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Additional Activities to Help Your Students Explore Time

How Do You Know the Time?

How often do students need to know what time it is during the day? Have them make a list of all of the important times in their day from waking up to going to bed. What helps them know when it is time for all of these events? Why do we need clocks at school? List reasons why they are needed. Then have them write a story about the "Day Without Clocks" to help illustrate the importance of knowing the correct time.

How Do They Do That?

How do clocks keep time? is the question asked and explored in this show from Newton's Apple. Teachers' guide with activities and resources provide material for interesting lessons, complete with directions for making a water clock.

Look at Inside the Mechanical Clock to see the parts of this type of clock.

Time Marches On...and On...

Compare and contrast the way that Frick's program disk which controlled when and where the bells rung to the program disks which hold software for today's computers. How has that term changed over time?

Get Up Close and Personal

Have students tour the Frick Clock. You can take a Virtual Reality tour, see a close up of the clock parts or a look at it using the original patent drawings.

So Many Clocks, So Little Time....

Time clocks, cuckoo clocks, stop watches. How many different kinds clocks can you name? What are the different functions or jobs they perform? Are they all effective for doing the same things?

Have students illustrate one type of clock or time keeping device and write a description of it. They should include what they thought were the best features of their clock and who might want to own one of these time keeping device.

Ringing the Bells

Use batteries, bulbs and wires to make simple circuits so students can see how the battery operated Electric Program Clocks were able to complete the circuit which rang the bells. Visit Using Electricity to Keep Time to see four lessons for beginners on what makes your electric clock work.

Name that Clock

Some clocks like Big Ben we know by name. They are important to the communities in which they are located. Look at the clocks featured in the project "Community of Clocks" and then see if you can find a clock in your community that deserves to have its story told. A link on the main project page will give you information on how you can add your clock.

And What Does that Really Mean?

List phrases dealing with time such as -

  • time flies
  • time on my hands

Talk about the meaning of the expressions. Then let students get creative and illustrate the phrases and try to show the literal meanings the words seem to imply.

Compare and Contrast

Have students look at the Seth Thomas and the Synchronome Clock slide shows. What do they see about these clocks that is the same or different from the Frick Clock? Which clock is the oldest? Which is the most like the Frick Clock?

Time Line of Clocks

How have people measured time throughout history? Can you create a timeline to show different timekeeping devices. Include the hourglass, sundial, pendulum, water clock or others you can discover. A resource to help you is a "Brief History of Clocks" or visit three slide shows to take you on a historical tour of time. Include the Frick Clock on your time line.

Using the "TimeLiner" program software by Tom Snyder will make this an easy task once the research is done.

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Carla Schutte, Mike Lipinski, Susan Silverman
Gail Watson, Tammy Payton
March 2000