Section 2: Measuring and handling time

Key Focus Question: How can you help pupils to understand time?

Keywords: time, clock, sun dial and history; mixed ability, cross curricular, practical activities.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • enhanced your practice in mixed ability teaching using practical activities in measuring time;
  • considered the benefits of cross-curricular teaching in mathematics in measuring time;
  • developed your skills in managing an active classroom and resourcing it effectively.


In order for pupils to understand time they need to develop an awareness of time past, present and future. This lends itself to cross curricular work and raises the question: How can pupils be helped to understand time both telling the time and understanding the passing of time through practical ‘hands on’ learning activities? In this section, we consider a number ways to do this, working in groups or pairs. As a teacher you need to think ahead and plan their activities. Collecting resources together over time is a good idea. Collecting card and paper that you can recycle to make models will mean you can do the activities that follow quicker.

Resource 5: Space and measure

1. Using group work to discuss ‘time’