to work individually and
collaboratively and to use suitable tools, techniques,
and quantitative measurements when appropriate.
Students should demonstrate the ability to balance
simple constraints in problem solving.
EVALUATE A PRODUCT OR DESIGN. Students
should evaluate their own results or solutions to
problems, as well as those of other children, by
considering how well a product or design met
the challenge to solve a problem. When possible,
students should use measurements and include
constraints and other criteria in their evaluations.
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Standards Alignment

Appendix

They should modify designs based on the results of
evaluations.

connections with NSES. Please contact us for more
information.

COMMUNICATE A PROBLEM, DESIGN, AND
SOLUTION. Student abilities should include oral,
written, and pictorial communication of the design
process and product. The communication might
be show and tell, group discussions, short written
reports, or pictures, depending on the students’
abilities and the design project.

You can learn more about the National Science
Education Standards. Please visit the NSES website at
http://www.nap.edu/html/nses/.

SCIENCE AS INQUIRY STANDARDS:
Science as inquiry is basic to science education and
a controlling principle in the ultimate organization
and selection of students’ activities. The standards on
inquiry highlight the ability to conduct inquiry and
develop understanding about scientific inquiry.
Engaging students in inquiry helps students develop:
t Understanding of scientific concepts
t An appreciation of “how we know” what we
know in science.
t Understanding of the nature of science.
t Skills necessary to become independent inquirers
about the natural world.
t The dispositions to use the skills, abilities, and
attitudes associated with science.
Students at all grade levels and in every domain of
science should have the opportunity to use scientific
inquiry and develop the ability to think and act
in ways associated with inquiry, including asking
questions, planning and conducting investigations,
using appropriate tools and techniques to gather
data, thinking critically and logically about
relationships between evidence and explanations,
constructing and analyzing alternative explanations,
and communicating scientific arguments.
*Material in this section was quoted from National
Science Education Standards, National Committee
on Science Education Standards and Assessment,
National Research Council.
Our staff would be happy to help you make more
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Next Generation Science Standards
In addition, The Cookie Jar Mystery helps learners
meet the practices, cross-cutting concepts, and
disciplinary core ideas that comprise the Next
Generation Science Standards. The practices,
concepts, and disciplinary ideas specifically covered
in this unit include:
PRACTICES:
Asking Questions and Defining Problems
t Ask questions that can be investigated within the
scope of the classroom, outdoor environment,
and museums and other public facilities with
available resources, and, when appropriate, frame
a hypothesis based on observations and scientific
principles.
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
t Make observations and measurements to
produce data to serve as the basis for evidence
for an explanation of a phenomenon.
t Plan an investigation individually and
collaboratively, and in the design: identify
independent and dependent variables and
controls, what tools are needed to do the
gathering, how measurements will be recorded,
and how many data are needed to support a
claim.
t Conduct an investigation to produce data to
serve as the basis for evidence that can meet the
goals of the investigation.
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
t Analyze and interpret data to determine
similarities and differences in findings.
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
t Support an argument with evidence, data, or a
model.

Instructor’s Guide

125

Appendix
Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical
Evidence
t Science knowledge is based upon logical and
conceptual connections between evidence and
explanations.
t Science disciplines share common rules of
obtaining and evaluating empirical evidence.
CROSS-CUTTING CONCEPTS:
Patterns
t Patterns can be used to identify cause-and-effect
relationships.
t Graphs, charts, and images can be used to
identify patterns in data.
DISCIPLINARY CORE IDEAS:
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
t Measurements of a variety of properties can be
used to identify materials.
LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
t Variations of inherited traits between parent
and offspring arise from genetic differences that
result from the subset of chromosomes (and
therefore genes) inherited.

Standards Alignment
of conversations and collaborations with diverse
partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing
their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2:
Integrate and evaluate information presented in
diverse media and formats, including visually,
quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4:
Present information, findings, and supporting
evidence such that listeners can follow the line of
reasoning and the organization, development, and
style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1:
Read closely to determine what the text says
explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite
specific textual evidence when writing or speaking
to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3:
Follow precisely a multi-step procedure when
carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or
performing technical tasks.

LS3.B: Variation of Traits
t In sexually reproducing organisms, each parent
contributes half of the genes acquired (at
random) by the offspring. Individuals have two
of each chromosome and hence two alleles of
each gene, one acquired from each parent. These
versions may be identical or may differ from each
other.

Common Core Learning Standards
In addition to meeting the National Science
Education Standards (NSES) and Next Generation
Science Standards (NGSS), this unit meets Common
Core Learning Standards (CCLS) in English
Language Arts and Literacy, including the Grades
6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, &
Technical Subjects. Specific CCLS addressed include:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1:
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range
126 Instructor’s Guide

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Appendix

Standards Alignment

Standards Matrix
Standard

Lesson
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

National Science Education Standards
Content Standard A

t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

Content Standard B

t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

Content Standard E

t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

Science as Inquiry

t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

Next Generation Science Standard
Practice: Asking Questions and Defining
Problems
Practice: Planning and Carrying Out
Investigations
Practice: Analyzing and Interpreting
Data
Practice: Engaging in Argument from
Evidence
Practice: Scientific Knowledge is Based
on Empirical Evidence

t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t

t t t t t t t t t t t

t

t

t

t

t t

t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

Cross-Cutting Concept: Patterns

t

Disciplinary Core Idea: PS1.A:

t t t t

Structure and Properties of Matter

t t t t

Disciplinary Core Idea: LS3.A:

t

Disciplinary Core Idea: LS3.B:

t

Inheritance of Traits
Variation of Traits

Common Core Learning Standard
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1

t t t t t t t t t t

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4

t

t t
t

t
t t

t

t t
t

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3
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t

t t t t t

t t
Instructor’s Guide

127

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