Stage 2 – analog and digital time


Students can:

  • read time on analogue and digital clocks to the minute
  • match times on analogue and digital clocks
  • estimate and compare the length of activities

Activities to support the strategy

Activity 1

1. Students draw their own clock face from memory showing all the markings they know. They describe the features of their clock face to a small group, then compare to a real clock face. Students report to the class and describe the accuracy of their drawing.

2. Students are given a page of blank analogue clock faces - Worksheet - Draw a clock face (PDF 324.87KB). They draw the hands on each clock face to show a time on the hour, half-hour or quarter-hour. The teacher calls out a time on the hour, half-hour or quarter-hour. Students mark the clock if they have a matching time.

3. Show students a blank analogue clock face - Worksheet - Analogue clock face (PDF 252.61KB). Write the minutes around the outside of the clock. Discuss patterns they can see, for example, counting by 5 seconds, 10 seconds. Count how many minutes around the clock face. Determine that 60 minutes equals one hour.

Teaching minutes after the hour

With the predominant form of time display being digital time, it makes sense to teach students to read ‘minutes after the hour’ on an analogue clock.

4. Teach students that the long hand is the minute hand and it says to count by fives. Say When we count the minutes past o'clock, we say zero at 12 then count by fives as we point to each number. Practise pointing and counting by fives from zero to 30.

5. Provide examples of the long hand pointing to each number 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in random order and have students count by fives to give the number of minutes past the hour.

6. Tell students if it is thirty minutes after the hour we can also say half past.

7. Combine the short hand and long hand by asking the students to identify the hour and the number of minutes after or past the hour. Include examples of o'clock and examples of the minute hand pointing to a number.

Note: Teaching students to read the time by this method makes it easier to teach minutes after the hour when the minute hand is ‘off a number’. With the bulk of time information being presented in digital form it is not a real problem that students read analogue time as ‘thirty minutes after/past five’.

8. Students work in pairs to provide examples of the short hand pointing to each number to show various minutes around the clock face. Have students count by fives and ones to give the number of minutes past the hour/to the hour.

9. Students time activities in class that might take 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and so on, then practise estimating how long a task has taken.

10. Students match cards with alternate recording of the same times.

11. Students suggest an activity that can be carried out in a length of time.

How long? How long?
one hour half an hour
a quarter of an hour three quarters of an hour
hourly thirty minutes
sixty seconds one day
ninety minutes two and half hours

Worksheet - reading the time (PDF 207.49KB)

12. Prepare sets of matching times in both analogue and digital forms. Students work in pairs and place the cards face down in a grid and take turns to match pairs of cards.

13. Students practise converting from hours to minutes and vice versa, for example.

Convert the time from Convert the time to
30 minutes half an hour
¼ hour 15 minutes

14. Students convert between other units of time - examples:

  • 60 seconds = 1 minute
  • 24 hours = 1 day
  • 365 days = 1 year
  • 366 days = 1 leap year
  • 12 months = 1 year
  • Pose the problem ‘How many days have you attended school this term/year?’ Students calculate a solution.
  • Ask the students ‘How many other ways can you show this information?’ for example, in hours, in minutes.
  • Students use a calculator to check their answers.

Extend the activity by asking ‘How many hours have you spent at recess and lunch this week?’ Students could record information in days, hours or minutes on a spreadsheet and then draw a graph.

Future teaching points

Once students can accurately read and record time to 30 minutes past introduce reading time when the minute hand is pointing to 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12, using the sequence of steps outlined above. Emphasise that when the minute hand has moved all the way from 12 around the clock and back to 12, 60 minutes has passed and it is o'clock again. Using this method students will read time as minutes past the hour.

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