The Art of Crime Detection

Teacher's Guide

What: "The Art of Crime Detection" is an interactive Web activity consisting of an introductory animation, two crime-solving scenarios, and a open-ended drawing tool

Who: Middle School students

How: The player helps to solve annoying but rather innocuous crimes (e.g., toilet-papering a tree) by using both the left and right brain to draw composite sketches of a perpetrator. While they play, players will readily experience the artistic effects and consequences of relying solely on the right or left brains. They will develop an understanding of what parts of the brain are appropriate to use for artistic expression.

There are two scenarios: The Toilet Paper Caper and Pushing Other People's Buttons. The player uses the PDArist, a PDA-type device that guides them through the process of using either side of the brain, or both sides simultaneously. Players can also use the PDArtist alone, as a creative tool for their own scenarios.

You can use this activity alone, or in conjunction with the "Artists...are in their right minds!" lesson plans.

The Art of Crime Detection is in Flash (plug-in required; get it for free here). You can also download it as a standalone player (1 MB): download it for Macintosh or Windows.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Player will understand differences between the right brain and the left brain: right brain processes visual information (size, shape, shade, hue, etc.), left brain processes language and symbols.
  2. Understand that visual images can be more effective than words to describe something.
  3. Understand that visual vocabulary helps one draw things realistically, and a model helps one draw someone accurately.
  4. Understand that to draw realistically, you must use the right brain. To draw accurately, you must study someone or something before you draw it.
  5. Understand that although people look dramatically different from others, there are a few "rules" of portraiture drawing that apply to everyone.
  6. Begin to apply rules of portraiture drawing (e.g., eyes are halfway between chin and top of head).

Now start The Art of Crime Detection

Originally developed for Sanford's A Lifetime of Color website (now defunct)


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