Forensic Death Investigation! This resource will teach your students what happens to a body after death, and then give them a chance to practice their skills! Includes everything your students need to determine the time since death of our victim – Zelda Smith. She was found by her boyfriend in what appears to be a tragic accidental death….but maybe not?
This is a print-and-go activity! needed, great for a sub! It can be used as a stand alone activity, or part of an Autopsy or Death Investigation Unit – an intro or for review!
Time Since Death resource includes:
- Teachers guide
- Clues in Death student guide – Paper and Digital option! provides information about Rigor Mortis, Livor Mortis, Body Temperature changes after death, Appearance of the Eyes, and Digestive Contents. Everything they need to know to solve the case.
- Police and Autopsy report – Paper and Digital option! students use this information to determine both time since death, time since last meal, and the possibility of foul play
- One page student sheet (front and back) with questions and a time line that guides students to determine the time since death. Paper and Digital option!
- Full answer key!
Some of the questions your students will consider:
- How long between Zelda’s last meal and her death?
- What does the location of Livor Mortis tell us about the body? Has it been moved?
- Does the blood evidence match what you would expect to see?
The story line of the activity is inspired by the Weird Al song, Albuquerque. In the song, Albert (Al) meets Zelda outside of a Donut Shop in Albuquerque NM. In the song they get married and have two kids. He later divorces her when she asks if they should join the Columbia Record Club (he is not ready for that kind of commitment!). In the song, Al then gets a job at the Sizzler. These names and places are woven into the crime investigation. It is rare that a student has heard the song, but I sometimes play it in class while they are working, just for fun.
Click here to see a preview of the Death Investigation Time Since Death.
Here is what some happy teachers are saying about the Death Investigation Time Since Death:
My students and I loved this activity! We all find death so interesting, and it was so cool to watch the kids get active while learning about it! – Logan C. February 18, 2023
Used this activity as homework in my Forensic Pathology unit. Students loved it. It really allowed them to see how the content they have been learning about applies in real life investigations. – Jessie W. December 16, 2021
This activity was a great way to combine multiple methods to determine TOD. Students were engaged. This assignment was easy for me to implement and assess. I will absolutely use this again. – Judith E. November 14, 2021
I used this for my mini halloween/forensics unit. My kiddos loved it so much! They were super into it. I loved that it was little to no prep, I just introduced the activity to them and let them do it on their own! – Alexandria F. October 13, 2021