Course: Motion and Math
7: Perfect Timing

  • 6-8 grade
  • Intermediate

Lesson Description:

In this lesson, the students are making the NAO robot do two actions at once with different timing.


Standards Covered


Find the greatest common factor of two whole numbers less than or equal to 100 and the least common multiple of two whole numbers less than or equal to 12. Use the distributive property to express a sum of two whole numbers 1-100 with a common factor as a multiple of a sum of two whole numbers with no common factor. For example, express 36 + 8 as 4 (9 + 2)..


Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. For example, "The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak." "For every vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes."


Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, "This recipe has a ratio of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar." "We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger." (Expectations for unit rates in this grade are limited to non-complex fractions.)


Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.


Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units. For example, if a person walks 1/2 mile in each 1/4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1/2/1/4 miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.


Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.


Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.


Reason abstractly and quantitatively.


Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.


Model with mathematics.

image description

Lesson Modules

Teaching Tips:

Problem of the Day:
How do I make NAO do two actions at once with different timing? ​

  • Syncopation
  • Cycle
Students will be able to...
Make NAO simultaneously do two actions at once that take different times to run. ​

Students will informally find the least common multiple (or common denominator) of two integers by combining cycles of different lengths.

Learning Overview:
  1. Intro: Students will follow NAO in a dance
  2. Problem Solving:  Students will watch find cycle lengths of repeated actions. 
  3. Creative Time:  Students will use what they learned to add a new move to their dance. 
  4. Reflection: The class will discuss what they learned and show off their creations
Before the Lesson:
Load lesson7_1 Choregraphe file onto one of the robots. Give the robot at least 2 feet on all sides to do his dance. Clear a space for students to gather and watch the NAO. They will be mirroring NAO’s movements, so be sure to leave enough space for them to move!

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Get the students to stand arms-distance apart. Have the students follow NAO in a dance.



First, wash your hands. Make this a daily routine. The robots are white and get dirty easily.


You will be following NAO's movements, so be sure to clear a space for everyone. Listen carefully what your teacher will explain and follow the direction.


Teaching Tips:



Introduction (5 minutes)
Play lesson7_2 Choregraphe file for the students. This is a trick for students to see how coordinated they are. Explain the meaning of a cycle to the students. 

Student Discovery (10 minutes)
Have the students complete the “Cycle” page. They are to put the frames in order (answers in reference sheet). 

Activity (5 minutes)
Have the students do the 2nd task of “Cycle”. The activity asks how many frames until the left-hand repeats. Then how many frames until the right-hand repeats. Sample responses are in the reference sheet. Discuss the student responses to the prompts on this page. 



Task 1:
Watch NAO's synchronization trick. Put the frames in order by writing the number or letter of the pictures in the timeline below. They should be in the same order as NAO does them in his trick.

**note for developer: students should be able to type a letter or a number in each box above.
** there also should be a drawing tool here

Task 2:
On the timeline above, circle each cycle for both the right and left hand. Look below for an example of a cycle.

Question 1: How long is the right arm cycle?

Question 2: How long is the left arm cycle?

Question 3: How many steps does it take for both arms to be back in the starting position at the same time?


Teaching Tips:


Teacher talk time (5 minutes)
The students are to add a new move to their dance. It should involve two simultaneous actions.

Plan time (10 minutes)
Students should fill out the “My Dance!” page. Only when they are finished can they start programming the robot. 

Implement (15 minutes) 
Students put their ideas on the robot! 
Be sure to sketch the program in the corresponding space provided.



Use the blank space below to plan your new move. Make sure you are making NAO do two actions simultaneously.

** drawing tool here
Question 1: Explain this action in words.

** drawing tool here
Question 2: Explain this action in words.


Teaching Tips:

Reflection (5 minutes)
Have the students fill out the “Reflect” activity.  Discuss their entries.​

After the Lesson:
  1. Transfer the students’ Choregraphe files onto the thumb drive and delete the file from the computer.
  2. Pack up the NAO’s, computers and router.

Question 1:
What if NAO snapped up and down (cycle length 2) with his left hand and kept his right hand making a triangle. What would the overall cycle length be? Why?

Question 2: What did I make NAO do today?

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After the Lesson
  1. Transfer your Choregraphe files onto the thumb drive from your teacher and delete the file from the computer.
  2. Help your teacher packing up the NAO robot computers and router with an extreme care.