What Happened here?

Author: Amy W. Farnbach

Area: Life Sciences

Grade Level: 8, but also appropriate for older students

Overview: In this lesson, students will examine dramatic injuries on skeletons from a medieval battle. By interpreting the injuries on individuals and patterns of injuries in the skeletons as a group, students will use techniques similar to those used by forensic anthropologists investigating real-world crime scenes and archaeological sites.


Content Standards: 5 – 8
Content Standard A
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; understandings about scientific inquiry
Content Standard C
Structure and function in living systems; regulation and behavior
Content Standard F
Personal health; science and technology in society
Content Standard G
Science as a human endeavor; nature of science

Eighth Grade
Strand 1: Inquiry Process
Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses
PO 3. Generate a hypothesis that can be tested.
Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions
PO 1. Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify trends.
PO 2. Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events.
PO 5. Explain how evidence supports the validity and reliability of a conclusion.
Concept 4: Communication
PO 1. Communicate the results of an investigation.
PO 3. Present analyses and conclusions in clear, concise formats.
PO 4. Write clear, step-by-step instructions for conducting investigations or operating equipment (without the use of personal pronouns).
PO 5. Communicate the results and conclusion of the investigation.
Strand 2: History and Nature of Science
Concept 1: History of Science as a Human Endeavor
PO 4. Evaluate career opportunities related to life and physical sciences.
Strand 5: Physical Science
Concept 1: Properties and Changes of Properties in Matter
PO 7. Investigate how the transfer of energy can affect the physical and chemical properties of matter.

Keywords: forensics; skeleton; crime scene

Related Links:



Lesson Plan (pdf / doc)