Showing posts with label detective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label detective. Show all posts

Mystery and Detective Lessons

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I am a Girl Scout leader for A’s troop and tonight the girls got their Detective Badge.  This was a lot of fun and I think it is something that might be enjoyed in (home) school as well so I decided to share it here.

Fourth grade seems to be the year of falling in love with mysteries.  A has read a ton of mystery books and played lots of mystery games this year.  She is also very into brain teasers now.  Detective is even a career option she is considering, along with veterinarian, artist, and actress, of course.

For the Junior Girl Scout detective badge we started off working on the power of observation.  A lot of troops do "Find the Difference" pages for this, but I think my girls are getting sick of doing paper work, so we used a cool book we have at home called Where is Strawberry Princess Moshi, which is sort of a cutesy Japanese Where’s Waldo.  My daughter has a thing for Japanese culture.

After we found some Moshi's we turned out power of observation onto one another.  The girls formed two lines facing each other.  Then one line went out into the hallway and they all changed one small thing about their appearance such as untying a shoe, removing a necklace, turning their sash around, etc.  They then had to guess what the girl across from them had changed.

Next we wrote messages in invisible ink.  I learned this here. We mixed equal parts of baking soda and water and wrote with Q Tips.  Each girl wrote a message.  It could be anything. One girl wrote, “I love One Direction.”  Another said, “I have an Instagram account.”  Some tried to create inspirational quotes.  When the messages were dry, we handed them back out randomly.  The girls then dipped tiny sponges in grape juice, dabbed it on the paper, and watched the messages appear.  It worked well.  I was glad because I hadn’t had time to test it at home first!

Later, the girls used an ink pad to take their own fingerprints.  They looked at a handout to see what kind of patterns their prints have. Some of the girls got fixated on trying to get the ink off their hands after.  Others like my kids, couldn't have cared less that her fingers were stained black.  Just an FYI though- black ink pads will stain the fingers.  The baking soda from the invisible ink helped get it off some.

I then had the troop solve their own mystery in order to find their snack.  They found clue number one in an envelope in the classroom.  In there was the same code George Washington used during the Revolution where Z=A, Y=B, X=C, etc.  When decoded, the message said, “Your next clue can be found under a chair.”  The troop them had to search under all the chairs until they found clue number 2 which had a picture to decode.

This read, “I believe you should go to the swings.”

Excited, they rushed outside and found the third clue taped to a sign near the swings.  This one had letters to unscramble and told them that the snack was in the front seat of my car!

While having snack we learned a little more about the science of being a detective.  I had some information from the FBI kids site about polygraphs, DNA, and special computer programs the FBI uses.

Voila!  Detective Badge complete.

Here are some resources if your child loves mysteries as much as mine does!

Here are some of the mystery books A has enjoyed:

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