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Telling Time at Five Minute Intervals

The Telling Time lessons and worksheets on will demonstrate, role model, guide and help you to teach your children how to tell time to the nearest five minutes.

Explain and explore the analog clock in your every day life so that your children apply what they are learning in math to their life. Building links between the abstract math concepts to the concrete world will reinforce and further refine their math skills.

Warm Up

Telling the hour and half hour time is one of the first steps in learning how to tell time. Let’s review telling time to the hour and half hour on the analog clock.

Get the printable version of the above clock face here.

“Let’s count the hours around the clock together.” (or have your children repeat them after you if they are unable to do it at this time.)

“Ready, steady, go.  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12. Good. “

“Let’s count the hours around the clock backwards. “

“Ready, steady, go. 12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1.”

“We are so clever to be able to count backwards and forwards around the clock. “

 “Now, let’s count by fives starting at the 1 which means five minutes after the hour.

Ready, steady, go. “

(To build your children’s confidence, you may need to say the number word first and then have your children repeat it). You say, “5”. Then your children says “5”. And so on. 10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55,60.

“We did it. High five! “

One negative comment requires at least five positive comments to squash the power of the negative comment.

Count the minute marks between each hour starting at the 12. Say, “Zero, one, two, three, four, five.” When you arrive at the number 1, explain that that means five minutes past the hour.

Continue counting around the clock; “six, seven, eight, nine, ten.” When you arrive at the number 2, tell your children that 2 represents ten minutes past the hour.

Continue going around the clock, stopping at all the five minute intervals and discussing their five minute meanings.

Telling Time to the Nearest Fives on an Analog Clock

Objective: Your children will be able to read an analog clock to the nearest five

Gather the following materials with your children.

  • An analog clock
  • Pencil, eraser, co lour pencils or crayons
  • Scissors
  • Kitchen timer

Follow the steps below to help your children develop an understanding of time to the hour.

To help make a connection with how much five might look like and help your children recognize “fives”, count the fingers on your hands. Point out that there are five fingers on each hand.

Place your hand on a sheet of paper, fingers slightly spread out to show each finger.

Trace and draw around your fingers and wrists to make a picture of your hands.

Cut out the traced hands.

Line the cut-outs along the table.

Write a “5” on the first hand, a “10” on the second hand and so on.

Continue until you get to “60” which is how many minutes are in one hour. You may need to ask others to lend a hand. 😉 or cut out several of your own.

With this visual aid, your children can see fives. Doing hands-on math helps your child to commit to memory the skills and strategies that they are doing when learning about math. When they use math in the real world they make direct connections between the math concepts and how to apply them to everyday situations.

Set your real analog clock to a variety of times to check your children’s progress. Have them set the clock and ask you the time too.

Having your children ask the questions is another method of learning and reviewing the work covered. It also builds your children’s self esteem and confidence.

Do the following with your children:

1. Read and count out loud by fives. Try this counting by fives worksheet.

2. Count by fives, say the numbers aloud at least 10 times.

3. Read and chant the numbers backwards 10 times, as well.

4. Practice telling time at five minute intervals on this worksheet. Try the Telling Time at 5 minute intervals worksheet.

Ongoing Activity

As your children’s awareness of time develops, fine tune it. Discuss tighter intervals of time. Keep track of an hour and a half. Break events in your day to five minute intervals. Have your children add to their clock hunt journal. They may want to write what they were doing when they spotted that clock. Bringing the world into your children’s lives will compound what they are learning.

Ask them questions; Most of the questions that you ask them, you should be certain that they know the answer to as you want to boost what they have learned and celebrate not find out what they don’t know and burst their bubbles.

  • When the time is an hour, half hour or at a five minute interval, ask; “What time is right now?”
  • When the time is at a five minute interval ask; “What time will it be in 5 minutes? In 10 minutes? 30 minutes?” And so on.
  • Ask; “What time was it 5 minutes ago? 15 minutes ago?” And so on.
  • Ask; “If we are leaving at 7:00 and it is 6:30, how much time is there before we leave?”
  • Ask: “What time does …place the name of their favorite show here….start? How long does it run for? When does it end?”

Continuing to ask questions, playing games and singing songs often helps your children master math.

Read the chart below with your children so they can discover and understand how to think about the analog clock.

Hour Explanation of the time Examples of how to say the time
12 When the minute hand is pointing at the 12 it represents zero minutes or sixty minutes, (60 minutes is also one hour). “It is four o’clock.” (the hour hand or short hand is pointing at the 12 and the minute hand or long hand is pointing at the 4).
1 When the minute hand is pointing at the 1 it is five minutes past the hour. “The time is five past ten.”
2 When the minute hand is pointing at the 2 it represents ten minutes past the hour. “It is ten past six.”
3 When the minute hand is pointing at the 3 it represents fifteen minutes past the hour or quarter past the hour. “Now, the time is fifteen minutes past seven.”  or “It is quarter past seven.”
4 When the minute hand is pointing at the 4 it represents twenty minutes past the hour. “We will be going at twenty minutes past one.”
5 When the minute hand is pointing at the 5 it represents twenty-five minutes past the hour. “My work starts at twenty-five minutes past nine.”
6 When the minute hand is pointing at the 6 it represents thirty minutes past the hour. “I have to go at eight thirty.” or “I have to go at half-past eight.”
7 When the minute hand is pointing at the 7 it represents thirty-five minutes past the hour or twenty-five minutes to the next hour. “You have to leave thirty-five minutes past two.” or “You have to leave at twenty-five minutes to three.”
8 When the minute hand is pointing at the 8 it represents forty minutes past the hour or twenty minutes to the next hour. “Can we go at forty minutes past four?”   or “Can we go at twenty to five?”
9 When the minute hand is pointing at the 9 it represents forty-five minutes past the hour or fifteen minutes to the next hour or quarter to the next hour. “The show starts at ten forty-five.” or “The show starts at fifteen minutes to eleven.” or “The show starts at quarter to eleven.” 
10 When the minute hand is pointing at the 10 it represents fifty minutes past the hour or ten minutes to the next hour. “We should leave at fifty minutes past two.” or “We should leave at ten to three.”
11 When the minute hand is pointing at the 11 it represents fifty-five minutes past the hour or five minutes to the next hour. “School starts at fifty-five minutes past eight.” or “School starts at five to nine.”
12 When the minute hand is pointing at the 12 it represents sixty minutes or the next hour. “It is now five o’clock.” Note: You would not say it is four-sixty.

There are lots of time worksheets here. There is also guidance that will help you as you work on time with your children.