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Title
Tick Tock …..What’s a Clock?
Lesson Objective
The students will learn how a clock is used to measure time and learn to tell time to the hour and half hour. This lesson
can be divided into 2-4 separate lessons.
Teacher Prior Knowledge
N/A
Student Prior Knowledge
Students should have an understanding of certain basic concepts before learning about time. These concepts are:
Counting by fives to sixty, counting on from a number.
Materials:
Number cards with the numbers 1 to 12
Clothesline, yarn or string for the number line
Pointer
12 clothes pins
Hand-drawn analog clock on posterboard (do this prior to starting the lessons)
Longhand and shorthand made from black poster board (do this prior to starting the lessons)
Book How Do You Know What Time It Is?
by Robert E. Wells (This book can be found at your local library)
Book Time To…
by Bruce McMillan (This book can be found at your local library)
Time of Day Sequencing Cards (Step 3)
Digital clock (optional)
Markers or chalk for board
Step-by-Step Guided Lesson
Step 1: Start Video
(Tips: Interact with the video by pausing, to ask questions or discuss information viewed with student.)
Step 2: Teach Lesson
Time Sort
Show the sequence picture cards (Step 3) of the daily activities. Have the student tell you how much time they think it will
take to complete each activity. Ask the student, “How long does it take to…?”
Wake up, get up, get dressed, brushing your teeth, breakfast, putting on pajamas, washing your hands, reading a
story, etc.
Then have the student help you put them in order from shortest amount of time to longest amounts of time.
Explain to the student that different activities take a different amount of time. The way to measure the different amount of
time is with a clock.
Read the book How Do You Know What Time Is?
Have a discussion with the student about the book. Allow the student time to ask questions.
Play the Silly Pointing Game ( Understanding How a Clock is Made to Measure Time)
Build a number line to twelve. On index cards or other paper, write the numbers 1 to 12. Hang these cards on a clothes
line (or use string or yarn) with clothespins or tape to anchor the cards on the clothes line. Place each numbered card on
the clothes line, leaving a three-to four-inch space between numbers.
Place the pointer on a number. Ask the student what the number is. Tell the student that when you place the pointer on
the number and move the pointer in front of the number it is called “before”; when the pointer points to the number again
and moves to the back of the number it is called “after.” When the pointer is right on the number, they respond with the
number.
Example: Teacher points to the number 7, and children say, “seven.” The teacher then points in front of the number 7, the
children respond with “before seven.” The teacher places the pointer on the number 6, and the students say “six”; the
teacher then places the pointer behind the 6, and the students respond by saying “after six.” Tell the student that this is
how they will respond as you play the game.
Play the “silly pointing game” with the student. This game should be taught until you are confident the student
understands. Make it fun by running back and forth from number to number. Try to trick them.
(The position of the pointer in the silly pointing game is preparing the student’s eyes to look at the hour hand, and relate
that the position can represent two different meanings).
When the students have shown mastery of the silly pointing game, it is time to move to the number line clock.
Number Line Clock (If you are doing this activity as a separate lesson, let the student know that today we will continue to
learn how a clock is used to measure time).
Take the clothes line down and arrange the numbers in the position found on an analog clock. Have the student watch
you as you build the clock on the chalkboard or whiteboard. When the clock is made, repeat the silly pointing game.
Check for misunderstandings as they tell you if the pointer is right on the number, before the number, or after the number.
This knowledge is vital to their understanding of what hour it is on an analog clock.
Explain that a clock is used to keep track of the number of hours in a day. There are 24 hours in one day. We have 12
hours of day and 12 hours of night. This is why the clock has numbers from one to twelve. Each number represents the
hours in a day and in a night. We call the hours from midnight to noon the a.m. hours, and from noon to midnight the p.m.
hours.
Explain that when the pointer is pointing directly at the number, it is telling the name of the hour. An hour lasts for 60
minutes. If the pointer is after the hour, it is still the same hour and cannot change to the new hour until the pointer is right
on the next number. When the pointer points directly at the next number, a new hour has begun.
Using the pointer, point to a number and move toward the next number very slowly. Ask, “What hour is it?” Allow the
student time to respond. Then move the pointer to the next number. Ask, “What hour is it?” Allow the student time to
respond. Explain that when the pointer points to the new number, it is called o’clock. This means that a new hour has
begun. We say, “It is 5 o’clock” when the pointer is on the number 5.
Example: The teacher points to the number 4 on the number line clock. The student respond “four o’clock.” The teacher
moves the pointer slowly toward the number 5. When the pointer points right at the number 5, the student is asked “What
hour is it?” The student responds with “five o’clock.”
Revisit the number line clock using the pointer. Point at different numbers on the clock and have the student respond.
Make sure the student completely understands before moving to the next instructional procedure.
Handy Hands (If you are doing this activity as a separate lesson, let the student know that today we will continue to learn
how a clock is used to measure time. If you have not already hand-drawn the analog clock, and cut out the longhand and
shorthand, please make sure to do it prior to starting this lesson).
Replace the number line clock with the hand-drawn analog clock. The handy hands will be attached to this clock with a
In this part of the lesson, the students will be introduced to the hour and minute hands on an analog clock.
Tell the student that an analog clock has two hands that are used to represent the measurement of hours and minutes.
The shorthand moves very slowly, and the minute hand moves quickly. The minute hand points to the minute marks as it
measures the passing of each minute in the hour (Use the cutout hands to replace the pointer).
Explain to the student that the shorthand is called the hour hand (show the shorthand). The shorthand points to the new
hour, and it takes 60 minutes to move to the next number on the clock. This hand moves slowly. The hand is usually
shorter in size than the minute hand.
Use the hour hand to point to the different numbers on the clock and review what the hour will be with the hour hand.
They may have to visualize the hour hand’s pointing on the number, before the number, or after the number.
Explain to the student that the long hand is called the minute hand (show the long hand). The long hand’s job is to count
the minute marks to show the passing of each minute in the hour. When the minute hand reaches the number 12, it
means the old hour is completed and another new hour is beginning.
Explain to the student that the minute hand is long and slender. It moves quickly and continues the job of counting the
minutes. It stretches to the minute marks and moves to the next minute mark every minute. It never stops counting.
The minute hand starts at zero and counts to 60. Attach the minute hand to the hand drawn clock and move it from one
minute mark to the next, demonstrating the direction and the counting. On the whiteboard or chalkboard, write a 1 (for 1
minute) right above the minute mark. Continue labeling each minute mark above the hand drawn clock’s minute marks, so
the student can see how it counts each minute.
Explain to the student that another name for the minute hand is the “BIG FIVE.” As it moves around the clock face, it
counts by fives. The minute marks are tiny lines on the clock face. There are 60 minute marks and every fifth mark shows
the measurement of five minutes. When the minute hand is touching the minute mark above the number 12, it means that
zero minutes have passed. It means that a new hour has begun and another 60 minutes is starting.
Demonstrate that on every long minute mark, the minute hand counts by fives. Emphasize the counting by fives as you
move the minute hand around the clock. You may wish to erase the numbers in the counting-by-fives sequence and
rewrite them in a different color.
Handy Hands Tell Time
(If you are doing this activity as a separate lesson, let the student know that today we will continue to learn how a clock is
used to measure time).
Point the hour at a number on the clock. Ask the students, “What hour is it?” Allow the student time to respond.
Next, place the minute hand on a minute mark, and ask the students to count how many minutes have gone by( count
with the student from the zero minute mark to the place the minute hand is on). Then write the hour, a colon, and the
number of minutes that have passed. (e.g., 6:32, or 2:15.)
Continue to practice this procedure using a variety of hours and times. Demonstrate the minute hand counting by fives.
Use the hour hand first, to establish the hour, then the minute hand, to establish the minutes that are passed.
Example: The time is 6:40. The teacher places the hour hand pointing at the number 6, and demonstrates how the minute
hand starts at the zero minute mark and counts by five until the minute hand reaches 40 minutes.
Digital Clocks
by Bruce McMillan.
Talk about the two kinds of clocks.
Explain to the student that the first number tells the hour and the second number tells how many minutes have gone by.
These two numbers are separated with a colon (:). When the digital clock shows two zeros after the colon, this means a
new hour has begun. (e.g., 7:00.)
Explain to the student what a.m and p.m means next to the numbers ( a.m. is used for morning and p.m. is used for
afternoon and night time). Allow the student time to ask questions and clarify any confusion.
Have the student complete the extra practice worksheets below.
Step 3: Complete the worksheet attached below.
Worksheet needed to complete the lesson
Worksheet needed to complete the lesson
Extra practice worksheet
Extra practice worksheet
Extra practice worksheet
Step 4: Review. Start the next lesson with the game or activity attached below for review so the student can
demonstrate understanding of this lesson before moving forward.
Time Bingo (offline) game
and/or
Clickety-Clack (offline) game (Clickety-Clack Tickets)
Steps:
Each child is given a train ticket with the time he/she should board the train. The students sit in a circle, and the teacher
(conductor) travels around the outside of the circle chanting:
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
The big black engine’s, comin’ down the track.
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, TOOT! TOOT!
All aboard the __________________(Teacher says a time) train.

The teacher stops and allows the passengers (students) on board. Those children whose tickets have that time join the
teacher. The students hold to each other’s waists and move around the outside of the circle. The conductor takes their
tickets. Those on board travel around the circle chanting: Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, the big black engine goes around
the track.
Repeat this until the group has traveled around the track one time. The conductor (teacher) says:
TOOT! TOOT! All aboard!
TOOT! TOOT! All aboard!
Students are given another ticket for a new boarding time from the conductor and return to their places in the circle. Begin
a new round of the game by repeating the beginning chant, and call out a new time.