Note: For this activity, students will need enough room to walk and run.
Begin the class with a discussion about heart rates and pulse.
Ask students to share what they already know about each. Students might
also offer ideas about what kinds of activities affect the heart rate.
Distribute a copy of the Every Beat of Your Heart Activity Sheet to each student.
Every Beat of Your Heart Activity Sheet
Have the students read the introductory statement, which defines
heart rate and explain how it is determined by taking the pulse.
Demonstrate how a pulse it taken. As the students work
individually or in small groups, have them take their resting pulse for
Before beginning the exercises on the activity sheet, students should predict which activity will result in the greatest pulse:
- Being at rest
- Stepping up and down
- Running in place
Students should explain their predictions.
Next have the students step up and down on a stair, or just march, for one minute.
Have the same students determine their one-minute heart rates
after running in place for one minute and after walking for one minute.
Students should record their results on question 1 of the activity sheet.
Have the students complete the remaining questions (2‑6) on the activity sheet and discuss the responses.
An answer key is provided for you to check student responses on the activity sheet.
Every Beat of Your Heart Answer Key
Lisa M. Passarello and Francis (Skip) Fennell, "IDEAS: Every Beat of Your Heart." The Arithmetic Teacher, 39, 1 (February 1992) 32-39.