Teaching Time with PowerPoint

There is so much language used to talk about time and we tell the time in two different ways.

I always tend to use one way more than the other. Instead of saying ‘nine oh five’ I will say ‘five past nine’ or simply ‘five past’ if I think the hour is implicit.

When I taught about time I would draw a diagram on the board explaining the different areas of the clock face.

Then a few years ago I decided to turn that diagram into a PowerPoint slide that I could copy and paste into other presentations when I needed to model telling the time.

Click on PowerPoint Teaching Clock to download the PowerPoint template.

The first time I used it, it worked really well.  Different colors indicated whether to use past/after and to, and the numbers on the outer ring showed whether to say ’10 to…’ or ’50.’

More importantly, I didn’t lose class time trying to draw it clearly.

Teaching Time with PowerPoint - Annotated

When you open the PowerPoint Teaching Clock template, you’ll notice that all 24 arrows are visible. When you start the slideshow though, none of the arrows are visible until you click on a number.

PowerPoint Teaching Clock - Type 1

Watch this video for a quick demo.

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of this template over the last few years and it’s very easy to make a game out of it.

A Quick Quiz

The easiest game is to divide the students into teams.

Ask them to come up with a team name.

Display a random time and award a point to the team who can tell correctly say what the time is.

Hot Seat Games

There are a few types of hot seat games you can play.

Higher or Lower

Divide the class into teams.

Ask them to come up with a team name.

Ask one student to come up to the front from each team.

Show a random time on the screen and encourage the students at the front to guess the time.

Their teammates can see the time on the board and can help them be the first to guess by saying higher or lower.

The student who says the correct time wins a point for their team.

…at that time

Divide the class into teams.

Ask them to come up with a team name.

Ask one student to come up to the front from each team.

Select an hour or a time that the students will be familiar with. School schedules work well for this variation.

Tell the teams to give their teammate at the front clues about what time it is.

For example:

‘Period one starts at this time’

The student who says the correct time wins a point for their team.

Whisper Chains

Divide the class into two, three or four teams. (Depending on the size of the classroom.)

Run the PowerPoint on a tablet or a Smartphone.

Show the students at the back of the line a random time.

The students whisper the time to the person in front of, and in turn they whisper to the person in front of them until it reaches the person at the front of the line. They run to the whiteboard/blackboard and write down the time that they heard.

The students at the front comes to the back, and repeat the activity with a new time. The student who write the time correctly wins a point for their team.

Smaller Groups

It’s easy to transfer this activity to smaller groups of students by giving the groups a mini whiteboard (or a laminated piece of blank paper/card.

Ask the students to draw a clock face on the whiteboard.

(Or they can use a piece of scrap paper and two pens.)

Nominate one student to draw the time.

The smaller groups can play the quizzes independently from each other.

They can also play the hot seat games if they hide the board from one of the students in their group.

I hope you’ll find this template useful for your classes.

Leave a comment and let me know what games you play to practice telling the time.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

2 thoughts on “Teaching Time with PowerPoint

  1. But the hour hand doesn’t move as the minute increases?? When the minute hand points to 6, shouldn’t the hour hand be pointing at the mid point between 2 and 3 when it is 2:30?


    1. Hi Chris. If it was a real clock it would, but this is just a simple PowerPoint. I would improve it if I could, but it is probably a project that would be too complicated for me. Sorry.


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