Lesson 5: Tracking the Tires: Tread Patterns Copy

Lesson 5: Tracking the Tires!

The plot thickens as Mr. Muggs asks his students to examine the strange pattern of tire tread evidence discovered outside his window. Can you figure out who rode the getaway bicycle?

This is a lesson in which you might want to practice the sequence of making tracks and recording the data so that you have a “working example” to show your students.

Lesson Objectives

  • Learn the mold making and casting process
  • Observe, measure, and compare impression of a model
  • Record observations on a data sheet
  • Identify the bicycle tire tread pattern left at the scene of the crime

Next, simply click the links below for further instructions and steps on how to get started!


  • wipes
  • masking tape
  • ruler
  • 12 re-sealable plastic bags
  • modeling clay
  • bike tire sample
  • cooking spray
  • 8-ounce plastic dish
  • paper towel
  • Plaster of Paris tub
  • 2 portion cups
  • plastic spoon
  • cup of water
  • scissors
  • Student Book pages (on Resource CD)

Students (Groups of Three)

  • 3 pencils
  • 1 small found object
  • 3 hand lenses
  • 1 ruler
  • wipes
  • 1 bag of modeling clay
  • 1 foam plate
  • photo of tread evidence
  • photo of cast of tread evidence