Teaching how to read analog clocks with ease… including a video for parents

While it may sound counter-intuitive, the easiest way to learn to tell the time is to remove the minute hand altogether!

Check out the video, try the task, and remember to find the lessons below for website subscribers.

What you will need:

  • A circle of paper
  • A pen to write the numbers on
  • Something to act as an hour hand (e.g. a pipe cleaner to poke through a hole in the centre)

Getting started:

  1. Cut out a circle of paper.
  2. Fold in half, then use this to write on the 12 and the 6.
  3. Fold in half again (quarters) to position the 3 and the 9.
  4. While folded, snip off the centre so you can poke a pipe cleaner through the hole.
  5. Poke the pipe cleaner through the centre to act as the hour hand.
  6. Work out which way clockwise is with your child (the way that the numbers get bigger).
  7. Point the hour hand near a number and guess at the time (e.g., at 1:00 the hour hand is on the one).
  8. Repeat, but have the hand just after the number or just before (e.g., it is just before 1:00, it is just after 1:00).
  9. Repeat, but have the hand half way between two numbers (e.g., it is half-past one).
  10. Once this is working, reintroduce the minute hand by making 5 little minute-marks between each hour (60 altogether).
  11. To tell the time: start with the hour hand, then use the minute hand to get closer.

Video from our at-home program on telling the time

Want more?

There is a great set of lessons for website subscribers in our Year 2 program, at week 18. You can find more appropriate resources for older kids at lessons 84-86 in the Essential Maths resources.


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