Telling time in English

Posted on Dec 11 2014 - 5:00am by Zdenda

Telling the time is something I have to teach every year. And to be honest I have not been very successful. Even gifted adults struggled.
And this year I faced even bigger challenge. I was supposed to teach this to a group of challenged children who cannot tell the time in their MT. So I prepared some new materials and … And I did it.
And here is how.
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Telling time – mind map

We started with the following mind map. I asked the children to learn the words for each time.

Telling the time mind map

Then I demonstrated telling the time in English using one of the PAST times. I told them that they have to start with the minutes and then add the clock. The WOW moment came and I was really happy. Then I showed them how to work with the blue phrases. They soon understood that they have to add 1 to the number of clocks.

Telling time – classroom activities

Of course it is nice to understand something but only practise makes masters. So here are several activities we have tried in our class.
First, we played bingo. I dictated the times and the students crossed them out. The winner (3 times in a row) shouted Bingo.
Another variation of the same game is that the students tell the time. Ask each student to choose one time on his card and tell it. The others listen and if they have it on their cards they cross it out.

Telling the time – bingo cards

The other activity is a pair work. Each student gets a card and they dictate their times to their partner.

Telling the time – pairwork

Telling time – computer activities

If you want to provide home practice for your students you can use the following activities. First, you can ask your students to choose the correct time according to what they hear:
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Telling the time – listening
In the second quiz students are asked to write the time correctly. Both quizzes are in HTML5 so they will play anywhere.

Telling the time – produce

You can find another interesting game to practice language connected with time at British Council time.

Telling time – share

Do you like the activities? You can share them on your blog or website. Or if your classroom does not have the internet connection you can use these activities too. The only limitation is that you must not sell the activities.
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3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. HARIPRASAD 15/12/2014 at 5:11 pm -

    Very Nice

  2. Hanne B. Odberg 16/12/2014 at 4:41 pm -

    I tthink that nowadays it’s more common to say “half 6, half 10” instead of “half past 5, half past 9..” Am I right?

  3. Zdenda 17/12/2014 at 3:27 am -

    Yes, it is very common, though no textbook teaches this 🙂

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