Students feel successful when counting by fives.
We count by fives to sixty and then do it again, pointing at the appropriate numbers on the clock.
Then I quickly review how to read the hour hand (go back to the number before - don't say the smaller number because 12 is not smaller than 1) and using a large demonstration clock I cycle through about 20 different examples of time to five minutes. The students have to stay silent for about 5 seconds after each reset of the clock and then I signal them and they can answer outloud.
This wait time prevents a handful of children shouting out and preventing others who need a bit more processing time from thinking.
For the first part of independent practice, I have student use miniature clocks. They work with a partner to both set the time and read the time. I write the following times up on the board:
9:15, 9:25, 10:35, 10:45, 11:55, 12:05, 12:15, 12:20, 1:30, 1:40, 2:50, 3:00, 4:05, 5:55, 6:10, 7:50, 8:20
I also like the Sheppard Software Game "On Time". Third graders should play this at level 4, though the earlier levels are good for students who need extra support. It is a very straightforward program. Students move the hour and minute hands on a clock to match the given time (to five minutes). It's good for practicing the correct placement of the hour hand.
Next, because this lesson is at the basic understanding level and is one of the rare occasions where I will use a generated worksheet. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. There are many online sites that allow you to generate worksheets to practice certain time intervals, including Math Fact Cafe, Work Sheet Works and Sen Teacher. I happen to prefer the formatting of Work Sheet Works and create a few pages there that allow students to practice both reading and writing time to five minute intervals.
Students are given the task of teaching someone how to tell time to 5 minutes. They need to practice it either with a peer or on their own. They can then actually try it out on some younger students if you can coordinate this with another teacher or they can stand up and teach the class. Sometimes I am the pupil and I follow the directions exactly as they give them to me, which usually leads to some humorous situations, so this encourages them to be more specific.
This is an entertaining way to lead them in to gently but accurately critiquing the reasoning of others. (MP3) They need to learn to be specific in their mathematical explanations and if they truly understand how to tell time to five minutes, they will, with practice, be able to teach it to another child in clear, logical steps.