Telling Time & Elapsed Time Real World Math Project | Google Classroom & Print

Grade Levels
2nd - 3rd, Homeschool
Resource Type
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  • Google Apps™
69 pages
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The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

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Bring your telling time & elapsed time unit to life with this project based learning (PBL) experience. This project is designed to help your second or third grade students apply their knowledge about telling time & elapsed time through a simulation project.

A digital and printable version of this resource are included making it easy to use whether you are teaching in person, using digital distance learning, or a combination of both.


During this project based learning (PBL) unit, your students will compete in a contest to be the next star of a new hit show, The Time Of Your Life. Each contestant must create a schedule for the birthday of their dreams. The lucky winner will get to star in their very own episode of The Time Of Your Life, and participate in every activity planned on his/her birthday schedule.

Here are the steps your students will take as they work towards becoming the next star:

★ Brainstorm activities for the birthday of their dreams by applying knowledge of a.m. and p.m. hours.

★ Calculate the start time and end time of each scheduled activity on analog clocks and in digital/standard form by applying knowledge of duration and elapsed time.

★ Create a day-long birthday schedule with no time gaps.

★ Design a storyboard featuring each activity from their dream birthday schedule.

  • Set the scene with a narrative introduction.
  • Use narrative transitions to show time progression from one activity to the next.
  • Wrap up their birthday story with a narrative conclusion.

★ Write a cover letter, and attach it to their submission packet for the contest.

★ Complete a self-assessment of their project using a three-part rubric.



Teacher Guide - four detailed steps for successfully incorporating this resource in your second or third grade classroom. Steps include:

  1. Prepping the project guide for students.
  2. Organizing the project templates to maximize student independence.
  3. Scheduling your project timeline and planning an optional project celebration.
  4. Teaching an introductory lesson to ensure a successful project launch.

Student Guide - a printable and digital version of the student guide is included. This guide includes clear visuals and step-by-step instructions. Rubrics and reflection prompts will encourage your students to reach their learning goals.

Planning Printables - reproducible pages that guide students through the process of planning the birthday of their dreams, calculating elapsed time for each planned activity, and rechecking the accuracy of their work.

Story Board Printables - reproducible pages students can use as they create a narrative story board for the birthday of their dreams.

Rubrics - three 4-point rubrics students can use to self-assess their ability to measure time, create a narrative story board, and organize the components of their project. The same rubrics can be used by the teacher to provide a score for student work.



This project based learning unit requires the application of students’ knowledge of telling time and elapsed time. Throughout the process of the Time of Your Life simulation, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge through creative design, narrative writing that incorporates their math knowledge, and organization skills as they plan and execute this multi-day project.

Every step of the Time of Your Life learning experience is outlined in a project guide that includes clear visuals and step-by-step instructions. Rubrics and reflection prompts will encourage your students to reach their learning goals.

The format of this project gives students the opportunity to exercise the standards for mathematical practice, share their creativity, and display understanding in unique and engaging ways.

The format of this project based learning guide makes it an ideal resource for:

★ At your seat & hands on enrichment during math workshop or guided math

★ Math center work

★ Digital learning (a Google Slides version of the entire project is included) 

★ Parent volunteer or teacher’s aide enrichment station

★ A focal point for a telling time room transformation 

★ An alternative telling time assessment that allows you to measure student understanding on a deeper level as a culmination to your time measurement unit. 



Students who have mastered the ability to tell time, and calculate elapsed time will have the opportunity to extend their learning and deepen their understanding of reading a clock through this math project experience.

This project will help them solidify the time measurement skills they’ve mastered through creativity and problem solving rather than being bogged down with worksheets or busy work.

This project also serves as a wonderful alternative assessment that allows you to measure student understanding on a deeper level as a culmination to your time measurement unit.



This project guide is designed with student independence in mind. Detailed instructions and checklists are provided for students so they can carry out their project with maximum independence. You can guide them as needed, and pull small groups that help address the more individualized needs of your students. This allows students to work at their own pace and take ownership of their learning.

On the day of the project launch, you will take 15-20 minutes to set the scene and teach students how to navigate their project guide. After that, your students will be off on an independent project based learning (PBL) adventure that will last for days.



Want to incorporate a project into your time measurement math unit, but crunched for instructional time?

This resource makes prepping for project based learning a breeze, and makes implementation seamless. The detailed visual instructions on each page of the guide make it possible for students to complete their unique project with maximum independence so you have the time you need to teach or reteach essential time measurement skills to small groups.

Scoring and providing students with feedback is also when using the included rubrics. Each of the three project phases: preparation, story board, and project assembly has its own rubric so students can participate in the assessment process as they demonstrate learning, and you can provide them with specific feedback about their work.



♥ “I used this project for Open House this year. This project is HIGH engagement & rigor! It goes beyond the standard and had my students SO excited.” - Jessica C.

♥ “This is a very thorough product. I used it for a few of my second graders who were excelling at the topic of telling time. They enjoyed working together on a project that wrapped many skills into one.” - Danielle W.

♥ “Love this resource so much. Everything is there that you need and the slides are simple steps for the kids to follow with set expectations. Great resource!!” - Tammy A.

♥ “Great project for the students to practice elapsed time. I liked how it integrated writing with the math skills.” - Michelle S.

♥ “Your PBL activities are worth EVERY PENNY!!! I LOVE how thorough your directions are and how everything is put together. The fact that this is something that my students can work through independently is so helpful! Now I can work with my students who are struggling with time, while my others are working and creating independently. Thank you for all of the hard work you put into these PBL projects!!” - Math and More In Room 4



Place Value In The Wild - Place Value PBL Unit

The Time of Your Life - Telling TIme PBL Unit

Conversation Hearts & Data Smarts - Data & Graphing PBL Unit

Winter Wonderland Array Architects - Arrays & Multiplication PBL Unit

Measure-Thon - Measurement PBL Unit

Quadrilateral City - Geometry PBL Unit


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Total Pages
69 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Look for and make use of structure. Mathematically proficient students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. Young students, for example, might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more, or they may sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. Later, students will see 7 × 8 equals the well remembered 7 × 5 + 7 × 3, in preparation for learning about the distributive property. In the expression 𝑥² + 9𝑥 + 14, older students can see the 14 as 2 × 7 and the 9 as 2 + 7. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects. For example, they can see 5 – 3(𝑥 – 𝑦)² as 5 minus a positive number times a square and use that to realize that its value cannot be more than 5 for any real numbers 𝑥 and 𝑦.
Attend to precision. Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.
Use appropriate tools strategically. Mathematically proficient students consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem. These tools might include pencil and paper, concrete models, a ruler, a protractor, a calculator, a spreadsheet, a computer algebra system, a statistical package, or dynamic geometry software. Proficient students are sufficiently familiar with tools appropriate for their grade or course to make sound decisions about when each of these tools might be helpful, recognizing both the insight to be gained and their limitations. For example, mathematically proficient high school students analyze graphs of functions and solutions generated using a graphing calculator. They detect possible errors by strategically using estimation and other mathematical knowledge. When making mathematical models, they know that technology can enable them to visualize the results of varying assumptions, explore consequences, and compare predictions with data. Mathematically proficient students at various grade levels are able to identify relevant external mathematical resources, such as digital content located on a website, and use them to pose or solve problems. They are able to use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts.
Model with mathematics. Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another. Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Mathematically proficient students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize-to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents-and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.


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