A Cool Way to Practice Crime Scene Search Patterns in Forensics

A Cool Way to Practice Crime Scene Search Patterns in Forensics

This week in Forensics, I am teaching my students about crime scene search patterns. After a quick lesson, I had my students put their knowledge to action with a good ‘ole fashioned game of Where’s Waldo? I used to love the Wally seek-and-find activity books when I was a kid, so I knew my students would love it too. Of course, I had to put a forensics spin on this traditional activity to tie it in to this week’s topic: searching the crime scene. Today, on the blog, I’m sharing a cool way to practice crime scene search patterns in forensics.

Searching the Crime Scene

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Where's Waldo Crime Scene Search Patterns Activity

The Set-Up:

To prepare for this activity, I ordered two Where’s Waldo books (linked above). This yielded me enough posters to set up 8 stations.

I removed the binder from the center of the book and removed the posters. After piecing them together, I laminated each one so that I could use them from year to year.

Next, I printed labels to display at each station and I set up my stations. At each station, I displayed a laminated Where’s Waldo poster, a meter stick, a dry erase marker, and a timer.

How the activity works:

I divided my class into groups of 3 and divided them amongst the 8 stations. Students were given the following instructions:

  • Start your timer.
  • Using the dry erase marker at your station, sketch the search pattern assigned to you. Use the ruler if you were given a grid, quadrant/zone, or line search pattern.
  • Follow the search pattern to hunt for our missing person, “Waldo.”
  • When you find him, circle him on your poster and call me over to sign off on your lab sheet.
  • When finished, erase your poster and move to an empty station.

As students completed the assigned search pattern at their station, they filled in their student document. After visiting all 8 stations, they were search pattern pros!

Crime Scene Search Patterns Activity

The kiddos had a good time with this activity. It got them up and out of their seats and I enjoyed watching how excited they got when they found Waldo. If you are looking for an engaging activity to add to your “searching the crime scene” lesson plan, you’ve got to try this one!

Click the image below to download the student answer document that I used for this lab.

I hope you enjoy this cool way to practice crime scene search patterns in forensics. Until next time, happy teaching!

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