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Easy Steps for Teaching Telling Times

Updated on May 21, 2012

You will need an analog clock for this lesson.


Minute hand - long hand (60 minutes in an hour)

Hour hand - short hand (12 hours in a.m., 12 hours in p.m)

A.M. - 12:00a.m. (midnight) – 11:59a.m. (just before noon)

P.M. - 12:00p.m. (noon) – 11:59p.m. (just before midnight)

Half - 2 equal parts

STEP 1: Review the above vocabulary to make sure students understand the concept of time. Be patient with students because time is so abstract and can be difficult for students to grasp. Have students count by 5 to model the 60 minutes.

STEP 2: Using a clock, draw or tape a vertical line starting at the number 12 and continuing to the number 6 to model halves.

STEP 3: Show students how the minutes on the right side of the vertical line are read as after and the minutes on the left side of the vertical line are read as before or til.

So then,

1 and 11 represent 5 minutes (after and before)

2 and 10 represent 10 minutes (after and before)

3 and 9 represent 15 minutes (after and before)

4 and 8 represent 20 minutes (after and before)

5 and 7 represent 25 minutes (after and before)

STEP 4: Help students to realize that when the minute hand is on the 12, we say o’clock; and when it’s on the 6, we say 30.

STEP 5: Use the vocabulary to model the 12 a.m. and p.m. hours on the clock.


  • See how many students are able to equate 60 minutes to an hour.
  • See how many students are able to distinguish between events that occur during the a.m. hours and those that occur during p.m.


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    • YvetteParker profile image

      YvetteParker 6 years ago from AUGUSTA, GA

      My students have helped me stumble upon new and different strategies that work for them. They may not work for all; but that's what's so cool about math....there's always more than one way to get to the right answer; and I just love when it happens through discovery!!!

    • YvetteParker profile image

      YvetteParker 6 years ago from AUGUSTA, GA

      Thanks for reading and sharing your comments. I've tried many different strategies over the years and have found this one to be most effective.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Interesting and very different from my techniques.

      Welcome to Hubpages and any questions please let me or any other Elite member know and we will try to assist you in any way possible.