In this unit students find out the length of their pace when walking and running, and compare these with the paces of others
In this unit the students use tape measures to measure lengths in centimeters, in metres and decimal parts of a metre. Students can use calculators for dividing lengths.
Finding the length of one’s pace.
First method: Measure out ten metres. One student walks ten metres while the other counts the number of paces, expressing the last part-pace as a decimal, for example ‘about 14.5 paces’. Divide 10 metres by the number of paces, and record the result in two ways: for example ‘0.69 metres, 69 centimetres.’
Second method: Walk 10 paces, and measure and record the distance walked (‘Should we start/finish measuring at heel or toe of your foot?’). Divide this distance by 10.Record the result in two ways: for example ‘I walked 6.92 metres; each pace 0.69 metres, 69 centimetres.’
These data could be entered in a table:
|Length of pace (m)||Length of pace (cm)|
|10 metres||14.5 paces||0.69m||64cm|
|10 paces||6.29 metres||0.69m||69cm|
Comment: I estimated my pace would be about 80cm. It was shorter, only about 69 cm. Both my measurements were the same.
Is there a link between height and pace length. Could they use this graph to predict the pace lengths of younger/shorter and older/taller students?
Collect data about the pace lengths of other students, adults or animals, depending what resources are available. The following possibilities could provide rich tasks:
Mark out ten metres and ask one or two teachers, parents or other available adults to walk the distance while the class first estimates then counts paces and calculates the length of pace.
Students can bring data (height and pace length over 10 metres) from their parents, family or friends and graph and compare these.
Students may be able to find the pace length of their pet cat or dog: counting paces will not be easy!
Video from students or from the internet may be able to provide examples of athletes running over 100 metres or other distances. If the video can be slowed down, paces can be counted and the athlete’s pace length calculated and marked out in the classroom. Students are likely to be surprised how far out their estimates will be. Videos may also be available of horses running over a set distance, of swimmers (count number of strokes and calculate length between strokes), or videos of pets taken and shown in slow motion.
After a class discussion of results, students can write up a detailed account of what they have found out during the week and suggestions for further investigations. These could be used to direct further lines of inquiry or could be displayed to show other classes or parents.