Section 2: Measuring and handling time

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

Keywords: time; clock; sundial; history; mixed-ability; cross-curricular; practical activities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • used practical activities to enhance your skills in mixed-ability teaching;
  • considered the benefits of cross-curricular teaching in measuring time;
  • developed your skills in managing an active classroom and resourcing it well.


In order for pupils to understand time, they need to develop an awareness of time – past, present and future. This raises the question: How can pupils be helped to both tell the time and understand the passing of time through practical ‘hands on’ learning activities?

In this section, we consider a number of ways to do this, working in groups or pairs. As a teacher, you need to think ahead and plan activities. Collecting resources over time, such as card and paper that you can recycle to make models, is a good idea and will help you with the following activities.

Resource 5: Quiz about measurement

1. Using group work to discuss ‘time’