## Teaching Numbers: Time, Money, and Schedules

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas • updated: 12/19/2013

This article suggests ways in which students can learn to use numbers. Time, money and schedules are some very useful themes to present teaching numbers in ESL.

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### Time

Using time in relation to daily routines can be a very effective way of teaching numbers in an ESL program. Students can relate well to  the numbers as they discuss their daily routines. Give students a model like this for example:

My husband and I wake at 7 o’clock every morning. The children wake at 7:30. At 8:15, they have to be taken to school.

Now, instruct your students to write outcome simple sentences about their own daily routines, and share with the class.

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### Money

Pretend that a popular department store is having a major furniture and utensil sale. Instruct students to imagine that they have just  rented an empty apartment. They need to buy some furniture and some utensils. They must imagine that they have only \$5,000 to do this. From the list, they must choose their priorities. Here are some items and prices you can include on the list. Both teacher and student are free to add other items and prices.

Refrigerator………\$400…………………………………Electric cooker ……. \$200

Couch…………….\$200…………………………………Vacuum cleaner … \$100

Carpet…………… \$150………………………………….Cupboard ……….. \$ 120

Armchair…………\$200………………………………… Broom ………………\$10

Chair....................... \$30……………………………......Bed sheet …………..\$30

Bed……………… \$300………………………………… Dining table……….. \$400

Encourage students to add items and prices they should read the prices aloud as they discuss what they would like to purchase. This is another exercise to which students can relate, since it deals with everyday life.

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### Schedules

Use bus, train and airplane schedules to teach numbers. Prepare a calendar with dates, places, and names of shows. Prepare a list of grocery items and their prices. Have students role play at shopping in the supermarket or market. Have students take a poll on popular subject. Students can use computers to practice numbers on Microsoft Excel. They can prepare for example a salary sheet for employees or a list of members of an organization , their addresses and telephone numbers.

You can use authentic items or prepare your own. Both would work well. When students create their own work, the lesson penetrates deeper. Here is an example of a calendar you can prepare.

Date………………………………Place……………………Name of Event

September 11………………......New York…………….... Grand Carnival Parade

10-12 October ………….......... Brooklyn ……………… Medieval Festival

15 October – 14 November…. Queens …………………International Book Fair

2nd Week in November………. New York……………… Gastronomic Exhibition

Once again, students can add their ideas as they work with numbers using dates and schedules.

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### More Ideas

Compare temperatures in different cities and teach conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Discuss which countries use Fahrenheit and which use Celsius. Ordinal numbers should not be neglected. Use these to give and take street directions and apartment and hotel floors. As you continue to explore ways that ESL programs teach numbers, you may be amazed to discover how many different themes you can use to do so.