In A Heartbeat

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Students will apply their knowledge of scatter plots to discover the correlation between heartbeats per minute before and after aerobic exercise.

Overview of the Lesson

The teacher begins the lesson by engaging students in a discussion about the characteristics of scatter plots. Next, an aerobic instructor shares basic information about the heart with particular focus of the heart rate when the body is at rest and the heart rate following exercise. Students discuss estimating their heart rate in beats per minute (bpm). They discuss the appropriate time interval to be used when they take their pulses, i.e.. 6, 10, 15, or 30 seconds or the full minute. Students take their pulses for the agreed upon time interval, calculate their bpm and record the data. The music is turned on and the students engage in a few minutes of aerobic type exercise. Again they take their pulses, calculate their bpm, and record the data. Each student forms an ordered pair with the data (bpm after aerobic exercise, bpm before aerobic exercise). The ordered pair from each student is listed and the points plotted using a dot sticker on a large poster graph. Each group is responsible for graphing the data and applying its knowledge of scatter plots to find the line of best fit. Equations are written for these lines and results are shared. The lesson concludes with students discussing how the information obtained could be used to make predictions.