Learning the Different Times of the Day

This week I decided to exploit more of my personal photos from a trip I took to Las Vegas. I was inspired to create materials to practice time words, specifically words we use to talk about time periods within a day. I created images similar to the one you see below.


I never realized how many words we have to pinpoint the time of day until I started making a list. I shared a good part of my list on the learning network Simor, explaining words like dusk and dawn. Then after publishing the list and a short task, I began to recall even more words I could have included. What about twilight and sundown?  On top of that, there many related expressions, as I saw in the Facebook post in which I asked people what their favorite time of the day was. Learners responded with expressions like “not a morning person” and “an early riser.”

What’s the take-away from all this?

  1. A good photo prompts talk, but two contrasting photos work even better sometimes. You’re fee to use the one on this post. See how your students respond to the single question on the image above. First, talk about the times shown in the photos. You can ask additional questions like Does one of the photos show a time just after sunrise or sunset? or Do think that was early or late in the evening? Then you can ask about the time of day where you are.
  2. Present words in logical sets. For example dusk/dawn and noon/midnight. Similarly, we can show how familiar words fit together in new combinations: daytime hours, evening hours, early morning, late morning, etc. You can note that sundown  and nightfall are less common and perhaps more old-fashioned than sunset.
  3. Practice is key. Those students who only responded with a single word didn’t gain as much as those who responded with 1-2 sentences. Longer responses allowed me to offer corrections and suggestions. Additional questions can push learners to be more specific, for instance: When is the best time to do homework? Why do some people choose to have dinner late in the evening?

For additional review and practice, please consider my time-of-day_handout.



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