Grade 3 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Understanding Time (O’Clock, Half Past, Quarter Past, and Quarter To)

Lesson Plan Title:

Grade 3 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Understanding Time (O’Clock, Half Past, Quarter Past, and Quarter To)

Materials Needed:

  • Analogue wall clock with movable hands
  • Individual mini clocks for each student
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Worksheets with various time-telling exercises
  • Interactive time-telling app (if tablets or computers are available)
  • Flashcards with times displayed
  • Workbooks and pencils

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
1. Identify and read the time on an analogue clock to the nearest hour, half-hour, quarter past, and quarter to.
2. Write and interpret times in words and on digital displays.
3. Connect time-telling to routine daily activities.


  1. Hour – The period of 60 minutes.
  2. Minute – A period of 60 seconds.
  3. O’Clock – Used to indicate the hour.
  4. Half Past – 30 minutes past a specific hour.
  5. Quarter – 15 minutes past or before a specific hour.

Previous Learning:

Students have previously learned about the basic concept of time, including morning, afternoon, evening, and night. They also know the number of hours in a day and the concept of time passing.

Anticipated Challenges and Solutions:

  1. Difficulty differentiating between hour and minute hands – Reinforce learning with hands-on practice using mini clocks.
  2. Confusion with ‘Quarter Past’ and ‘Quarter To’ – Use visual aids and consistent demonstration on the wall clock.
  3. Reading times on digital clocks – Incorporate interactive apps that simulate time-telling.

Beginning Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Introduction (2 minutes): Briefly introduce the learning objectives for the lesson.
  2. Warm-up Activity (2 minutes): Ask students to discuss with their partner the different times they perform daily activities (e.g., waking up, eating breakfast).

Middle Activities (32 minutes):

  1. Direct Instruction (10 minutes):
  2. Use the wall clock to demonstrate ‘O’Clock’, ‘Half Past’, ‘Quarter Past’, and ‘Quarter To’.
  3. Emphasize the positions of the hour and minute hands for each term.
  4. Guided Practice (10 minutes):
  5. Hand out mini clocks and call out different times for students to set on their clocks (e.g., “Set your clock to half past 3”).
  6. Circulate the classroom to check and correct any mistakes.
  7. Interactive Practice (6 minutes):
  8. If technology is available, have students use an interactive app that allows them to set and read times.
  9. Independent Practice (6 minutes):
  10. Provide worksheets with various clock faces and have students write the time in words and digital format.
  11. Collect worksheets for assessment.

End Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Exit Ticket (2 minutes):
  2. Give each student a flashcard with a clock showing a specific time.
  3. Ask them to write the time in words and hand it in as they leave the classroom.
  4. Conclusion (2 minutes):
  5. Recap the lesson and remind students of the key concepts covered.

Assessment and Checks for Understanding:

  • Observe students’ accuracy with the mini clocks during guided practice.
  • Review completed worksheets to evaluate understanding.
  • Use exit tickets to quickly assess individual grasp of the lesson.

Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners:

  • For students who struggle: Work in smaller groups with additional clock manipulation time and one-on-one assistance.
  • For advanced students: Provide more complex times to read and write, such as ‘5 minutes past 3′ or ’10 minutes to 4’.
  • Visual aids: Use colour-coded clock hands to differentiate hours and minutes.

Teaching Notes:

  • Purpose: Teaching time helps students develop a critical life skill, and understanding daily schedules fosters time management habits.
  • Educational Value: Aligns with CAPS outcomes and builds on previously learned concepts of time.
  • Tips for Effective Delivery: Make the lesson interactive; use plenty of visual and tactile learning aids.
  • Accessibility Considerations: Ensure that materials are accessible to all students, including those with visual or motor impairments. Use larger clocks or textured clock faces if necessary. Ensure interactive apps are usable for students with disabilities.

This structured lesson plan aims to help Grade 3 students master the concept of telling time, a fundamental skill that supports their understanding of daily activities and schedules.

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