Romeo and Juliet Forensics Project

 
 

Brief Description

Seven week interdisciplinary unit in which students study forensic science by investigating two crime scenes connected to "Romeo & Juliet," and place Romeo and Friar Lawrence on trial.

    Unit Overview

    1. Students learn about different types of evidence collected in a forensic investigation.

    2. Students investigate a crime scene created in the class, and use the evidence collected to identify the killer.

    3. Student groups investigate two crime scenes from the play Romeo and Juliet.

    4. Students perform a gel electrophoresis lab for each Romeo and Juliet crime scene to connect blood samples to known suspects.

    5. Two trials are conducted connected to the two crime scenes, evidence for which comes from their different subject classes. A jury of students decide outcome of trials.

    Essential Questions

    1. Who is responsible for the death of Tybalt?
    2. Who is responsible for the death of Romeo and Juliet?

    Suggested Weekly Plan


    Part 1: Introduction to Forensics

    Week 1

    • Watch Crime 360 episode: “Blood on the Tracks” video & discuss types of evidence.
    • In investigative teams, use the Puzzle Challenges powerpoint activity, and discuss important detective characteristics.
    • Have investigative teams research famous examples of forensic science using the CSI Activities Resource starting on page 43.

    Week 2

    Week 3

    • Set up a crime scene in your room with shoe print, fingerprint, hair, and DNA (Blood) evidence. Crime scenario and suspects include other teachers in the school.
    • Student teams investigate the crime scene by collecting evidence using the Practice Crime Report Template document.
    • Each group creates a detailed drawing of crime scene including location of evidence and bodies.
    • Day spent going through evidence to determine which suspect committed the crime.

    Part 2: Romeo & Juliet Crime Scene Investigations

    Week 4

    Crime Scene 1: Investigate the crime scene where Tybalt & Mercutio are killed for Trial 1.

    Details: 

    • Create crime scene in class by planting the different pieces of evidence.
    • Have student groups investigate crime scene by photographing crime scene & drawing detailed sketch of crime scene.
    • Create copies of the forensic evidence for the student groups to look more closely at.
    • LAB: Students will do a Gel Electrophoresis Lab to determine whose blood was found on Weapon A and B.
    • Groups complete the Trial 1 Investigation Document using information from the evidence your provided and photos taken of crime scene.
    • Student Example: Trial 1 Investigation Document

    Week 5

    Crime Scene 2: Investigate the crime scene where Romeo, Juliet, and Paris are found dead in the Tomb for Trial 2

    Details:

    • Create crime scene in class by planting the different pieces of evidence.
    • Have student groups investigate crime scene by photographing crime scene & drawing detailed sketch of crime scene.
    • Create copies of the forensic evidence for the student groups to look more closely at.
    • LAB: Poison analysis using hair samples
    • Groups complete the Trial 2 Investigation Document using information from the evidence you provided and photos taken of crime scene.
    • Student Example: Trial 2 Investigation Document

     


    Part 3: Romeo & Juliet Trials

    Weeks 6 & 7

    Trial 1: Who is responsible for the death of Tybalt?

    Defendant: Romeo

    Trial 2: Who is responsible for the death of Romeo & Juliet?

    Defendant: Friar Lawrence

    Trial Details

    Students groups will be assigned a trial and position. They will select who the expert lawyers will be. They will gather evidence based on their area of expertise that is connected to their group’s position. To determine expert lawyers and identify connected evidence groups will use the Group Roles and Evidence document. They will combine their evidence into a group presentation. See Trial Format for the organization of the trials.

    Groups:

    Two groups from each class will be assigned to Trial 1 and two groups assigned to Trial 2. Groups composed of expert lawyers for:

    • Forensic Evidence - Science Class
    • Media Evidence (reenacted scene surveillance footage or movie clips) -  Theatre Class
    • Arranged Marriage and Gang Statistics & History Evidence - Math & History Class
    • Text-based Evidence - English Class

    Trials:

    • See Trial Format document for trial organization.
    • The first week dedicated to Trial 1, second week dedicated to trial 2.
    • Student teams create Google Presentation that includes entire group's evidence and is organized according to the trial format.
    • Trial Rubric

    Jury:

    • Jury composed of seven students.
    • One person is elected as the foreman. The foreperson is responsible for behavior of jurors and guide discussion.
    • Jurors will use the Jury Notes document to help determine outcome of trial.
    • Jurors will have one day to make their decision by completing the Juror Decision Guide document, and read what they wrote allowed at beginning of next class. Team with most jurors vote wins.
    • Jury Rubric

     


    Unit Documents


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