- Learn vocabulary for past and future times
- Associate activities with specific times on a timeline
- Understand elapsed time
- Let’s Make a Clock Template printable
- Traveling Through Time Activity Sheet printable
- Whiteboard and markers
- Make 5–10 copies of the Let’s Make a Clock Template printable. Put a different time on each (whole and half hours) and place them around the classroom.
- Make one copy per student of the Traveling Through Time Activity Sheet printable.
Step 1: Draw a timeline on the board to demonstrate elapsed time. Label the start of the school day rounded to the nearest hour (e.g. 8:00). With student help, label intervals of one hour (9:00, 10:00, etc.) and mark what activities the class does at those times.
Step 2: Explain that when we say “One hour ago,” we are talking about one hour in the past. Point to the current time on the timeline and go back one hour. What was the class doing one hour ago?
Step 3: Explain that when we say “In one hour,” we are talking about one hour in the future. Point to the current time and go forward one hour. What will the class be doing in one hour?
Step 4: Ask questions about elapsed time related to the school day. Discuss as a class, using the timeline as a visual aid. For example:
- How many hours pass between the beginning and end of the school day?
- We have recess in two hours. What time is recess?
- We finished our science lesson three hours ago. What time was it?
Step 5: Point out the different clocks that you have placed around the room. Invite student volunteers to start at one clock and “travel” from clock to clock based on how much time you tell them has passed. For example, if a student starts at 1:00, and you say, “What time will it be in four hours?” the student will move to the clock that says 5:00. If you say, “What time was it half an hour ago?” the student then moves to the clock that says 4:30.
Step 6: Have students complete the Traveling Through Time Activity Sheet to reinforce these skills. Review the answers as a class, encouraging students to share their reasoning.