Since prehistory, humans have found ways to tell the time. Whether studying the position of the sun in the sky, using a sundial, or glancing at a modern smartwatch, we need to know the time to help us organise our day.
Telling the time is an important skill, otherwise how will we know when it is time for dinner, or time to catch a train?
Teach your children about time using our handy topic guide!
- Give children times to convert into different formats (words, analogue, digital). Use this worksheet (or this one) to record their answers.
- Use word problems for children to work on their problem solving and time skills all in one go.
- Use this fun idea for children to check if their lessons start and finish on time.
- Use this teaching clock to demonstrate adding and subtracting units of time from 1 hour to 1 minute, on a clock face and a digital readout.
- Visit the NRICH site for lots of time based investigations.
- This fantastic blog has lots of ideas to use, including using lego and making a human clock!
- Our What Time is it? sheets are perfect for practice and revision.
- Use this excel sheet to check that children can covert from digital to analogue.
- This handy reference sheet is useful to support children when converting time from analogue to digital and vice versa.
- Our Stopwatch Tool is handy for use on an interactive whiteboard.
- There are 24 hours in a day. Each hour is 60 minutes long. Each minute is 60 seconds long. That means that there are 86,400 minutes in a day (24 x 60 x 60)!
- Water clocks were used in Ancient Egypt to tell the time.
- The largest clock faces in the world can be found on the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca. Each of the four faces is 43 meters (141 feet) across and can be read from 17 kilometres (10 miles) away!
- Every four years an extra day is added to February. This is known as a leap year and occurs because the earth actually takes 365 and a quarter days to orbit the sun.
- Galileo Galilei, an Italian scientist, discovered that pendulums could be used to measure time at the beginning of the 17th century.
A simple song about the times we do things during the school day.
Running time: 2:15
Can the Numberjacks stop Spooky Spoon messing around with time?
Running time: 14:04
A brief history of time telling
This great video from the British Museum is a summary of the history of telling the time.
Running time: 5:55
Number lines for elapsed time
This video demonstrates how to use a number line to solve elapsed time problems.
Running time: 3:24
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!