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Activity 4.1

Activity 4.1

Expressing the time

The students will learn to recognise and tell the time.

Play clip 4.1a, which shows some ways of telling the time. Tell the students to observe how the handshape movement expresses ‘o’clock’. There isn’t a separate sign for ‘o’clock’.

Ask your students how they usually say the time when they talk among themselves. For example, do they say "a quarter past three" or "4.15"? The change in technology from analog to digital recording has also changed the way that people express time. Because most young Deaf people sign 3.15 as THREE FIFTEEN instead of signing QUARTER-past or QUARTER-to, we use this pattern in this resource. An alternative way of signing the time appears in the NZSL guidelines (NZSLiNZC). It is THREE ‘point’ FIFTEEN. The students will meet this variation at a later stage in their learning.

Pair task: The students take turns to ask about the time and to respond using these sentence patterns:

What’s the time?


It’s four o’clock.


Class or group task: Make, or obtain, a clock-face with movable hands. One student shows some different times on the clock and the remaining students express these times in NZSL.

Replay clip 4.1a so that the students can check the accuracy of their signing.

Hand out worksheet 4.1 to the students for their reference. Challenge them to access clip 4.1b and practise the numbers 21–31 for their next NZSL class.

Play scene D where Max is making plans to ensure Ben has a good time. Challenge your students to pick out the times that are used in the scene. Use a copy of the scene D transcript to help you check their responses.


Clip 4.1a
Clip 4.1b

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Name Class Section
Document Worksheet 4.1 Worksheet 1

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