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Here is a math lesson on time





Mandi Fraley and Robyn Boyd

Lesson Plan (T267 – Bay)

TOPIC: Telling Time (by the hour)



The students will be able to describe and analyze what time is to them. They students will also be able to tell time and make their own clocks by the hour. They will become familiar with time and have an meaningful experience to relate to. The students will be able to correlate time from an interesting and age – appropriate book as well as through classtime (timer).


Intro: Explain the significance of the large and small hands of a clock to make whole hours. Have the children make their very own clocks (see attached pattern).

A. Anticipatory set

1. Show The Grouchy Ladybug to the students.

2. Flip through the book and ask the children what they think the book is about.

3. Ask them if they know what “time” is.

4. Have an open class discussion about “time.”

B. Concept development/activity

1. Read The Grouchy Ladybug aloud to the class.

2. Have the children move the hand on their clocks to the time shown in the book.

3. Use the transparency as a guide for what time is on each page or you may just want to pause and allow time for them to look at the illustration and take notice of the time).

3.Ask the students if they see a pattern of time (by the hour.)

4.Ask questions: i.e. “if the ladybug talked to the sparrow at 9:00 and the lobster was the next one she talked to, what time do you think she talked to the lobster?”

C. Practice

1. Give each child a piece of paper they can keep on their desk.

2. Set a timer up in the room.

3. Whenever the timer goes off, have the children write down what time it is.

4. Make sure and set it off random times – that way they never know when to expect H.

5. At the end of the day discuss their data.

* This can be a fun activity if the children can really get involved and write down the times. Have a discussion with them and really see if they know what time they wrote down. For example, if they wrote down 2:00 ask them questions about 2:00. (i.e., what does 2:00 come after or before, what were we doing at 2:00?” Get them thinking!!

D. Closure

As a class review the activity with the clocks and ask them questions about telling time by the hour. Maybe read the book again and have them follow along more closely using the time. Discuss the activity using the piece of paper and the timer. Talk more about what they had written down. Discuss with them more about what time means to them and what they think of time.


The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

Teacher’s transparency of demo clock.

Students individual clocks (cardboard, construction paper, glue, scissors, pattern)

EXTENSIONS: Have the students do the timer activity for a couple of days and gradually add in a half and hour and then minutes instead of just time by the hour. Also have them write/draw a creative journal using time to talk about what they do during the day. You could pick specific times for them to write about. For example, you could start with 8:00 a.m. and they could draw a picture of a school bus that they ride to get to school and in their handwriting (remember their first graders) they could tell you who they sit by on the bus!


Bay, Jennifer, University of Missouri. 1996

Carls, Eric. The Grouchy Ladybug, HarperColins Publishers, 1977.

KATM. Elementary Math Lesson Plans, NCTM conference, 1996.

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