We jumped into our file as soon as we received it (you can also order printed books but since we are in Canada, downloading a PDF saves a lot on postage).
Something’s Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha is a fun whodunit that allows students working alone or in a group to learn about various forensic evidence such as fingerprints, ballistics, anthropology, and forged documents. Using their newfound knowledge, they set out to solve a murder that occurred at Lake IwannaFisha. A fun opportunity for them to practice their skills of logic, observation, and critical thinking.
There is also a section that covers identifying counterfeit money. We’ve been travelling this month so I had some U.S. currency he could check for watermarks. (Our money in Canada is much different, it’s been changed over to a special polymer, like Australia, so it has different safety features to counteract counterfeiting.)
I liked how the teacher prep was laid out clearly so I knew what to get together and the proper order of things. Between the step-by-step instructions and teacher instructions, I wasn’t worried that I would miss something out.
They’ve even included a handy checklist where you can keep track of whatever handouts you have given to each child or group. This is doubly helpful to keep track of how far each child/group is doing overall so you can step in an help a bit if some are falling behind.
First things first, EJ settled in to read all about the forensic evidence. Although he is a great fan of mystery and crime solving programs, this time he was able to read about it himself. He was checking people’s fingerprints and bone structure to compare them to what he was reading about. A great way for him to practice his observation skills!
Next, he got into the crime scene report and maps of the scene. He found that drawing what he thought to be a likely path of the criminal was helpful in understanding the scene and what had gone on that day. One of the nice things about this booklet is how a child can work in their own way and create their own processes.
Another item I really like about this book is the investigative notes. They are laid out in a table with plenty of space for writing notes. Perfect for keeping kids on track as they work on solving the crime. Since they have to know what they are looking for before they can ask for it (just like in real life), it helps to have notes on what they need and why they need it.
I think I should break in here and explain that this book is targeted for students in grades 5 – 12. EJ is 11 and just finishing 5th grade and we didn’t find it to be too much for him. I found the lessons to be factual and well laid out, not meant to be gross or frightening but I still like to have a look through before we begin anything new to be sure it suits us.
Now I’m not going to spoil the surprise and tell you who EJ arrested for the crime(s) but I will say that he had a terrific time doing it. I can also tell you that I liked how The Critical Thinking Co.™ laid out Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha in a way that kept things fun but also led EJ to be careful in his theories and to write things down before he got sidetracked and forgot about them. (He can get pretty excited when he thinks he knows whodunit and follows a rabbit trail that leads to nowhere so it was helpful to have a checkpoint he could return to.)
This book is a terrific fit for our family and will be for your mystery-loving child as well.
And this is a great time to try them out with the following generous offers from The Critical Thinking Co.™.
Free Critical Thinking Puzzles!
A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now!
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