Question Sheet: A Change in Time


Before reading:

  1. What is daylight saving time (DST)? How do clocks have to be adjusted to account for daylight saving time? 
  2. Why does the time in California differ from the time in New York?

During reading:

  1. What will happen in 2007 to daylight saving time in the United States? 
  2. What’s the connection between daylight saving time and the hours during which most people are awake? 
  3. Is the way in which we measure time “natural”? Why or why not? 
  4. In what way does Earth’s tilt affect the length of days around the world? 
  5. What are the advantages of daylight saving time? What are some disadvantages? 
  6. How does daylight saving time affect computers?

After reading:

  1. Given that governments have gotten together worldwide to standardize how we

    measure time, why do you think they haven’t gotten together to standardize DST?


  2. Do you think daylight saving time is a good idea? Why or why not? 
  3. Compare how you feel when you have to get up for school and it’s dark outside with what it feels like when it’s light outside. 
  4. Suppose that people decide that the best way to save energy is to use less air conditioning. Come up with a new work schedule that would allow people to

    reduce their need for air conditioning. 

  5. Why is time divided into days, hours, minutes, and seconds? How did this come about? See Institute of Standards and Technology). 
  6. Given that we have lots of artificial lights outside and inside, do you think it’s important for people to be awake when it’s light outside? Why or why not? What are some advantages of being exposed to the sun?


  1. Why do some countries switch to daylight saving time while others don’t? Pick a country that has rules for daylight saving time that differ from those in the United States. Why do they differ? See 
  2. Given Earth’s tilt, northern regions such as Scandinavia have very little daylight in the winter and lots in the summer. What do cultures in this region do to make up for the darkness and to celebrate the light? See ( and (Candlegrove).


  1. After clocks switch from daylight saving time to standard time on the last Sunday in October, interview two people about how the time change affected their day. What was different about the day after the change? What was the same about it? 
  2. Suppose that you visit a planet with much shorter days and years than those experienced on Earth. Write a short story highlighting how you might have to adjust to cope with the conditions on this planet.


Grandma Time has eight clocks in each room of her house. Her house has six rooms, and it takes her 2 minutes to change each clock’s time. Grandma starts changing the times at 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2005. At what time will she be finished changing all of her clocks?