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The Minute Hand


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The Minute Hand

Basics on the topic The Minute Hand

The Clock – Minute Hand

A clock usually has an indicator for hours and minutes; sometimes even for seconds. These hands are called hour hand and minute hand. The minute hand and hour hand are easily noticeable by the lengths. Have a look at the overview of the indicators on the clock, their function and their lengths in the chart below:

Name Function length
hour hand indicates the hours short
minute hand indicates the minutes medium
second hand indicates the seconds long

Distinguishing a Clock’s Hands

Which hand is the minute hand on a clock? Which is the hour hand on a clock? Well, the long hand is the minute hand, and the short hand is the hour hand. Below is an example of a clock with a minute hand.


The minute hand on a clock moves up by one every minute, until it completes a full circle for sixty minutes. When we do this, we count the minutes in ones, and restart when it goes back past the twelve on the clock.


The minutes on a clock can also be counted by increases of five minutes, with each number on a clock representing five minutes. This is also done until we get to the twelve on the face of the clock, and then we start again from zero.


The Minute Hand - Summary

What is the minute hand? Let’s have a look at what we learned about the minute hand in this text.

The minute hand is a hand on a clock that counts the minutes that have passed in the hour. A minute hand clock can be counted up in increments of one with the dashes, or by increments of five by the clock face numbers.

Looking for some more practice? After watching the video, you can find more interactive exercises, worksheets and more activities on the minute hand of a clock.

Transcript The Minute Hand

Zuri and Freddie are about to watch The Great Landfill Cooking Show and Real Llamas, Drama county! "Zuri, have you ever wondered how many minutes these shows are?" "No, but I would LOVE to know!" While Zuri and Freddie time their shows, let's learn about the minute hand. An analog clock shows the time with moving hands, or arrows. On an analog clock there often are three arrows, the hour, minute, and second hand. The shortest arrow is the hour hand. This long thin one is the second hand, and it is always moving to show the seconds. Today, we will be learning about this other long hand, the minute hand. The minute hand always points to the exact minute. Starting at the top of an analog clock, there are usually sixty dashes around the edge. Each dash shows an increase of one minute, all the way up to sixty minutes. When the minute hand makes it all the way around the clock, one hour has passed and we begin counting the minutes again from zero at the top. To count minutes like this, we can count one at a time! For example, Zuri and Freddie's first show started when the minute hand was at twelve, and finished when it got here. We can count by ones from twelve to the minute hand to find out how many minutes passed. Let's count! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Zuri and Freddie's first show lasted twelve minutes! Another way of counting minutes is to skip count by fives. There are twelve numbers on an analog clock, which represent the hour. When looking at the minute hand, each number also represents an increase of five minutes, all the way up to sixty minutes. For example, Zuri and Freddie's second show started when the minute hand was on twelve, and finished when it got to six. We can skip count in fives from the twelve, to the six. Let's count! Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty. Zuri and Freddie's other show lasted thirty minutes. While Zuri and Freddie finish up, let's review! Today, we learned about the minute hand, which is this long hand on an analog clock. The dashes on an analog clock show an increase of one minute, all the way up to sixty minutes. The numbers represent increases of five minutes, all the way up to sixty minutes. "Hey, hang on Freddie, don't we know them?" "Yes.Yes we do!"

The Minute Hand exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video The Minute Hand.
  • Which clock shows 8:15?


    Remember, start at the top of the clock to count the minutes. Count until you get to 15 minutes to show 8:15.


    This clock shows 8:15. You can count by 1s or skip count by 5s to land on 15.

  • How many minutes are in an hour?


    Remember, start at the 12 at the top of the analog clock. Then, count by 5s all the way around.

    What number do you reach when you count by 5s all the way around the clock?


    There are 60 minutes in one hour.

  • How many minutes have passed?


    Remember to start at the 1, and count the minutes (by 1s or skip counting by 5s) until the minute hand is on the 7.

    How many minutes do you count in total if you skip count in 5s from the 1 to the 7?


    They were eating for 30 minutes.

    When we count by 5s or 1s from 1 to 7, we get 30 minutes.

  • Telling time.


    When we count the minutes, we start at 12. Then, count around the clock by 5s or 1 until you reach the minute hand.

    Remember, start at the top of the clock, and count until you count 28 minutes. Which clock shows 28 minutes?


    This clock shows 4:28. The minute hand has passed 28 minutes.

  • Where's the minute hand?


    Remember, the minute hand is one of the long hands.

    The second hand is thinner than the minute hand.

    The hour hand is the shortest hand.


    The minute hand is the long hand pointing to the 12. The hour hand is shorter, it is pointing to the 3. The second hand is skinnier, it is counting the seconds.

  • What time is it now?


    Remember, start at 8:32, and add 12 minutes to figure out what time it is.

    Where will the minute hand be after counting forward 12 minutes from 8:32?


    It is 8:44 when the show is finished.

    8:32 plus 12 more minutes is 8:44.