Lesson plan

How Long is One Minute?

Show your students how long one minute is. Use a story and activities to help them gain a better understanding of time.
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Time flies in this practical math lesson! A minute is made up of 60 seconds—but what does that mean in the real world? First graders will look at a simple question in a lot of different ways in the lesson plan How Long is One Minute? Soon students will be talking about what they can do in a minute, and which things take longer than a minute. By thinking about the limits of a minute, kids get a better sense of how time works.

Students will be able to identify how long one minute is.

(5 minutes)
  • Set the timer for 1 minute. Have the class sit quietly and wait for the timer to buzz.
  • Ask the class what activities they think a person could do that would take less than one minute. Then ask them what some activities are that would take more than one minute.
  • Tell students that one minute is equal to 60 seconds, or the length of time it takes to say "Mississippi."
(10 minutes)
  • Read Just a Minute!.
  • Ask students why knowing how long one minute is is important.
(15 minutes)
  • Write down on a piece of paper several examples of activities that would take more than one minute, example: drive to school, read a book, shower, paint a picture, eat, shop for groceries, watch a movie, and several activities that take less than one minute, example: take a picture, tie a shoe, turn a page, sneeze, open a letter, wash hands, sit in a chair.
  • Make two headings for the pocket chart, "More than 1 minute" and "Less than 1 minute."
  • Have enough examples of activities for each student to have one to place in the pocket chart.
  • As students place the activities in the pocket chart, watch to make sure they are placing the activities on the correct side and aid struggling students.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students split into small groups and time each other as they do the Time Trial worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Come up with another list of tasks for students to try to complete in one minute.
  • Support: Pair struggling students with peer mentors.
(5 minutes)
  • Observe the class' ability to determine whether an activity will take more or less than one minute to complete.
  • Check students' worksheets for accuracy of estimation.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the class what they have learned from this activity.
  • Have the class share anymore questions or concerns they might have about the lesson with you.

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