The DataFit mission is to simultaneously increase data literacy and physical activity literacy.

We currently live in a world where data is becoming increasingly important for us to understand, regardless of whether or not we are a data scientist. It is important that we develop the skills in order to be able interpret and use data and, perhaps most importantly, be able to question the integrity of the information around us.

The evidence shows that on a population level we should be moving more and sitting less than most of us are currently. In some regions of Scotland, doctors have even started to prescribe physical activity! Movement really is medicine. Our physical activity affects how we think, feel and act in all aspects of our life, from attainment in the classroom through to reducing our risk of various diseases.

DataFit is about helping learners to improve their understanding and confidence in both areas, so that they feel empowered to use and act on their personal activity data. Hopefully their new knowledge and skills in interpreting data can then be translated to other areas.

We have developed and piloted these lessons and resources around physical activity and devices, within P6/S1.  Our team of subject experts in physical activity and data education have teamed up with teachers and pupils to inform these materials.  We hope you can use and adapt the lessons as you see fit in order to meet the required curriculum benchmarks and the needs of your learners. While each lesson can easily be used as a standalone, they have been designed to build off of each other as well.

Outcomes (all 4 lessons)

  • HWB 2-27a: I can explain why I need to be active on a daily basis to maintain good health and try to achieve a good balance of sleep, rest and physical activity.
  • MNU 2-20a: Having discussed the variety of ways and range of media used to present data, I can interpret and draw conclusions from the information displayed, recognising that the presentation may be misleading.
  • MNU 2-20b: I have carried out investigations and surveys, devising and using a variety of methods to gather information and have worked with others to collate, organise and communicate the results in an appropriate way
  • SCN 3-12b: I have explored the role of technology in monitoring health and improving the quality of life.
  • HWB 3-22a: I am developing and sustaining my levels of fitness

Worksheets & Additional Resources

The DataFit Unit was piloted at a secondary school in central Scotland. Several of the teachers converted the paper-based worksheets (available to download) to Google Forms. The use of Google Forms or a similar online tool allows additional data analysis to be done. Learners can be encouraged to compare activity across the class or school. They can look at different modes of transport in getting to school and they can compare results from the beginning and end of the DataFit Unit.

Learners will broaden their understanding of physical activity, and increase their awareness of their own activity levels and patterns throughout the day.

Learning Intentions

What do I want learners to know?

  • Physical activity is more than just sports or exercise during PE, it includes all forms of movement throughout the day.
  • We often sit in one place for too long and this is bad for us even if we do a lot of activity at other times throughout our days.

What do I want learners to understand?

  • Our bodies are meant to move. Sitting too long is bad for our health.
  • Physical activity improves the health of our heart, muscles, and lungs. It can help us feel happier, and it can help us focus better while we learn and study.

 What do I want learners to be able to do?

  • Reflect on their current physical activity levels and patterns.
  • Think about when and how they could move more during the school day.


Approximately 45-60 minutes


  • Animation video on physical activity (2 mins)
  • Timetable handout
  • A computer and projector for showing the animation video
  • Sticky notes or other sharing medium (e.g., tablet)
  • Chart paper or white board and markers
  • Lesson 1 worksheets


Main Activity

Discussion: What is physical activity and why is it good for us? (5-10 mins)

Ask two or three learners to share examples of what they think physical activity is. If learners just come up with sports activities, ask them to think of examples other than sports. Examples might include playing in a playpark, movement during chores, getting to places (e.g., cycling to school), yoga, walking the dog, or even taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Watch the animation (2 mins)

Have learners draw or write one or two things that they find interesting, or perhaps a question that they want to ask. Provide opportunity to share and discuss in small groups. Ensure to check understanding of why physical activity is good for us. That is, it helps the health of our heart, our muscles, our lungs, and our bones. It also helps us feel calmer, happier and more energized. And, it helps our brain to focus better at school. It can even help us be more coordinated and balanced.

Activity: When and how am I currently physically active? (20 mins)

Begin by sharing that to get enough physical activity each day, we don’t necessarily need to do it all at once. It is just as good to spread it out over the day, so maybe on Mondays I take 20 mins to walk to and from home each day, go for a jog with my dog and friend in the evening, and make sure I get up from my desk regularly throughout the day and either stretch or go for a quick walk.

Next, have learners complete the timetable handout using a coloured pencil, filling in when and what activity they currently do. Consider using the following questions to help prompt and guide thinking. Explain it’s okay to not complete all of the boxes.

  • Think about your school day from the time you leave home until you get back. What is your favorite way to be active during this time? When else are you active during the day?
    • What does this look like? When does this happen?

Activity: When and how could I be moving more during the school day? (20-30 mins)

Working individually or in pairs, have learners close their eyes and think about their typical day at school. Have them imagine the different places they go… where they walk… where they run… where they do their work. … maybe even where they eat. Have them think about the different furniture or equipment that exists around school.

Prompt questions:

  • Are there points during your day that you maybe don’t move enough, or you could move more?
  • When does this happen (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening)? Why does this happen?

Ask learners to write down a few of their ideas on sticky notes, with each idea on a separate sticky note.

Next, share the following:

“Imagine you have been given a magic wand and have been put in charge of designing a school day where people are really active… and where they enjoy moving and doing the activities they are doing… where they start to move more during breaks, during math, maybe even science class. … You can change when people are active, you can change where they go and what they do to get there … The only rule is that they enjoy what they are doing and they still get their work done!

Your task is to come up with some ideas about how and when your year group could be more active. You can do this either individually or with the person beside you. Think big! Remember, it’s about getting people moving more and sitting less, in ways that they enjoy too!

Importantly, you need to write OR draw each idea, so that we can share them with the group afterwards”.

After 10 minutes, ask learners to put their sticky notes on the wall (or tables). Everyone gathers around, working to cluster into themes…. spaced a few feet apart from each other. Perhaps items are divided by time of day (traveling to school, before school, morning, break, afternoon, or by subject). … Prompt learners to explore ideas around how they could sit less and move more during times/subjects that might not have presented as many ideas (e.g., maths).

Label ‘groups’ of themed ideas. Work to identify top preferred ideas from the group – have each learner cast 3 votes, placing a smiley face on the idea they like the most. Summarize and discuss why these are the ideas the learners liked the most.  Discuss if these ideas are practical or feasible, or how they could be implemented.

Close off the session by having learners revisit their timetable to add in new movement ideas that they would like to do, using a different colored pencil.

Learning Intentions

What do I want learners to know?

  • Activity monitoring devices are all around us, including within most mobile phones.
  • Several areas of our health can be tracked, such as our steps, sleep, nutrition and location.

What do I want learners to understand?

  • How activity devices are currently being used around them in their immediate environments.
  • How they personally relate or engage with activity monitoring.
  • That we need to think carefully about how and why we collect data.

 What do I want learners to be able to do?

  • Reflect on how devices are currently used around them and how they feel about tracking and engaging with their personal health data through activity monitoring.


Activity Description

Learners will begin to broaden their understanding of activity monitoring devices and how they feel about monitoring their personal health data.


  • SCN 3-12b – Level 3 – Science – Biological Systems


Approximately 30-45 minutes, over two days


  • Datafit animations (2 mins)
  • Lesson 2 slides
  • Lesson 2 worksheets (annex to lesson plan)
  • A computer and projector for showing animation
  • Chart paper or white board and markers
  • Blue tac

Main Activity

 Exploring and discussing devices (15 mins)

Starting discussion prompts: Why do we use monitoring devices? What are they? How can they be used? Have you tried activity devices before?

Next, open ‘devices’ PPT & accompanying worksheet. For each device, get a show of hands for (1) how many learners personally use each device, and (2) how many learners know someone (friend or family member) who uses the device on the screen. Involve volunteers, to help make and label a histogram of this information on the whiteboard.

Homework: Have the learners survey 5-10 people (a range of adults and kids), using the ‘devices’ worksheet, and bring the completed worksheets to the next lesson.

Part 2: Discuss and explore the survey data learners collected for homework (e.g., frequency counts, min/max).

Follow-up discussion questions: Which devices seem to be most popular amongst our sample? Which ones are the least commonly used? Would you wear a device during school if you were given one (yes/no)? Why or why not? How do you think wearing a device does (or would) change your physical activity behaviour? How many know phones can do step counting?

If all learners were to ask the same people what does this mean for the data? If we survey two people, would we get the same answers than if we surveyed 100 people? Were you able to collect data from a broad sample? How did people feel about you asking them for their data? Did they have questions about why you were gathering data and what you planned to do with it?

Activity: Exploring and discussing device personality types (10-15 mins)

  • Open the PowerPoint and navigate to the personality slides
  • Hand out ‘device personality’ worksheets

Instruction: “We have here a number of ‘personalities’ to describe how each of us might feel if we were wearing physical activity devices. What I would like you to do is look at the different personalities and think about which one represents you the most right now. There is no right or wrong answer. When you’ve decided which personality feels the most like you, circle this on your worksheet.

  • Perhaps get learners to look back to the pictures of the devices from the previous activity and imagine they’re given one of these to wear. For those learners who already have a device, they can think about their experience wearing the device in order to help them choose their personality.
  • Ask for a few examples why learners chose the current personality that they did.

“Next, I’d like you to do the same thing again, but this time, think about the personality that you would most like to be”. Have students note down their choice on the worksheet.

Finally, work independently to answer the final question on the worksheet about how they would achieve their aspiration.

  • Discussion questions: Did anyone change their vote from before? Why or why not? What would help you move towards your desired personality? What would help you get there? What would make the change? (e.g, text reminder, reminder signs on front door, is about positioning the base station somewhere specific?).

Close off session by discussing the different reasons how and why activity monitoring can be/are used.

  • What they do and tell us, how learners feel about them.
  • See animation for reminder about the basic functions of activity monitoring.

Learners will explore and understand the different ways that data can be visually represented using physical activity data and they will make basic analysis conclusions from the information they are presented.

Learning Intentions

What do I want learners to know?

  • Different activity monitoring devices can show the same types of data in different ways

What do I want learners to understand?

  • There are different ways of communicating our activity data visually, and some visualizations can be more useful to us than others depending on what we want to know
  • How to identify and calculate patterns of movement and also sedentary time from data visualizations

 What do I want learners to be able to do?

  • Be able to interpret and draw basic conclusions (e.g., min, max, mean) about activity data from visual representations from different devices
  • Identify potentially interesting patterns and unusual features in a given sample of activity representations


  • MNU 2-20a
  • SCN 3-12b


Approximately 45 minutes


  • Lesson 3 slides
  • A computer and projector for showing PPT slide deck

Main Activity

Activity: Exploring different physical activity trackers, what they can tell us and how (45 mins)

Using the supporting PPT slides and worksheet, guide learners through this structured activity.

Additional notes to the teacher:

  • Pre-lesson considerations:
    • Prerequisite skills – how to calculate averages and identify minimum and maximum values from a visualization
    • Ensure learners have watched the animation on physical activity (see link in Lesson 1 outline)
    • Understand the concept of a data sample
    • Understand the difference between X and Y axes
  • Small group work suggested
  • Consider printing out a set of slides for each group
  • The accompanying PPT deck (‘Physical activity data visualizations’) contains a series of different types of questions you may choose to use. Each question slide is followed by a slide with suggested answers.

Learners will apply what they have been learning throughout the previous lessons. They will explore their attitudes and preferences towards the different ways of visually communicating personal activity data and they will have the chance to make visualisations based on the data that they have collected. They will also track and reflect on their own physical activity behaviours

What do I want learners to know?

  • Our ideas, perceptions and experiences will differ from others when it comes to health data because we are all unique, but we can use visualizations to help us communicate and understand these experiences.
  • Monitoring our physical activity is quite a personal thing. Sharing our data can be good but we all have our own perceptions. People may interpret their own activity data in different ways than us.

What do I want learners to understand?

  • How to visually communicate their ideas and experiences in a way that is meaningful to them, and be able to explain this clearly to their peers
  • The types and levels of physical activity they are each doing during a 5-day period and when this activity takes place

What do I want learners to be able to do?

  • Create data visualisations from their personal physical activity data.
  • Reflect on their physical activity behaviours and the role activity tracking has on this.

Main Activity

Activity: Turning our words into visualizations (25-30 mins)

  • Have learners put on their thinking caps to create visualizations from the data they gathered during Lesson 1, on the ‘when and what physical activity they do’ activity sheet. Encourage learners to make a key, with symbols for different activities. Get learners to start thinking about how they would track their activity hourly for a week.
  • Next, have learners reflect individually on their newly created visualizations, getting them to think about which activities they currently do are ‘Low’ physical activity, ‘Medium’ physical activity, or ‘High’ physical activity. Have them add this to their visualization.

Activity: A week in the life of my physical activity (40-50 mins total over 5 days, ~10 mins/day)

  • Have learners take things one step further, by getting them to track their physical activity at school on an hourly basis, for one week. Encourage learners to aim for more physical activity than they documented during Lesson 1.
    • Discuss with learners what support or reminders they might need to achieve this. What things or actions would help support them? For example, perhaps they need a post-it note reminder on the back of their phone, or in their pencil case?
  • Have learners graph their physical activity data, using symbols to depict the different types of physical activity (DataFit Lesson 4 PPT for examples), on an A4 paper that also includes labels for the days of the week and hours of the school day. Also get learners to create a ‘key’ or ‘legend’, defining which activities are ‘Low’, ‘Medium’ or ‘High’ activity levels.
    • Provide learners with several examples of graph options (e.g., line graph, smiley faces) that they can use as inspiration. *Show the PPT slide found in the Lesson 4 folder as a visual aid. Encourage creativity and individuality in their representations.
  • At the end of the week, consider dividing learners into small groups to present their visualizations, to explore their experiences and how their perceptions may differ from one another when it comes to activity tracking. For example, some learners might label lunchtime football as ‘Low’ activity whilst others might perceive this as being ‘High’ activity.
    • Consider using the following questions as prompts:
    • How do different group members perceptions of ‘Low’, ‘Med’, and ‘High’ activity differ? How are they the same? Do our definitions differ between each other? What do varying definitions, and differences in perception, mean when it comes to communicating health data with others?
    • Do learners with similar schedules have different visualizations? Why might this be? Are there points in their schedules where more ‘Low’ physical activity is taking place? More ‘High’ physical activity?

Have learners reflect on how tracking their physical activity influenced them. Were they more active this week? Less active? How was their physical activity behaviour different this week compared to what they documented on the handout during Lesson 1? What changes do they observe? What helped to make the change?

© Data Education in Schools, University of Edinburgh, 2024. This resource is licensed CC BY-NC 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.

Download this resource