Lesson plan

Time to the Nearest Minute

Teach your students a vital life skill with this lesson on telling time to the nearest minute! Students will be hands on changing the times on their own clocks and get plenty of practice reading times both with the class and individually.
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Students will be able to tell and write time to the nearest minute on an analog clock.

(5 minutes)
  • Divide students into pairs.
  • Tell students that you want them to think of reasons why telling time is important.
  • Have students take turns writing down their reasons.
  • After about three minutes, ask students to choose their top three reasons.
  • Have students share their top reasons with the class.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that telling time is a very important skill, not only to learn as a third grader, but for their whole lives.
  • Tell students that today they will learn how to tell time to the nearest minute.
  • Review the hands of a clock, and how many minutes each number represents on the clock face.
  • Ask students to look for the marks between the numbers on a clock. Tell students that each of these marks represent one minute.
  • Give a oral example of how this skill could be used. For example: A student gets home at 3:05. Three minutes later, he starts his homework. At what time does the student start his homework?
  • Using a clock with movable hands is recommended for this section.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the individual mini clocks to students.
  • On your clock, show 6:44.
  • Ask students what your first step should be to find the time.
  • If students are having trouble, point out that the best way to start would be to count be fives, and then to subtract (or add) for each mark.
  • Walk students through finding the time to the nearest minute.
  • Write the time on the board as 6:44.
  • Create another example, but this time, give students a time and have them display it on their own clock. Students may work with a partner to show the correct time.
  • Ask your students how they know the time on their clock is correct.
  • Ask a student to sum up how to tell time to the nearest minute to review.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students complete the Telling Time to the Nearest Minute worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Students who need an extra challenge or who finish early may work with a partner. One person will say a time and his or her partner will show the correct time using the mini clocks. Then the partners switch roles and repeat the steps above.
  • Support: Some students may need more practice time with the mini clocks. The teacher may pull a small group and practice having students move the clock hands to the time dictated. Some students may need to skip drawing the minute and hour hand on the clocks on the worksheet and stick with the first half of the worksheet.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out sticky notes to your students.
  • Have students write 1 and 2 on the sticky note.
  • Display two different times on your movable clock for your students to read and record.
(5 minutes)
  • Remind students that being able to read time is an important skill, as it will ensure that they arrive on time for school, work, or meetings.
  • Have students pair-and-share how to find time to the nearest minute.

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