Teacher's Guide to Creating an Emergency Lesson Plan Folder

A good teacher will always be prepared for anything that may come up. That is why having an emergency lesson plan folder is a good idea. The folder is suited for a substitute that has to take over your class in the case of an emergency that calls you out of the classroom. The key to having an emergency lesson plan folder is that the information will be relevant to your curriculum, but does not necessarily have to be related to the lessons you are currently teaching.

Some schools require emergency lesson plan folders to be kept in the main office, while other schools do not have regulations regarding this type of information. Be sure you check with your school administration to know what is the case for your particular school. Prepare your emergency lesson plan folder early in the year, and you won't be caught off-guard if or when an emergency should happen to you.

Here are some ideas of things that you should include in your emergency lesson plan folder. Make sure you make enough copies for your entire class ahead of time, so the substitute will not run out of materials. They will not be able to leave the classroom, so think ahead while you are creating the folder.

Reading Time

  • Include in your folder a list of books that the students can read independently during your absence. Prepare small quizzes for the books that the students can answer after reading.

  • Include short stories or copies of current event articles in the folder, along with exercises pertaining to the information for the students to complete.

Math Time

  • Kids like activities where they can use their calculator. Leave a worksheet that lets them solve problems using a calculator. If your students are not required to have a calculator, consider leaving word problems that are fun and contain riddles.

  • This is a great time to break out those review sheets and puzzles that review the skills you are working on.

Language Arts Time

  • Include games for kids to play, such as "Mad Libs" or something similar. This will let them practice their use of adjectives, adverbs, nouns, pronouns, etc. while they are having fun.

  • You might also consider letting them write their own story about something they enjoy as a hobby. Use this exercise to help them learn punctuation, capitalization, and wordage skills.

Social Studies Time

  • Mapping activities are usually something that most students are interested in completing. Consider leaving some type of mapping activity in your folder.

  • In the same vein, let students make a map of their neighborhood and track the route that they would take to get to their school.

Science Time

  • Write an outline where students can fill in an invention that they would like to create. Have places for them to put the materials they would need, steps for completing the invention, and how they would advertise it.

  • Have the students read a science article from a magazine or newspaper. Give them questions to answer about the article. They can pinpoint the science method used in the article, and create plans for a laboratory activity that has to do with the article.

Miscellaneous Worksheets

  • Have questions from a textbook that cover material you would not normally cover during the year.

  • Include word searches, mazes, and other puzzle worksheets that pertain to your lessons.

  • Have essay outline worksheets for kids to write on a subject that they have learned about and enjoyed.

Be sure to clearly mark your Emergency Lesson Plan folder so that anyone coming in to take over your class will know where to find it. Since this substitute will not be prepared with any materials of their own, the more you can provide to help keep the students busy, the better it will be for all. And above all, included educational lessons and materials in your folder will be a benefit as well.