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Lesson Plans
Telling Time
1st–2nd Grade

CCSS Math: Measurement & Data
  • 2.MD.7: Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.
Materials Needed


  1. Print out an analog clock template for each student. (Select the appropriate clock—with or without marked 5-minute intervals—depending on your students’ comfort and familiarity with telling time.)
  2. Prepunch a hole through the circle end of each clock hand with a hole punch.
  3. Print out a set of Time & Measurement cards for each student.


  1. Provide each student with an analog clock template and a brass fastener. Have students cut out the clock hands, place the brass fastener through the prepunched holes and attach the hands to the clock.
  2. Next, have students point both hands on their clocks to the 12. Ask, “What time does your clock show?” (12 o’clock)
  3. Point to the numbers on the clock and explain that each number represents the passing of five minutes. Tell students that, as we point to each number, we can count by fives to show that five minutes have passed.
  4. Have students move the minute hands clockwise around their clocks, counting by fives aloud with you as the hands pass each number.
  5. When students have returned the minute hands to the 12, have them start again, this time counting slowly by fives as the hands pass each number, until the minute hands reach the 3.
  6. Then say, “When the minute hand is on the 3 and the hour hand is on the 12, it is 12:15.”
  7. Continue to model moving the hands around the clock while counting by fives as the minute hand passes each number. Stop at each quarter hour and say the time aloud (e.g., 12:30, 12:45, 1:00, 1:15, 1:30, 1:45).

Guided Practice

  1. Tell students they are going to use their clocks to play a guessing game.
  2. Call on one student volunteer to give clues to describe a time on the quarter hour (e.g., when the minute hand is on the 3, 6, 9, or 12). For example, “The hour hand is between the seven and eight. The minute hand is on the six. What time is it?” (7:30)
  3. Invite students to set the hands on their clocks according to the description and then raise their hands when they figure out the time.
  4. Have the student giving the clues call on a volunteer to guess the time. If the answer is correct, the volunteer becomes the student who gives the clues the next time!

Note: As students catch on, you may want to vary the game by having them tell time to five-minute intervals, rather than just 15-minute intervals.

Independent Practice

  1. Give each student a set of Time & Measurement cards and a pair of scissors.
  2. Have them cut apart and mix up the cards.
  3. Challenge students to see if they can match each digital clock card to the analog clock card that shows the same time. (An answer key is provided.)

View the 1st–2nd Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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