Sixth Grade Math Lesson: Converting Military Time

Military Time

To use this sixth grade math lesson on converting military time, students should have a good grasp on how to tell time. Not only that, but they should also understand how standard time using the a.m./p.m. system to designate before noon and after noon. To begin this lesson, talk to students about how confusing it can be when someone talks about time without using the a.m./p.m. designation. What kinds of things can go wrong without this being specified? Introduce students to the concept of military time by telling them that this method of telling time does not require a.m./p.m. designation because the numbers tell for themselves. Use the information below to help students to learn military time.

1 a.m. to 12 p.m is written using the same hour numbers. For example, 1 a.m. is 0100 hours and 12 p.m. is written as 1200 hours. The times change after noon. A good way for students to remember how to convert the numbers after noon is to remember that afternoon take 12 away. That's because after noon the hours keep adding up instead of starting over. Make sure students know that the minutes do not change at when using military time instead of standard time. Only the hours change. Ask students to convert the following standard times to military time.

  • 10:00 a.m. (1000 hours)
  • 3:00 p.m. (1500 hours)
  • 12:13 a.m. (12:13)
  • 8:30 p.m. (20:30)

Ask students to convert the following military times into standard times.

  • 14:45 (2:45 p.m.)
  • 1:00 a.m. (0100 hours)
  • 9:00 p.m. (2100 hours)
  • 11:30 p.m. (23:30)

Write the schedule for the day on the board to use with this sixth grade math lesson plan. Put the times on the schedule, but mix them up. For example, write half of them in standard time and the other half in military time. Ask the students to commence converting military time to standard and vice versa, so that both times are written on the schedule.