Telling Time on the Trail

If you’ve ever looked at the race standings or race archives, I’m sure you quickly noticed that the Iditarod uses Military Time. Whereas many people typically use a 12-hour standard time system in which “a.m.” and “p.m.” differentiate the morning from afternoon/evening, Military Time is based on a 24-hour recording system. One of the primary differences is the way that hours are expressed.

In many cases, students, especially younger ones, are curious about why Military Time is used. This opens up a great opportunity to have a classroom discussion about the importance of speaking clearly and concisely. You can pose scenarios to your students that show them how Regular Time can be confusing if a.m. and p.m. are not included with the times. In essence, Military Time eliminates the possibility of confusion.  

Teach your students how to read Military Time and how to convert Regular Times. Use this activity with your students and have them practice converting 12-hour standard times into Military Time. Check out this resource if you need more information on Military Time and how to record it. 

Iditarod Activity: Military Time