Whodunnit? Southern Detective Fiction in the Forensic Science Classroom

Jackie Smith, Forensic Science, Hough High School

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


This unit uses two works of detective fiction to strengthen forensic science students’ skills at observation and deductive reasoning. Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Kathy Reichs’ Flash and Bones are examined in book study format to encourage students to stretch their powers of observation by describing and recreating scenes from the stories. Effective communication is looked for during class discussions of the books and in written assignments. The use of logic and reasoning is stressed when working through the stories to follow the authors’ plot lines and ultimate resolutions of the crimes. Students are encouraged to model deductive reasoning when creating their own crime stories for their fellow classmates to solve.