Maths KS1 & KS2: How long is a minute?

Sabrina is entering a competition to rap the most words in one minute. But how long does a minute last?

The children remember they stay silent for one minute on Remembrance Day.

They have lots of suggestions of things they can do in just one minute – like 60 star jumps – or writing Tempo’s name 18 times.

Sabrina looks at the minute hand moving on the clock, and identifies the 60 little lines marking the minutes.

She uses a sand timer and a clock to time her minute-long rap.

From BBC Series Round the Clock.

Teacher Notes


Show the children a one-minute timer and see if they can be silent for one minute.

What else can they do in one minute? Whose name can you write the most times in one minute? Why?

Help children to recognise that if the name is short, it is quicker to write.

Ask children if they can count the little lines round a clock. How many are there all together? How many are there between 1 and 2, or 2 and 3? Once they have had a chance to investigate, tell them that there are 60 lines round the clock because there are 60 minutes in one hour.


Ask children to estimate one minute.

Ask the class to stand up with their eyes shut and sit down when they think that one minute is up. Once all the children have sat down, discuss the strategies for estimating.

Did they count to 60 or use their heartbeat? This could be related to science.

Ask children to measure how many times their pulse beats in one minute. Now jump up and down for one minute. Measure their pulse again. How many beats now? Why is it faster?

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Maths at KS1 and KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and First and Second Level in Scotland.

More from Round the Clock:

How long is a second?
How long is five minutes
How long is quarter of an hour?
How long is half an hour?
How long is an hour?
Using clocks and calendars
A song about time