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Clock Faces

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Basics on the topic Clock Faces

Analogue Clock Faces

Many digital clocks can be read by identifying the numbers on the screen. Analogue clocks however are a little different to read. You need to know about the hands on the clock as well as understand the analogue clock face. This text teaches you how analogue clocks work and how to read an analogue clock.

Reading Analogue Clocks

Analogue clocks are tools used to measure and tell time. We usually see analogue clocks that look like circles, but they can be other shapes too! You might see a large clock face or a small one. It could be the face of a watch or clock.

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Analogue Clocks – Face

Here is a clock face image. The front of the clock is called the face. The face shows the numbers one to twelve at equal spaces along its edge. Four special numbers help us make sure the others are spaced evenly: twelve at the top, six at the bottom, three on the right and nine on the left.

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Analogue Clocks – Hands

On this clock, there are two hands, or arrows, pointing to the numbers.The shorter hand, or hour hand, points to the hour.

The longer hand or, minute hand, points to the minute.

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You can remember this because the word hour is short like the hour hand. The word minute is long like the minute hand.

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The hands on the clock always move this way around the face, from one to twelve. We call it clockwise.

Assembling an Analogue Clock

Let's put the numbers and hands on the clock face.

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First, we sort our numbers, putting them in order from one to twelve.

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Next, we put the number twelve at the top spot. Then add the rest of the numbers, starting with one.

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Finally, we have the short hour hand and the long minute hand meet in the middle. Our blank clock face is now no longer blank but complete!

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Analogue Clock Faces – Summary

Remember these tips about analogue clocks when you want to read them.

# Tip
1 Analogue clocks are tools used to measure and tell time.
2 The front is called the face and shows the numbers
one to twelve at equal spaces along the edge.
3 Two hands point to the numbers to tell us the time:
the shorter hour hand and the longer minute hand.
4 The hands always move around the face from one to twelve. We call this clockwise.

Have you practised yet? On this website, you can also find a printable analogue clock face worksheet as well as interactive activities and exercises featuring further clock face images and clock face drawing.

Transcript Clock Faces

Freddie and Zuri can't wait to see what's in today's truck. "Is this a house...or a clock?" "Hmmm, let's take it back to the van and find out!" This is a cuckoo clock, but it's fallen apart! Let's help Freddie and Zuri put it back together by teaching them about clock faces! This type of clock is called an analogue clock. Analogue clocks are tools used to measure and tell time. We usually see analogue clocks that look like circles, but they can be other shapes too! The front of the clock is called the face. The face has the numbers one to twelve at equal spaces around the edge. Four special numbers help us make sure the others are spaced evenly: twelve at the top, six at the bottom, three on the right and nine on the left. On this clock, there are two hands, or arrows, pointing to the numbers. The shorter hand, or hour hand, points to the hour. The longer hand, or minute hand, points to the minute. You can remember this because the word hour is short like the hour hand and the word minute is long like the minute hand. The hands on the clock always move this way around the face, from one to twelve. We call it clockwise. Let's put the numbers and hands on this clock face. First, we sort our numbers in order from one to twelve. Next, we put the number twelve at the top spot. Let's put the rest of the numbers on starting with one. Finally, we add the shorter hour hand and the longer minute hand. Ta-dah, our clock face is complete! Now that we've practised assembling a clock face, let's help Freddie and Zuri fix the one they found! What do we do first? We put the numbers in order from one to twelve! What happens next? Next, twelve goes to the top of the clock face. Now, let's put the rest of the numbers on starting with one. Uh-oh, something does not look right! What is wrong? The numbers are pushed too close together! How can we fix this? Let's spread the numbers out evenly at each marker so that they meet up with twelve at the top. That's better, what is our last step? Finally, we add the shorter hour hand and the longer minute hand. We've fixed the cuckoo clock. “Let's point the hour hand to one and the minute hand to twelve!" "Freddie, what did you do?" Before we find out what's happening, let's remember! Analogue clocks are tools used to measure and tell time. They usually look like a circle, but can be any shape. The front is called the face and shows the numbers one to twelve at equal spaces around the edge. Twelve is at the top, six is at the bottom, three is on the right and nine is on the left. Two arrows, or hands, point to the numbers to tell us the time. The shorter hand, or hour hand, points to the hour. The longer hand, or minute hand, points to the minute. The hands always move clockwise around the face, from one to twelve. "Now I know why it was broken!"

Clock Faces exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Clock Faces.
  • What is a clock?

    Hints

    We use clocks to tell the time.

    Most clocks have a face with the numbers one to twelve, and two hands.

    A clock face can be any shape.

    Solution

    Three of these images are clocks: the round clock, the square clock, and the watch.

    Three are not clocks: the egg timer, the thermometer, and the ruler.

  • Identify the hour hand and minute hand.

    Hints

    Remember that the minute hand is longer.

    Remember that the hour hand is shorter.

    Solution

    This image shows how the clock hands should have been highlighted.

  • Where are the numbers on a clock?

    Hints

    Remember that the 12 goes at the very top of the clock.

    Here are some of the numbers filled in. Can you work out the others?

    Solution

    Here are the numbers placed correctly on the clock.

  • True or False?

    Hints

    Use this image of a clock face to help decide whether the statements are true or false.

    The hands move around the clock in the same direction that the numbers go around the clock: from one to twelve.

    Solution

    The hands move around the clock in a clockwise direction. ✅

    The front of the clock is called the face. ✅

    We use clocks to tell the time. ✅

    The long parts that move around the clock are called legs. ❌

    All clocks are round. ❌

    6 is at the top of the clock. ❌

  • Numbers on clocks.

    Hints

    The numbers on a clock should go around in a clockwise direction.

    The numbes on a clock should be in order from one to twelve - check that the numbers on these clocks are in the correct order.

    The twelve numbers around a clock should be evenly spaced all the way around the clock.

    Solution

    The correct clock was this one:

    • The numbers go around in a clockwise direction.
    • The numbers are evenly spaced all the way around the clock.
    • The numbers are in the correct order from one to twelve.

  • What time is it?

    Hints

    Look at the number the hour hand is pointing to. This tells you the time to o'clock when the minute hand is on the 12.

    The hour hand is the short hand.

    This clock shows 2 o'clock.

    Solution

    Here are the correct times: