Liz Moore
5 years ago
Last Updated
1 month ago
This interdisciplinary unit utilizes English Language-Arts, CTE Criminal Justice, CTE Video, and Science to explore how a true crime story can be used to develop a compelling narrative in an audio format. The culminating project is a four-part podcast that can be shared digitally.

Lessons in this project include:

-The Job of an Audio Engineer: Sound is an essential part of our multimedia culture. From voices we hear to music to foley effects in movies and television, sound is one of our strongest communication modes. We will explore the career of a sound engineer technician in today’s job market by listening to a sound puzzle, researching the job market, reviewing sound editing skills and creating our own sound library to start our own career in the sound engineering field.

-Writing a script for a podcast: After the students listen to the first installment of “Serial” and they break down the structure and form of the most popular episode in podcast history, they get to use that form to write their own story in the form of a podcast script.

-Crime Scene DNA: Paper Chromatography: Students are introduced to the value of DNA fingerprinting. To build students’ understanding of the chemistry involved, students perform an inquiry-based paper chromatography experiment.

-Linking Crimes: Crime Analysis: Often a criminal will commit more than one crime. Clues left behind in the one event may help the investigator solve a second event or anticipate a third. This lesson will explore some techniques for linking crimes and ultimately identifying the suspect.

Relevant careers include such areas as Criminal Justice forensics, Audio Engineering, and science and essay writing.

This unit is brought to you by Morro Bay High School teachers, Liz Moore (Video Production), Sean True (Criminal Justice), Jay Crawford (Forensic Science), Steve Gade (Science), and Mike Godsey (English) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by Team Lead Gregg Witkin.


Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Public Services Public Services
K-12 Subjects
  • English-Language Arts
  • Science
Grade Levels
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

The Job of an Audio Engineer (CTE)

Build a Student Sound Booth (CTE)

Make It Sound Better (CTE)

Produce and Host a Podcast (CTE)

Shoe Print Forensics (CTE)

Forensic Handwriting Characteristics (CTE)

Forensics and Tire Tracks: The Path to a Crime's Solution (CTE)

Linking Crimes: Crime Analysis (CTE)

The Structure and Form of Serial (ELA)

Purpose and Point of View in Serial (ELA)

Connotation and its use in Serial (ELA)

Writing a Script for a Podcast (ELA)

Crime Scene DNA Fingerprinting Lesson #1: Paper Chromatography (Science)

Crime Scene DNA Fingerprinting Lesson #2: Pipetting and Pouring Agar Gels (Science)

Crime Scene DNA Fingerprinting Lesson #3: Dye Electrophoresis

Crime Scene DNA Fingerprinting Lesson #4: Forensic DNA Fingerprinting (Science)