Ever wondered how little learners might question why the sun is not visible at night? Sometimes, they are even curious to know why stars disappear in the morning. And that’s when you should be active in teaching them the concept of time. While time telling is a crucial aspect of understanding everyday tasks, it is also a significant way to make them understand morning, evening, lunchtime, and dinner time.
Teaching time-telling to students with learning difficulties generally becomes challenging, though it is somewhat easy when students learn the multiplication table of 5. However, to make it interesting and give a fresh take on learning, time-telling activities are here for your help! Different time-telling activities not only offer to learn but also be a combination of creativity, and math concepts and improve motor skills. So, check out easy-to-conduct activities that help students learn time telling in a fun manner.
Innovative and fun time-telling activities
Besides online games, classroom activities for learning and practicing time-telling also play a helpful role in overall child development. With activities, children get an opportunity to engage in practical learning and also clarify their doubts in real time. The below-mentioned activities are useful to teach the concept of time telling to little learners.
1. My Clock
This is a creative activity where children get to learn about timing and also understand how the multiplication table of 5 is helpful in learning time telling.
- To conduct this activity, simply ask students to get chart papers of their preferred colors
- Help them to cut the chart paper into circles and draw the numbers of the clock with help of sketch pens
- Ask them to write the table of 5 on sticky notes and stick them beside the main numbers.
- For example, they need to write 20 beside the number 4
As students get an opportunity to create their own clock, they are more likely to understand how the concept of time-telling works. You may also include drawing dials and asking them the time.
2. Move Me and Tell the Time
This unique activity focuses on making children understand how dials move and tell the time.
- To conduct this activity, divide the students into teams of 2 each
- Ask them to cut a circle on the cardboard and write numbers in a way it is written on the clock
- Now, ask them to draw 2 clock hands (short for an hour and long for a minute) on chart paper and cut them
- Now, stick the endpoints of the hands on the cardboard in a way that they can move from the other end
- Now, the DIY clock is ready and tell any time by moving the hands to represent it
Such an activity promotes the time-telling concept and students also learn to identify which dial identifies what timing. This eliminates a lot of confusion that students have with time telling.
3. Stationery is here!
Various stationery items are a great way to engage children in the concept of time-telling. This activity focuses on enhancing concentration and making kids learn the placement of different numbers in a clock.
- To conduct this activity, ask students to make a circle with different stationery items including erasers, or sharpeners which will represent the numbers
- Ask them to write the numbers beside the blocks
- After this, start calling different timings, for example, 4:30, 6:40 or 2:10
- Then ask students to keep drawing dials with a pencil
- Once, they are done they should erase it and wait for the next time to be announced by you
As students get to draw the dials, they understand the correct placement for the dial. They also relate to time telling in a practical manner.
4. Human Clock
This activity is all about developing their motor skills while making kids learn about timings.
- To conduct this activity, draw a huge clock on the floor
- Now, number it properly and you can also write the table of 5 that falls under each number
- After this, call two students and assign them that one should step on the visible numbers of the clock and the other should step on the multiple of 5
- If you say 4:30, one student is supposed to jump on 4 while the other should jump on 6
Students are more likely to understand a time when they jump and go around figuring out how time-telling works. Such an activity promotes analytical thinking too.
5. What do you do When?
The concept of timing is crucial as students also understand various aspects of planning and organizing their day according to timings. This activity focuses on making students understand how different tasks are bifurcated according to the timings.
- To conduct this activity, take prints of different tasks that kids generally do in a day
- For example, you can print different pictures of brushing, bathing, kids making their bed, eating, or doing the homework
- Now put these pictures in a bowl and ask each student to pick one
- The student has to look at the picture and say the timing when he-she does that task in the day
- For example, if the student picks a picture of making a bed, he/she can say – I make my bed at 9:00 p.m.
Such an activity fosters visual skills as students get an opportunity to relate to timing and task allocation in a day. They also understand the basic difference between A.M and P.m
6. Time Bingo
Bingo is a quick activity and generally engages students in a challenging environment. This activity helps them understand different timings and develops critical thinking skills.
- To conduct the activity, take a print of the Bingo game
- Make sure the printout has three rows and three columns with pictures of clocks depicting different timings
- Distribute the sheet to all students
- After this, announce any time and let students circle that clock with a sketch pen
- Once students are done with one line, they should announce that a particular line is done
This is an innovative type of Bingo as every student has the same sheet. Here, teachers and parents get an opportunity to identify if all students are understanding the time-telling concept or not. Such activity also offers opportunities to clarify doubts and queries in real-time.
7. Where’s My Pair?
Time telling is an interesting concept as time is generally communicated in various ways through the usage of words as well as numbers. This activity enables children to tell the time by recognizing both formats in an engaging manner.
- To conduct this activity make two sets of flashcards
- One set should have the printout of the clock with the timing on it the
- Another set of flashcards should have timing written in words; for example, quarter past 4
- Now, distribute the flashcards among students and ask them to stand in a circle
- Play the music and let students keep dancing
- As the music stops, students need to find their pairs
- For example, quarter past four needs to find the picture of the clock that depicts the timing – 4:15
- The activity goes on unless all students have found the correct pairs
Students are more accustomed to seeing the timing in numbers, so this activity changes their perspective and helps them to create visual imagery with that of numbers. They learn different formats of time telling and also understand how it can be communicated in different ways. Furthermore, a list of time-telling IEP goals can also be prepared for kids who need some special attention in their academics.
As students learn time telling through different activities, it is also important to consider that offering a diversified learning experience enhances student engagement. In such cases, teachers and parents can also make use of different online games, picture books, or manipulatives that help students learn about time.
The above-mentioned activities are easy to conduct and can often be modified as per the classroom requirement. It should also be noted that every student learns at a different pace and they should be given good time to grasp the concept of time telling. Furthermore, while time telling and elapsed time are two very different concepts, however, engaging the kids in some elapsed time activities can also be helpful to the little learners.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,