GEDB Understanding Time Zones: (Lesson 3 of 3)
In this lesson, students will make connections between the time difference between home and another city and that city's location on the globe. Students will use these connections to rearrange the maps hung on the wall so that they are in the order that they occur around the globe. This lesson is designed for use in the AIG (academically and intellectually gifted) classroom; students are pulled out of their regular classroom twice a week for enrichment instruction in their area of giftedness. This lesson was developed by Meredith Ewbank as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.
In this lesson, students will make connections between the time difference between home and another city and that city's location on the globe. Students will use these connections to rearrange the maps hung on the wall so that they are in the order that they occur around the globe. This lesson is designed for use in the AIG (academically and intellectually gifted) classroom; students are pulled out of their regular classroom twice a week for enrichment instruction in their area of giftedness.
In the previous lessons, students recorded times in various cities around the world on a chart. As students come into class, have them record times on this chart one more time, using the clocks hung on the wall with the map posters and by using https://time.is to locate the current time in the cities.
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
I can make a connection between the times in different cities and the other of the continents around the globe to rearrange the maps.
Criteria for Success:
I will identify the time difference between my home city and a variety of other cities around the globe (accomplished as a group; one student doesn't need to identify all of the time differences).
I will locate my home city and another city on the globe.
I will describe the distance between my home city and another city on the globe.
I will describe the time difference between my home city and another city.
I will compare the time differences between my home city and other cities.
I will describe the connection between the time difference and the distance from my home city on the globe (the farther across the globe a city is, the larger the time difference).
I will rearrange the maps on the wall so that the time differences are (generally) in order (note: this is not exact because the continents overlap).
posters of maps of all continents with cities
analog clocks displaying the time of one city from each continent (hung with the appropriate continent poster and labeled with the name of the city, country)
student work from previous lessons displayed to show the times in different cities and the time differences between home and these cities
poster, chart paper, or whiteboard with chart of times found in the previous lesson
computer with internet access
projector (optional but allows easy display for the group)
Continent maps printed for each group (https://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/) (optional, but may be used with larger groups or a whole class setting)
Learning Tasks and Practice
Again, refer students to the times that they recorded as they entered class. Ask students what they notice about the times today compared to last class. They should notice that the hours are the same and the minutes are close to the same as last time; again, they should also notice that the minutes are the same in (almost) all cities (with only a few exceptions in Asia). Ask students what students are doing in a couple of the other cities (ie. What are students doing in Los Angeles, California right now?)
The teacher should begin with an open-ended approach to rearranging the maps on the wall and provide increased guidance as necessary. The teacher should ask students if the continents should be in a particular order or if it's okay to be random.
If students respond that it does matter, then ask them what order they would put them in and why. Allow students to take down the maps, times, and clocks and rearrange them. The teacher should interject questions (see below) to help students communicate their reasons as needed. The lesson is designed for use with a small group; however, if the class setting is a larger group, maps of the continents can be printed for each group of students to rearrange at their table.
If students respond that it does not matter, then the teacher will need to continue through the guided practice below.
The teacher should show a globe and ask students if the continents are in a particular order on the globe. Hopefully students recognize that yes, they are always in the same place on the globe/Earth. The teacher should ask students if they think that the time difference tells us anything about how far away the city is from home.
To see that the time difference is connected to the distance from home, the teacher should guide the students through locating their home city and another city on the globe, describing the distance between the home city and the other city, and telling the time difference between the two. This should be repeated with a different city that is either much farther or much closer. Then the teacher should repeat the question, do the students think that the time difference tells us anything about how far away the city is from home?
The students should work together as a whole group to reorganize the maps of the continents, using the time differences as a point of reference. The lesson is designed for use with a small group; however, if the class setting is a larger group, maps of the continents can be printed for each group of students to rearrange at their table. Once the students have reorganized the continents, have them refer to the globe; does their order match the order on the globe? Why or why not? The order that I encourage is North America, South America, Africe, Europe, Asia, and Australia (with Antartica not included); the continents have some time zones that are the same but there is generally part of the continent that sticks out either further east or west.
computer with internet access
projector (optional but allows easy display for the group)
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
Formative assessment: All assessment in this lesson is formative. As students are working collaboratively, the teacher should be monitoring and taking mental or actual notes of student successes and difficulties. The teacher should respond using the feedback questions below to help guide students towards correcting their own mistakes and note who is able to correct their work and who is not.
Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps
Students have opportunity to work as a small group to discuss the time differences and their connection to the distance that the city is from home; through this discussion, students will be able to reflect on their work and determine the best order of the continents. Students will also check their own work rearranging the continents by comparing their order to the globe; students may notice that a map needs to move through this comparison.
The teacher should monitor students' ability to make connections between the time difference and the location on the globe and provide feedback through questioning; these questions are designed to help students reflect on their own work. If students are unable to modify their work based on teacher questioning, the teacher may need to be more explicit and label the locations on the globe while discussing the time difference. The teacher should do this with two different cities so that students can see that the larger the time difference, the further away the city is from home.
Where is home on the globe?
Where is ____________________ (another city) on the globe?
Are these cities very far apart or not too far apart? (close by, not too far, across the world, etc.)
What is the time difference between home and _____________ (city)?
Is this time difference not too big of a difference or a huge difference?
Repeat with another city and compare the two.
Extended Learning Opportunities
This lesson can be extended to include a discussion of the scientific reasons that time is different in different cities. This may include a visual/model using the globe and the "sun" (a flashlight) that illuminates half of the Earth. Teachers may also use the "Time Zones" video from Brain Pop (subscription required) [ [www.brainpop.com/science/space/timezones/] to pique students' curiosity about other aspects of time zones, such as the connection between 24 time zones and 24 hours in a day or lines of longitude.
This lesson can also be extended by find cities in Asia whose time has different minutes from your time at home. Students can find the time difference between home and one of these cities, which requires finding more than just the number of hours different.
Teacher Reflection of Learning
This lesson is where it all comes together! Students have to stop thinking about each time difference as its own separate problem and really focus on the big ideas behind time zones, time differences, and the organization of the continents on the globe. Depending on the students, it may take some heavy guidance to connect the time difference to the distance across the globe, but once students make the initial connection, the rest of it falls into place quickly. Organizing the maps is more difficult for students than using the globe to visualize the distances, but the globe can also be difficult to understand why some cities are so far ahead of home's time but are not that far away to the west; this provides a great opportunity to discuss the International Date Line.