You Have A Pulse
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Kathy Threatt Louis Wirth School
4959 S. Blacksstone Ave.
Chicago IL 60615
This activity is appropriate for grades 6-8.
1. The students will learn how to measure their heart rates (pulse) for various
activities and to graph the results.
2. The students will calculate the number of times their heart beats in one
Stop watch, a watch with a second hand, or large wall clock with a second hand
1. Explain how to use a stop watch.
2. Explain that pulse is the rhythmic expansion and contraction of an artery
as blood is forced through it (by the heart).
3. Demonstrate, that by pressing 2 or 3 fingers, not the thumb, to the artery
in the wrist or the neck, you can find the beats of the heart. Look at the watch
and count the number of beats you feel in 10 or 15 seconds. To get the pulse
rate for one minute, multiply the number of beats by 6 or 4.
4. Work in pairs (or a group), with one person as the time keeper while the
other(s) perform the tasks. After the tasks have been performed, the students
will switch positions. If there is a wall clock with a second hand, everyone
can work at the same time. The students will perform the following exercises
(relaxing between each):
Sitting quietly for 2-3 minutes
Arm lifts, while sitting (for one minute)
Walking in place (for one minute)
Taking steps, such as on a chair, box, or stair steps (for one minute)
Jumping Jacks (for one minute)
5. Graph the results of the pulse rates for the exercises.
6. Describe how the pulse rate is affected by the exercises.
Using a rubric, the student will perform the following:
1. Demonstrate to the instructor the correct way to feel and record their
pulse rate.(10 points)
2. Take their pulse rate after performing several exercises.(6 points)
3. Graph the pulse rates of the exercises performed.(5 points)
4. Articulate how their pulse rate was affected by the exercises.(4 points)
25-20 points = excellent; 19-16 points = good;
15-13 points = fair; 12 and below = poor
Students will know how to take their pulse rates (the number of times the heart
beats in a minute). They will be able to record and graph their pulse rates for
a variety of exercises. The more strenuous the exercise, the higher the pulse
rate will be.