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Telling Time at Five Minute Intervals

What is Time?

Time can be defined as the dimension based on which the evolution of any system takes place. We measure time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years with clocks and calendars. Let us learn about these one by one.

Understanding Time

Time is measured in hours, minutes and seconds. How are these three related to each other?

1 minute = 60 seconds

1 hour = 60 minutes

This means that 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds

A second is a very short period of time, say the time that is taken to blink your eye, to snap your fingers etc. it is a smaller unit of time than a minute.

The Telling Time lessons and worksheets on HelpingWithMath.com 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.

“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.

Understanding the Clock

We see different types of clocks everywhere around us. But do we define a clock? A clock is an instrument to measure time which is shown in hours, minutes and seconds. There are two types of clocks – 

Analog Clock – Analog clocks are the clocks that use hands to show us the hours, minutes and seconds are called analog clocks. There are two hands in the analog clocks – 

The little hand shows the hour.

The bigger hand shows the minutes.

In many clocks, there is another big constantly moving hand that shows the seconds.

Digital Clock – Digital Clocks are the clocks that use numbers to show the hours and minutes such as 5:35.

Consider the clock shown above. We can see that there is a short hand at 5 which represents the hour, while the bigger hand at 3 represents the minutes. So, the time is 5 hours and 15 minutes. How did we get that time? Let us find out.

Telling Time to Exact Minute

To understand how to tell time to exact minute, let us consider an example.

Suppose Victor and his sister Alice were going to school. When they started from home, the following time was shown by the clock – 

Victor asked her to read the time. She read it easily as 7:30. Then they reached the school and the time shown by the clock in the school is 

Victor again asked her to read the time. But, she was not able to read the time to the exact minutes. Now, Victor told her it was 8: 10. Let us understand how to read time to exact minutes.

If you see carefully, there are 12 numbers and 60 divisions on the face of a clock. Therefore, we have,

1 hour = 60 minutes.

Hence, the number of divisions between two consecutive numbers is 60 ÷ 12 = 5 divisions or 5 minutes.

We will read the time on the given clock as 2 :07 if,

  • The hour hand of the clock is at 2
  • The minute hand of the clock is at the 2nd division after the 1st number, i..e 7 minutes ( 1 x 5 = 5) + 2 minutes = 7 minutes.

Hence, we can say that the numbers on the clock actually represent hours and the divisions between them represent the minutes.

It is important to know here that – 

Quarter of an hour = 60 ÷ 4 = 15 minutes

Half of an hour = 60 ÷ 2 = 30 minutes.

12 :00 o’clock in the night is 12:00 midnight

12 :00 o’clock at the daytime is 12:00 noon

We do not write a.m. or p.m. with 12:00 o’clock time.

In what time to the hour, minute and second hands complete one round or one revolution of the clock? 

  • The hour hand of the clock goes round the clock in 12 hours.
  • The minute hand completes one round in 1 hour.
  • The second’s hand completes one round in 1 minute

Third Hand of a Clock

Many of the clocks have three hands instead of two. What is this third hand for? The third hand is usually long and thin, and it is called the second hand. The seconds hand takes 60 seconds to complete one round of the clock. 

Therefore, 1 minute = 60 seconds.

Hence the second hand is a smaller unit of time than a minute.

Thus, second is the smallest unit and hour is the largest unit among the three units of time i.e. hour, minute and second. 

When the second hand moves once around the clock the minute hand moves through 1 minute

Now, it should be noticed that at times we see time marked in a.m. and p.m. What do we mean by a.m. and p.m.? Let us find out.

Time in a.m. and p.m.

We can observe that there are 12 numbers written on the face of a clock. We also know that a day has 24 hours. Therefore, the hour hand of the clock completes 1 round in 12 hours. So, we divide 24 hours of a day in two periods:

  1. From 12:00 midnight to 12:00 noon
  2. From 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight

The time between 12:00 midnight to 12:00 noon is written as a.m. Here a.m. means ante meridiem which means before midday.

The time between 12:00 noon and 12:00 midnight is known as p.m. Here p.m. means post meridiem which means after midday. 

Another thing that should be noticed is that at times we see time written in a.m. or p.m. while at times it is written as, say, 16:00 with no mention of a.m. and p.m. What is this time and how is it written? Let us find out.

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.

12-hour Clock vs 24-hour Clock

There are two ways of telling the time:

The 12-hour clock runs from 1am to 12 noon and then from 1pm to 12 midnight.

The 24-hour clock uses the numbers 00:00 to 23:59 (midnight is 00:00).

Let us do a time comparison between the two styles of telling time.

12-hour Clock24-hour Clock
1 : 00 am1 : 00
2 : 00 am2 : 00
3 : 00 am3 : 00
4 : 00 am4 : 00
5 : 00 am5 : 00
6 : 00 am6 : 00
7 : 00 am7 : 00
8 : 00 am8 : 00
9 : 00 am9 : 00
10 : 00 am10 : 00
11 : 00 am11 : 00
12 : 00 noon12 : 00
1 : 00 pm13 : 00
2 : 00 pm14 : 00
3 : 00 pm15 : 00
4 : 00 pm16 : 00
5 : 00 pm17 : 00
6 : 00 pm18 : 00
7 : 00 pm19 : 00
8 : 00 pm20 : 00
9 : 00 pm21 : 00
10 : 00 pm22 : 00
11 : 00 pm23 : 00
12 : 00 midnight24 : 00

Reading Time at Five Minute Intervals

Let us now understand how to read time at an interval of five minutes. For this purpose, let us observe the numbers on a clock.

Carefully observe the number of dots between any two numbers. We can see that there are exactly four dots between any numbers and the fifth dot represents the next number. For instance, observe the dots between the numbers 1 and 2. There are four dots starting after the number 1 and the fifth dot is marked as 2. Then again, there are four dots between the number 2 and 3 and the fifth dot has been marked as the number 3. What does this signify?

Each dot on the clock represents one minute. We have learnt above that there are 60 minutes in one hour. How are these represented on a clock? We have 12 numbers from 1 to 12. Each number represents an interval of five minutes. This way we have 12 x 5 = 60 minutes which means that one revolution of the clock completes one hour. Now since each dot represents one minutes, therefore, each fifth dot represents a number. Let us understand this further by telling time at five minute interval between 2 and 3.

2 o ‘ clock

How is 2 o ‘ clock represented  on a clock? Below we have a clock that show the time as 2 o ‘ clock. 

We can see that the hour hand is at 2 and the minute hand is at 12. This time on the clock will be read as 2 o ‘ clock. How will we represent the same in digital format? 2 o ‘ clock in digital form will be represented as 2 : 00 am if the time is between midnight and noon and 2 : 00 pm if the time is between noon and midnight.

Let us now move to the next five minute interval after 2 o ‘ clock.

Five past 2 o ‘ clock

How is five past 2 o ‘ clock represented  on a clock? Below we have a clock that show the time as five past 2 o ‘ clock. 

We can see that the hour hand is at 2 and the minute hand is at 1. This time on the clock will be read as five past 2 o ‘ clock. How will we represent the same in digital format? Five past 2 o ‘ clock in digital form will be represented as 2 : 05 am if the time is between midnight and noon and 2 : 05 pm if the time is between noon and midnight.

Let us now move to the next five minute interval after Five past 2 o ‘ clock.

Ten past 2 o ‘ clock

How is ten past 2 o ‘ clock represented  on a clock? Below we have a clock that show the time as ten past 2 o ‘ clock. 

We can see that the hour hand is slightly ahead of 2 and the minute hand is at 2. This time on the clock will be read as ten past 2 o ‘ clock. How will we represent the same in digital format? Ten past 2 o ‘ clock in digital form will be represented as 2 : 10 am if the time is between midnight and noon and 2 : 10 pm if the time is between noon and midnight.

Let us now move to the next five minute interval after ten past 2 o ‘ clock.

Quarter past 2 o ‘ clock

Quarter means one-fourth. Fifteen minutes past an hour is read quarter past that hour as it covers one-fourth of the revolution cycle. How is quarter past 2 o ‘ clock represented  on a clock? Below we have a clock that show the time as quarter past 2 o ‘ clock. 

We can see that the hour hand is slightly ahead of 2 and the minute hand is at 3. This time on the clock will be read as quarter past 2 o ‘ clock. How will we represent the same in digital format? Quarter past 2 o ‘ clock in digital form will be represented as 2 : 15 am if the time is between midnight and noon and 2 : 15 pm if the time is between noon and midnight.

Let us now move to the next five minute interval after quarter past 2 o ‘ clock.

Twenty minutes past 2 o ‘ clock

How is twenty minutes past 2 o ‘ clock represented  on a clock? Below we have a clock that show the time as twenty minutes past 2 o ‘ clock. 

We can see that the hour hand is slightly ahead of 2 and the minute hand is at 4. This time on the clock will be read as twenty minutes past 2 o ‘ clock. How will we represent the same in digital format? Quarter past 2 o ‘ clock in digital form will be represented as 2 : 20 am if the time is between midnight and noon and 2 : 20 pm if the time is between noon and midnight.

Let us now move to the next five minute interval after twenty minutes past 2 o ‘ clock.

Twenty five minutes past 2 o ‘ clock

How is twenty five minutes past 2 o ‘ clock represented  on a clock? Below we have a clock that show the time as twenty five minutes past 2 o ‘ clock. 

We can see that the hour hand is slightly ahead of 2 and the minute hand is at 5. This time on the clock will be read as twenty five minutes past 2 o ‘ clock. How will we represent the same in digital format? Quarter past 2 o ‘ clock in digital form will be represented as 2 : 25 am if the time is between midnight and noon and 2 : 25 pm if the time is between noon and midnight.

Let us now move to the next five minute interval after twenty five minutes past 2 o ‘ clock.

Half past 2 o ‘ clock

How is half past 2 o ‘ clock represented  on a clock? Below we have a clock that show the time as half past 2 o ‘ clock. 

We can see that the hour hand is between 2 and 3 and the minute hand is at 6. This time on the clock will be read as half past 2 o ‘ clock. How will we represent the same in digital format? Half past 2 o ‘ clock in digital form will be represented as 2 : 30 am if the time is between midnight and noon and 2 : 30 pm if the time is between noon and midnight.

Similarly, the remaining time between 2 o ‘ clock and 3 o ‘ clock will be represented as – 

Thirty Five minutes past 2 o ‘ clock or Twenty five minutes to 3 o ‘ clock

Forty minutes past 2 or Twenty minutes to 3 o ‘ clock

Quarter to 3 o ‘ clock

Ten to 3 o ‘ clock

Five to 3 o ‘ clock

3 o ‘ clock

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.

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

Key Facts and Summary

  1. Time can be defined as the dimension based on which the evolution of any system takes place.
  2. A second is a very short period of time, say time taken to blink your eye, to snap your fingers etc.
  3. 1 minute = 60 seconds
  4. 1 hour = 60 minutes
  5. A clock is an instrument to measure time which is shown in hours, minutes and seconds. 
  6. Quarter of an hour = 60 ÷ 4 = 15 minutes
  7. Half of an hour = 60 ÷ 2 = 30 minutes.
  8. 12 :00 o’clock in the night is 12:00 midnight
  9. 12 :00 o’clock in the daytime is 12:00 noon
  10. We do not write a.m. or p.m. with 12:00 o’clock time.
  11. The numbers on the clock actually represent hours and the divisions between them represent the minutes.
  12. Second is the smallest unit and hour is the largest unit among the three units of time i.e. hour, minute and second. When the second hand moves once around the clock the minute hand moves through 1 minute
  13. The time between 12:00 midnight to 12:00 noon is written as a.m. Here a.m. means ante meridiem which means before midday.
  14. The time between 12:00 noon and 12:00 midnight is known as p.m. Here p.m. means post meridiem which means after midday. 
  15. The hour hand of the clock goes round the clock in 12 hours.
  16. The minute hand completes one round in 1 hour.
  17. The second’s hand completes one round in 1 minute

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