Gather students in a large group. Ask them to name the different
time frames within a day—morning, afternoon, and night. Have students
share activities they participate in during the morning time (for
example, wake up, eat breakfast, and brush teeth), afternoon (for
example, eat lunch, play outside, and go home from school), and night
(for example, eat supper, do homework, and watch TV).
If students have difficulty, ask such guiding questions as
“When do you eat breakfast?” or “When do you take a bath?” For older
students, you might ask them if they know exactly what time (to the
hour) they do these things. Students at upper level of the grade band
should also be expected to write the activities they do at each time of
the day. As younger students share ideas, record their answers on a
chart or the board using three columns that correspond to the three
times of day.
Read the story The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle, to the
class. This is a story about a grouchy ladybug and her adventures
throughout the day. It documents her adventures each hour of the day
and includes a picture of a clock with the indicated hour on each page.
As you read the story, guide students’ attention to the clocks, times
of day, and activities that the ladybug participates in.
After reading the story, introduce the attributes of time
using real clocks. Explain that clocks are the most common instrument
used to tell time and give students a variety of examples, such as an
analog clock, a digital clock, and a watch. For younger students at
this grade band, use a demonstration clock to model the times pictured
in The Grouchy Ladybug and review the activities that the
ladybug did during the morning, afternoon, and evening. With older
students, talk about and model how to tell time to the hour.
Distribute a copy of the Morning, Noon, and Night Activity Sheet
to each student. Have students draw pictures of activities they do
during each period of the day and allow them to dictate a sentence
about their picture.
Morning, Noon, and Night Activity Sheet
this point, it is important to assess whether or not students
understand the attributes of time. You might collect data and document
information about the following:
- How accurately do students identify activities that occur at given times of the day?
- What knowledge of time do students demonstrate in their
sharing of experiences? Do they use vocabulary indicating conventional
- How accurately are students at the upper level of grade band able to tell time to the hour using a analog and digital clocks?
- You can assess these concepts using the activities students
participated in during this lesson. Students at the lower end of the
grade band demonstrate mastery through drawing, naming activities
appropriate for each phase of the day, and by talking. Students at the
upper end of the grade band demonstrate mastery through telling time
correctly, by showing the designated time on their own clocks, and by
writing about activities and experiences with time.
1. For practice, have students at the upper end of the grade band, make their own ladybug clock. See the Making Clocks Overhead for directions on making a paper plate ladybug clock.
After students make their clock, use the clocks to practice
telling time to the hour and any other time increments you think that
the students are ready to demonstrate (for instance, second graders
often recognize the half hour). Have students work in pairs to show the
time on their clock and tell their partner the time. To create a
recording, students could draw pictures of clocks, mark them with the
times they modeled, and label them with standard notation.
2. Move on to the last lesson, The Weight of Things
Questions for Students
1. Why do we need to be able to tell time at home? At school?
[Student responses may vary.]
2. How can we tell time?
[Accept and encourage answers of nonstandard (the sun comes up, the sun goes down, the alarm goes off, getting up) as well as standard units of time.]
3. In what activities does our class participate during the morning? What activities do we do in the afternoon? What school activities do you do in the evening?
[Student responses may vary.]
- Is there another piece of literature appropriate for teaching time?
- Which students met all objectives of the lesson? Which students did not meet the lesson objectives?
- What adjustments could be made in future lessons to teach this
concept? What materials would help students understand and apply
concepts of time?
- What strategies and materials will I use to reteach time to those who did not master it?
- What extension activities would be appropriate for continuing to teach time to students of this age and grade?
- Recognize the attributes of time.
- Measure time using standard and nonstandard units.
- Identify typical activities performed at various times of the day.
NCTM Standards and Expectations
- Recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time.
- Understand how to measure using nonstandard and standard units.
Common Core State Standards – Mathematics
Grade 1, Measurement & Data
Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.
Grade 2, Measurement & Data
Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.