Time: Classroom presentation

In today's lesson we're going to investigate time, and discover whether the clock change has an effect on our alertness and reactions.

We'll develop our investigative skills and gather evidence through doing things, and taking note of what happens. We'll discover if the clock change really does have an effect on us!

Introduction to the Time Investigation

We asked pop star Fleur East to investigate time, and why it's not always the same time everywhere on Earth. Watch this short film to find out what she discovered on a visit to the Greenwich Royal Observatory.

Fleur East investigates time zones at Greenwich Royal Observatory.

Get ready for the clock change

You'll investigate how changing the clock for daylight saving affects your sleep and alertness, by keeping a sleep diary and conducting some simple tests of your reactions. Over a week, the children will be asked to record the time they go to sleep and the time they wake up. In addition, they will be asked to test their reaction times with a simple test.

You'll be asked to:

• Keep a sleep diary for one week from Tuesday night until the following Tuesday night

• Test your reaction times and record your alertness in the morning and afternoon on Friday

• Test your reaction times and record your alertness in the morning and afternoon on Monday

• Look for patterns in the data you have collected

How to record your sleep

You'll be given a sleep diary to take home with you so that you can record how you sleep before and after the clocks change.

You can ask someone at home to help you with this if you like.

You need to record:

  • the time when you turn off the light to go to sleep

  • the time when you wake up in the morning

  • how easy it was to wake up

Analysing the data

When you get back to school you'll be working out how long you slept in minutes each night, and the average number of minutes you slept. Then you'll be looking for patterns in the data to see if they can show you anything

Example sleep diary

How to record your reaction times

Working in a pair you will use a simple ruler drop test. Find out how fast your reaction times are by how quickly you can catch a falling ruler!

NB: You need to do this test five times in the morning and five times in the afternoon on Friday, before the clocks change, and do the same again on Monday, after the clocks have changed. Record your results on the chart.

How to do the reaction time ruler drop test
Time - Teaching resources
Time - Investigations additional resources
DIY