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Activities to Teach Students About Time in Second Grade

by Maggie McCormick, studioD

By second grade, most students will have a concept of what time is, including the ideas of past, present and future. Common Core Standards state that students in grade two should understand the clock, should be able to switch from digital clocks to analog clocks and should understand the difference between "a.m." and "p.m." Use fun activities to help students learn the basics.

Counting By Fives

Knowing how to count by fives is essential to mastering time-telling as students need to know that the number two corresponds with 10 and nine corresponds with 45. Some students might easily master this if you teach it in song form, using the song "Ready or Not, Here I Come" by Schoolhouse Rock. In the song, children are playing hide and seek, with one child counting to 100 by fives. The rhythmic counting helps some students memorize counting by fives. Others might like a more hands-on activity, such as using a hundred board, pulling out every fifth number and then reading those numbers.

Time-Teaching Clock

A special clock that helps with teaching time may be a great tool. In these clocks, the "hour numbers" are written in a particular color that matches the hour hand, and the "minute numbers" are written in small numbers above the hour numbers in a different color that corresponds with the minute hand. Students learn to read the clock by matching the colors of the hands with the numbers they represent.

Setting the Clock

Using a small toy clock with movable hands, students can practice creating the time that someone else calls out. For example, you could set up an alternative version of the game "What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?" where all students have their own clocks and one student is the fox. Students all call out "What time is it, Mr. Fox?" and the fox calls out a time. Students then show their answers, and anyone who has it correct gets to take one step forward.

Digital to Analog

Converting from the easy-to-read digital style clocks to an analog clock is the main goal for the year. You can easily find worksheets to practice this concept, but many students find endless worksheets boring. To make this practice fun, have students play a Memory or Bingo game, matching written digital clock pictures with their analog picture matches. Memory works best in small groups of students, while you could probably play Bingo with the whole class.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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