TITLE: CSI Medical Examiner’s Report


First, show a short clip from an episode of CSI (crime scene investigations) so the students have a visual idea of what they are about to do. Then begin by placing students in groups to perform the task of medical examiners. The students will put on lab coats and be given clip boards and the medical charts of individuals who have recently died. The class will be divided into six groups of four students. Each group will be given a different patient and must determine the cause of their death. The classroom will be set up with computers or the groups will travel to the computer lab. The “medical examiners” will be able to search the internet for information that will help them to determine why their patient died. They must study the causes of death and research possible diseases online. Each team is also allowed to use their textbooks and class notes as references The third and final class period will be an opportunity for all groups to share their findings and compare cancer symptoms with the class.


1. Students will become familiar with the symptoms of cancer. 2. Students will develop skills for conducting web-based research 3. Students will analyze data and compare and contrast analyses of patient cases to determine cause of death 4. Students will develop group-work skills as they attempt to reach consensus regarding the cause of death.


Students are somewhat familiar with cancer as a disease that starts with cells growing abnormally and can become large tumors. They are also familiar with some treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation that causes hair to fall out and people to get sick, lose weight and lose their appetite. STANDARDS FOR NJ: STANDARD 5.1 (SCIENTIFIC PROCESSES) ALL STUDENTS WILL DEVELOP PROBLEM-SOLVING, DECISION-MAKING AND INQUIRY SKILLS, REFLECTED BY FORMULATING USABLE QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES AND COMMUNICATING RESULTS. National Science Standards for teachers: National Science Standard D: Teachers of science design and manage learning environments that provide students with time, space, and resources needed for learning science. National Science Standard E: Teachers of Science develop communities of science learners that reflect the intellectual rigor of scientific inquiry and the attitudes and social values conducive to science learning.

National Science Education Standards:

Content Standard C:  As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understandings of the cell.

2. Cell functions are regulated. Regulation occurs both through changes in the activity of the functions performed by proteins and through selective expression of individual genes. The regulation allows cells to respond to their environment and to control and coordinate cell growth and division. MATERIALS:

1. Computers, printers and internet access for each group 2. Lab coats for effect only (if not available, not necessary for research) 3. Clipboards 4. Handouts of medical examiner’s reports


1. Obtain a clip from an episode of CSI (crime scene investigations). 2. Set up or reserve computers. 3. Ensure there is adequate space to accommodate group work. 4. Make copies of the populated medical charts of the six patients and connect them to the clip boards.


1. Cancer 2. Tumor 3. Chemotherapy 4. Surgery 5. Radiation Therapy 6. Biological Therapy

TIME: 3 days


1. Students will be working in groups. Ensure there is adequate space to accommodate group work. 2. Allow students access to internet in order to complete research project. 3. Contact computer lab to schedule time for class meeting. 4. Contact Scientist who researches cancer treatments for Lesson 5.4


Activity # 1

Break class down into groups. Provide students with lab coats, clip boards and medical charts of individuals who have recently died. Explain to the class that they will determine the cause of death of their patient. Read the medical charts and conduct internet research in order to determine the cause of death of their patient. Students can use their text books and class notes to confirm their beliefs. Compile a list of possible causes of death. . They will have to assign different duties to each team member in order to cover all of the possible causes of death. Each team of medical examiners will have one class period to conduct their research studies

Activity # 2

After determining possible causes of death, each group will have one class period to record their data. It will be up to each group to compile a list of possible diseases and compare them to the medical charts to find a match. Once a match has been found, the teams will compile their data on a worksheet and prepare to share the information to the class.

Activity # 3

Visit each group prior to the class getting back together in order to check on the proper completion of packets. If the information is incomplete, students may ask for an extension of one day in order to complete necessary information. Once the groups are back into class setting, a round-table discussion will be facilitated by the teacher. Groups will produce a folder that includes all websites used and copies of documentation acquired. Once all folders are completed, the groups will get back into a class setting for a round-table discussion on their findings that will be shared with the entire class


All folders must include the following for full credit:

1. The original medical chart 2. All website addresses used 3. Pages in textbook used 4. Class notes 5. Examiners report 6. Research notes to form conclusions.

Any team not in compliance with this request will lose credit. Each teacher has their own method of grading. However, it is suggested that groups receive the assessment requirements in writing, therefore, there will be no misunderstandings of what is expected of them in order to complete this assignment.


1. Medical chart 2. Assessment requirements

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