T4T It's About Time

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Download: Gr2-lesson-Its-About-Time-Cluster3.doc

Lesson Excerpt:

Objective: Second Grade Measurement

                  NC.2.MD.7 Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using  

                  a.m. and p.m.


Theoretical Foundation:  Telling time is a very abstract skill that many students have trouble mastering.  Teaching telling time should be done in chunks and by allowing students to develop their own benchmarks for lengths of time.  This activity is one that is best done over a long period of time in shorter intervals.  While this means it will take a longer stretch of time for students to develop understanding, the understanding will be internalized and the students will truly “get” it.  Continue having students tell time throughout the school year.


Estimated Time: Ongoing for several weeks – in small 5-10 minute intervals per day


Materials:  The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle, a large teaching clock, a large demonstration analog clock with a second hand, student clocks



  1. Read the story to the students. As you do this, move the hands on the clock to be aligned with time in story.

  2. Discuss how busy the ladybug was and how long it took her to do something.

  3. Next, explain to the students that there are 60 minutes in one hour and that there are 60 seconds in a minute.  Focus this first lesson on the second hand. Tell students that each time it goes around is one minute.

  4. To give the students an idea of how long a minute is, have them to jump up and down on one foot as they watch the second hand go around on the clock.

  5. Allow students to work in groups to brainstorm things that would take a minute or less to do.  Have each group create a chart.  During this class, try some of those things by letting the students do them while watching the second hand go around the clock. Mark out the ones that cannot be done within a minute and circle the ones that can. Try as many of the remaining ideas during the rest of this week. 

  6. After about a week of experiencing how long a minute is and watching the second hand go around the clock, introduce the minute hand. Again, allow students to try things for a minute, and watch the clock to see when a minute is up.

  7. Show the students how to count the minutes on the clock.  Demonstrate on a large demonstration clock how every time the minute hand goes all the way around the clock, the hour hand moves to another number. Spend about a week allowing the students to practice moving the minute hand on their clocks and counting the minutes.  They should begin to see the relationship of the 5 minute intervals.

  8. Have students start setting their clocks to specific times. Continue similar activities as the students learn to tell time to five minutes.  After they can set their clocks, have them also write the time.














Building Mathematical Thinkers

Second Grade Measurement – 10 It’s About Time

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