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Lesson 1- Telling Time: Hours

minute hand
hour hand

To introduce the elements of a clock and explain their functions.
To teach telling time to the hour.


Since there are 60 minutes in an hour children must be able to read and order numbers to 60 before they can read time on the digital clock. Since time is often referred to in fractional terms on analog clocks it will be helpful if children have an understanding of halves and fourths.
Direct student's attention to the clock. How many big numbers are on the clock? Have students point to the hour hand. Tell them that when the hour hand moves from one number to the next, one hour has passed. What can you do in an hour?

Have students point to the minute hand. Tell them that when the minute hand moves from one tick mark to the next, one minute has passed. What can you do in a minute.

Lead a discussion about different timepieces (clock, watch, timer, hourglass) and the energy sources required to run them (electricity, battery, wind-up movements). have students survey their homes and count the number of timepieces they find. Guide students to design a chart or poster that reflects their findings.

You can tell what time it is in several ways: the position of the sun in the sky, the length of shadows, the activities people are doing, and clocks and watches.


1. Introduce a number line which contains the numerals one through twelve. Bend the number line into a circle to resemble a clock face. Provide a worksheet with a large circle. Ask the students to place the numerals inside the circle to make a clock face. According to the ability of the group, you may wish to place some marks on the circle to facilitate spacing of the numbers. Print [clock with numbers] [clock without numbers].

2. Review that the minute (long-blue) hand points to the twelve, while the hour (short-red) hand indicates the hour. Provide a worksheet with clocks that have no hands on them. Underneath each clock, write a time in the "o'clock" form. Have the students draw in the minute and hour hands to show the correct time. Print Worksheet.

3. Have each student make a paper plate clock face. Using a brad fastener, attach tag board or construction paper hands to the center of the plate. These clocks can then be used in various reinforcement activities. For example, as the teacher calls out a time, the students show the correct time on their clocks. This activity can be adapted to a team game. Divide the classroom into teams. When the teacher calls a time, the first person to correctly display his/her clock gains a point for his/her team. Take the Time Quiz.

4. Play "Time Tic-Tac-Toe." Prepare blank tic-tac-toe grids and duplicate these for the students. Print Grid Have students write in times on the hour. (The degree of difficulty can be adapted as the students progress.) Display a clock showing a time. If the student has that time written on his/her game board, he/she may cover it with a marker. The first person to complete a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally wins.

5. Write times to the hour from 1 o'clock to 12 oclock on index cards and a number from 1 to 12 on a tagboard square. Place the numbers 1-12 in a large circle to form a clockface.

Children sit around the clock. Give 12 children each a time card to keep facedown. Two volunteers, one taller than the other, stand in the center of the clock.

Who should be the minute hand? Why? (the taller child because the minute hand is the long hand.)
Where should the taller child point to show 1 oclock? (to 12)
Where should the shorter child point? (to 1)
Children take turns holding up their index cards. Students tell where the children representing the hands should point to show that time. Repeat the activity until all children have a turn to show the time.

6. Challenge children to guess how long 1 minute is. They close their eyes and lay down their heads while you watch the clock. Each child raises a hand when he or she thinks 1 minute is up. Tell children that you will put their hands back down if they are too early. Clap your hands when the minute is up. Have children watch as the second hand goes around the clock once. Challenge them to try again to guess when the mninute is up.



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