Make an Easy, Inexpensive Interactive Clock for Teaching Time in your World Language Class

I'm always on the lookout for interactive ways to teach foreign languages--and these simple, inexpensive clocks definitely are that. When I'm teaching beginning French or Spanish students how to tell time in their new language, I pass one out to each person for practice. Here are some of the ways we use them:

  • I say a time in the target language, and students move the hands on the clock to that time

  • I show them a time on my clock, and students say the time out loud in the target language

  • I show a time on my clock and say a time out loud in the target language that may or may not match it. Students give a thumbs up if the clock and spoken time match, and a thumbs down if they do not match.

  • Students work in small groups or pairs. One student shows a time on their clock, and the other student(s) says the time in the target language.

  • Students work in small groups or pairs. One student says a time in the target language, and the other student(s) moves their clock to that time.

These clocks are simple and inexpensive to make. I have a classroom set of them that I re-use, but making the clocks could also be a craft project for your students!


  • A paper plate for the clock face (I use paper rather than plastic or styrofoam so that it's easy to punch a hole in them, and so that writing on them doesn't smear or get worn off)

  • Cardstock for the clock hands (I use old file folders)

  • A brad

  • A marker to write the numbers

Suggested Materials

If you choose to purchase through this link, a small percentage of what you pay goes to support this website without changing the cost to you.

How To Make Your Clock

Step One

Poke a small hole in the middle of the paper plate. You can use the brad to do this.

Step Two

Cut clock hands from the cardstock, and punch a small hole at the end of each

Step Three

Write the numbers on the back of the paper plate.

It can also be helpful for students to add the corresponding minutes to each hour. You may also want to mark the minute intervals on the clock. You can see I've done this in purple on this clock.

In my French and Spanish classes, we also practice telling time on a 24-hour clock, since this is a regular practice in many countries that speak those languages. You can also add these numbers to the clock--I've written them with small in pencil on this clock.

Step Four

Use the brad to fasten the hands in the middle of the back of the plate

Step Five

Use your clock!

For more ideas and resources on learning and teaching telling time in a world language, check out the Numbers Bundle in the shop. You can also take a look at Teach Yourself to Tell Time in Spanish and Teach Yourself to Tell Time in French.

10 views0 comments