Unit: Body Journeys: An inquiry into how exercise impacts the heart.
Objective: To teach the students how to take their own pulse in order to determine their resting heart rate, their maximum heart rate, and the recovery time needed for the heart rate to return to its resting rate.
What is the connection between the body’s heart rate and exercise?
How should we record the different levels of heart rate?
How should we graph the data recorded in PE?
This was a very successful lesson that I ran with my grade 4/5 classes in PE class. After some brief discussions on heart rate and exercise, we had the students practice finding their own pulse and the pulse of a peer. The different formulas that we used to determine beats/minute were:
A) Count pulse for 6 seconds and then take the number of beats and add a zero. For example, if they counted 9 beats in the 6 seconds they would add a zero to the 9 producing the result of 90 beats/minute. This was a quick way to determine heart rate
B) Count pulse for 15 seconds and then multiply by 4 to determine beats/minute. For example 22 beats in 15 seconds would result in a heart rate of 88beats/minute
C) Count pulse for 30 seconds and multiply by 2 to determine beats per minute.
This took roughly 15 minutes to introduce and to get the kids into the activity. At this point, we had them lie down on their backs and rest for 5 minutes and then proceeded to take their resting heart rates. Most of the students were between 80-95 beats per minute. They recorded their result as their resting heart rate.
Once they recorded this data, we had the students play a very active game for about 8-10 minutes and then had them take their heart rates again. They were surprised to see how much of a spike their was in the beat/minute. I would say that they range here was between 160-200 beats/minute. They recorded this data.
As a cool down we had them lie back down and every minute had them take their heart rates until they were at or very near their resting heart rates. The recovery time was the numbers of minutes needed for their heart rates to return to their resting rate. In most cases, the students were at or near their resting rates after 8-10 minutes.
These data sheets were brought back to their classroom teachers who had them create either bar or line graphs using the recorded results.