Substitute teachers face many challenges on any given day, but not having a lesson plan can pose the biggest one. Whether you are teaching virtually or in person, we wanted to share an idea that you can use repeatedly – each time you find yourself without a lesson plan.
Tip: For every new group of students, begin your time together with an icebreaker. This builds rapport and can set a positive tone.
This lesson idea is best suited for block periods, virtual or in-person classrooms.
Objective: Students work collaboratively to review content
Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 (Common Core Anchor Standard: appropriate for all subject areas)
Materials: textbook or assigned articles, paper and pencils (if in person)
- Divide the class in half by numbering the students off (1,2,1,2, etc.)
- Have each team come up with a team name.
- Give each team 20 minutes to come up with at least 10 questions to ask the opposing team by reviewing the textbook or assigned article.
- Questions can be multiple-choice, fill-in, or open-ended. Each team must also include the answer to the question.
- After 20 minutes, explain the activity:
- Each team takes turns asking one question at a time. The other team has up to 1 minute to agree upon an answer.
- The teacher makes the final decision on whether a point is awarded for the answers.
- Reflection: If there is time, you can have the students write a paragraph about what they liked about the game and whether they felt the activity was useful in reviewing information.
Modifications for Virtual Instruction:
- Split the students into break out rooms for each time they need to collaborate (to create a team name, to review text and create questions, to answer questions, etc.)
- For access to online articles, use commonlit.org/en/library and select the specific subject for that class.
- It may be helpful to choose an article designed for a lower grade level since it should be information they have already learned
Thanks for reading! We hope you find this lesson useful when you’re in a pinch!
Discover your next short- or long-term substitute teaching job with Cross Country Education today.