How to Read Time Schedules

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

You're off to summer camp, but you have to be able to read your schedule so you can participate in all of your activities! This lesson will teach you to read and understand a time schedule and how to understand elapsed time, a.m. and p.m., and an analog clock.

Reading a Time Schedule

Hooray! It's your first day of summer camp! This is your first time at overnight camp and you can't wait to get started. Your parents have left and you just got your schedule for your first day, but what does it mean? You have to be able to read your schedule and tell time to make sure you get to do all of your fun activities and get there on time!

Your schedule for your first day of summer camp

There are two items that MUST be on every schedule- a start time and an event or activity. The time is usually right next to the event, and in your schedule, the time of the event is in the column to the left of the activity. Your first event is breakfast. Since the time next to breakfast says 7:30 a.m., this means that you must be at breakfast by 7:30 or you will be late.

Telling Time on an Analog Clock

Analog clocks, the clocks with the moving hands, have a minute hand and an hour hand. Some analog clocks might also have a second hand. The second hand moves one tick every second (remember there are 60 seconds in a minute), and in the image below can be seen on the 3. The minute hand moves one mark a minute, and the hour hand moves from one number to the next every hour.

An analog clock showing 5:00
analog clock

The time on the clock on the image above is 5:00, or 5 o'clock. We can see this because the hour hand (the short hand) is on the 5. Also, the minute hand is on the 12, which always represents the start of the hour or zero minutes, as seen in 5:00.

Starting at the 12, every number the long hand, or the minute hand, passes is equal to five minutes. So if the time were 5:30 instead of 5:00, the minute hand, or the long hand, would be on the 6 to show that the minutes are half past, or 30 minutes past, the hour of 5.

Telling Time on a Digital Clock

A digital clock showing 11:47
digital clock

Reading a digital clock is a lot easier. There is a number before the colon (:) and a number after the colon. You just read the number before the colon (the hour) and then the number after the colon (the minutes).

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