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The Ups and Downs of Body Temperature

Source Institutions

    University of Washington

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The Ups and Downs of Body Temperature

In this activity (1st on the page), learners explore circadian rhythms by keeping track of their body temperature. Learners measure their temperature using a standard oral thermometer every two hours during the day. Learners chart their body temperature on a graph and look for patterns. Learners can also combine this activity with a related activity on reaction time to examine if there is a correlation between reaction speed with warmer body temperatures.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
4 to 24 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Thermometer
  • Graph paper
  • Pen or pencil


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Patterns
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Chudler, Ph.D., Eric H.


  • All Rights Reserved, Eric H. Chudler, ©2010


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