Heart Rate

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SWBAT: • Define active heart rate and resting heart rate • Calculate their own active and resting heart rate • Use multiplication and division to calculate rates

Big Idea

What is your resting rate? What is your active heart rate? How can you improve your heart rate? Students calculate these rates and use multiplication and division to answer rate questions.

Do Now

5 minutes

See my Do Now in my Strategy folder that explains my beginning of class routines.

Often, I create do nows that have problems that connect to the task that students will be working on that day.  Today I want to activate students’ prior knowledge.  I want to see what students already know about heart rate and what questions they may have. 

I call on students to share out their knowledge and their questions.  I type up the comments and questions into a word document, so we can revisit them at the end of the lesson.  

Brain Pop: The Heart

7 minutes

Students are responsible for filling in the notes during the video.  There is a lot of information, but I want students to focus on the basic function of the heart, as well as how and why the heart beat changes depending on activity.  I pause the video frequently so students can write down their notes.

Heart Rate

15 minutes


  • For the last part of this section, I take my students outside to calculate their active heart rate.
  • Students will bring something to write with and something to write on outside.
  • I will allow students to pick their own partners.
  • They will also pair up and time each other for a 40 foot walk and sprint.  They will use this data in the next lesson to calculate their speed.  Each partner pair needs a stop watch.  I measure 40 feet and mark it with chalk.  Partners take turns timing each other for the walk and sprint.
  • Alternative to outdoors: If I’m not able to go outside, I will show students Beyonce’s Let’s Move! “Move Your Body” Music video   We can go over the moves and then students can dance with the video.  If students don’t want to dance, they have to keep moving (jumping jacks, high knees, etc) during the song.

We read over the definitions for resting and active heart rate.  I show students how to find their carotid artery with their middle and index fingers.  Some students may need more help in order to find their pulse.  Once students are ready, I set the timer for 10 seconds.  Students are responsible for counting how many times their heart beats over the 10 seconds.  They record this information in the table.  I ask students, “Using this data, how can you figure out how many times your heart will beat in a minute when you are resting?”  Students participate in a Think Pair Share.  I call on students to share their ideas.  I want students to recognize that there are 60 seconds in a minute, so they can set up a rate with their number of heart beats in 10 seconds and then create an equivalent rate for number of beats in 60 seconds.

I explain to students how they are going to calculate their heart rate after a short walk and after 2 minutes of activity.  I go over expectations for getting outside and following directions outside.  I will use a whistle to get their attention once we are outside.

Once we are outside, I set my timer for 10 seconds and students count their heart beats.  They record their data in the table.  Then we work on 2 minutes of activity.  I have students line up in rows facing me.  We alternate between jumping jacks, star jumps, high knees, burpees, etc.  I encourage students to keep moving.  After two minutes, I set my timer for 10 seconds and students count their heart beat.  They record the data in the table.

Students then get with their partner and take turns timing the walk and the sprint.  Students are engaging in MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically and MP6: Attend to precision.

Questions and Healthy Heart Rates

16 minutes

When students get back to class, they sit next to their partner.  I ask a volunteer to share how they will turn their heart beats per 10 seconds into a hear rate for one minute.  Students work to use their data to answer questions 1-2.  They need to set up rates and create equivalent rates for problem 3 and 4.  Students are engaging in MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively, MP4: Model with mathematics, and MP5: Attend to precision.

As students work, I walk around to monitor student progress.  I Post A Key so students can check their answers after they briefly check in with me.  Their answers will vary for 1 and 2, but I show how they should have set up their rates.

If students successfully complete the questions, they can move onto the “Healthy Heart Rates” and “More Practice”.

If students struggle, I may ask them one or more of the following questions:

  • What information do you have?
  • What information are you trying to figure out?
  • How can we set up this information?
  • How can we use equivalent rates to find the missing information?
  • What did we do in our examples earlier in the packet?
  • How many minutes are in one hour?
  • How many hours are in one day?
  • Do we need to multiply or divide to create the equivalent rate?  How do you know?

Closure and Ticket to Go

7 minutes

I display the word document with the students’ comments and questions from the beginning of class.  I ask students if they can answer any of the questions,  revise any of the comments, or add new facts. 

Then I ask a student to come up and show and explain their thinking for problem 4.  I call on students to share if they agree or disagree with the student and why.  Students are engaging with MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.  I ask students to share out how they can improve their heart rate.

With a few minutes left, I pass out the Ticket to Go and the HW Heart Rate.