Circadian rhythms exist in most if not all organisms on the Earth and manifest in various aspects of physiology and behavior. These rhythmic processes are believed to be driven by endogenous molecular clocks that regulate rhythmic expression of clock-controlled genes (CCGs). CCGs consist of a significant portion of the genome and are involved in diverse biological pathways. The transcription of CCGs is tuned by rhythmic actions of transcription factors and circadian alterations in chromatin. Here, we review the circadian control of CCG transcription in five model organisms that are widely used, including cyanobacterium, fungus, plant, fruit fly, and mouse. Comparing the similarity and differences in the five organisms could help us better understand the function of the circadian clock, as well as its output mechanisms adapted to meet the demands of diverse environmental conditions.