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Daylight Saving Time: The History of Clocks and Time

Usually around the last week in October, everyone will be turning their clocks back, thus giving us one more hour of sleep. To some students, this may be something that goes over their heads, but other may wonder what Daylight Saving Time is all about. 

It is important to teach students about clocks and time, for their lives run on its existence. Throughout history, people have changed the ways in which we measure, use, and think about time, and students should know about time's history. 

Education World has gathered a list of resources teachers can use to teach their students about clocks and time, whether it is the history of clocks, or an explanation of Daylight Saving Time. 

  1. The World Clock-Time Zones: First, teachers can start by showing their students what time it is in places all over the world. For example, students may find that it is a completely different day in Shanghai than it is in the United States, or London is only four hours ahead. also offers other resources:


  1. National Museum of American History: Why is Clock Time So Important? On this site, teachers can have access to an extensive timeline from when clocks were first invented, to now. The website separates the history of clocks in to five different timelines:


  1. About Time: A First Look at Time and Clocks by Bruce Koscielniak: In this Common Core textbook, Amazon says Koscielniak, "tells the intriguing story of the many years spent tinkering and inventing to perfect the art of telling time." The book can be used for grades four and five. 
  2. The Man Who Made Time Travel by Kathryn Lasky: In this picture book, Amazon says, readers can follow this "fascinating story of the quest to measure longitude...John Harrison, an obscure, uneducated clockmaker, dared to imagine a different solution: a seafaring clock. How Harrison help fast to his vision and dedicated his life to the creation of a small jewel of a timepiece that would change the world is a compelling story -- as well as a memorable piece of history, science and biography."
  3. Daylight Saving Time: On this website provided by, teachers can find an extensive history of daylight saving as well as resources regarding when we change our clocks, anecdotes, obstacles, and more. The site also has an overview of countries, where students can see which countries choose not to participate in daylight saving time, such as Japan, India, and China. 
  4. The Story of Clocks and Calendars by Betsy and Giulio Maestro: In this book, Amazon says readers can "travel through time with the maestros as they explore the amazing history of timekeeping!" 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 


Updated: 03/03/2015