How to Work WIth Time Zones

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Mathematics, Measurement (includes Time), Problem Solving

Grade 4- 6


Students learn about time zones, and use their knowledge to solve math problems.


Distribute the Time Zone Map (page 16) to students to refer to as you introduce the topic of time zones.
Facts to Know
Time zones were established because, as the Earth rotates on its own axis, different places experience different times of the day, depending on the amount of sunlight that they are exposed to. An international conference was held in 1884 to set up time zones. The Greenwich Observatory in England was chosen as the starting point, and from this point, there would be 12 time zones to the east and 12 to the west. Today, however, there are two half-hour time zones. India, which spans two time zones, has chosen a single time midway between the two times. When it is noon in London, for instance, it is 5:30 p.m. in central India. The central part of Australia has a fractional time zone, too.
Each zone is one hour different from those on either side of it. Across the oceans, the time zone borders run mostly north and south. Across land, the borders follow political boundaries--the borders of nations and states, mainly. There are six times zones total in the United States. As you travel west, subtract one hour. As you travel east, add one hour.
Distribute the activity pages to students and have them use what they have learned to complete the activity.


  • Time Zones activity pages
  • pencils

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