Making Clocks

Early Years
Age 3-6


Kindergarten: Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviour ​

  • Measure, using non-standard units of the same size, and compare objects, materials, and spaces in terms of their length, mass, capacity, area, and temperature, and explore ways of measuring the passage of time, through inquiry and play-based learning (#16). 


  • Students and teacher will be sitting on the floor. Students should have some previous experience with clocks and telling time.
Teacher shows students how to make a clock


  • Pre-cut circles – one for each student (Appendix A – download)​
  • Long thin strips of paper to make the hour and minute hand – one for each student ​
  • Pencils and Markers ​
  • Butterfly clips ​
  • Scissors


  • Explain that you are going to make clocks. ​
  • Review the different parts of the clock – round face, numbers, cardinal numbers (12, 3, 6, and 9). ​
  • Review the position of each cardinal number on the clock. ​
  • Take students through the steps necessary to make their clock accurately. ​
  • First, they will need to fold their clock in half to get the exact position of the cardinal numbers 12 and 6. Then they will need to fold their clock again to get the exact position of the 3 and 9. ​
  • Students are instructed to put little pencil notches or markings and the appropriate number at that spot. ​
  • Show students how to make the rest of the numbers on the clock. Keep the following in mind:​
  • Students need to ensure the distance between each number is close to equal. Have students put notches at the spots where numbers should go before writing in the numbers. Ask students to check with an adult regarding their notches to ensure equal spacing before beginning to write the numbers. ​
  • Explain that when students begin to write the rest of the numbers in pencil on the clock that the number 12 should always be facing them to avoid having numbers turned to the side and upside down. ​
  • When students have completed writing the numbers in pencil and checked with an adult to make sure the numbers are facing the right way, students can go over the pencil in marker to make the numbers stand out. ​
  • Students then take a long strip of paper and cut the minute and hour hand. Remind students that the minute hand must be shorter than their hour hand. ​
  • Students must find an adult to pierce a hole through the center of their clock, lining up the hour and minute hand to the hole. ​
  • A butterfly clip can be threaded through the hands of the clock to hold it in place. ​
  • Students can explore with their finished clocks.

Look Fors

  • Are students able to identify the cardinal numbers on the clock? ​
  • Are students able to place the numbers onto their clocks in the appropriate location?​
  • Students can space out numbers on their clock appropriately and write the numbers correctly (in the correct order and facing the appropriate side).


  • Ask students to play with their clocks and verbalize the times that they can identify. 

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