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5 Free Lessons to Leave in Your Science Sub Folder

Prepare your sub folder NOW for your unexpected absence!

We all know this story.  We have lived this story over and over and over in our teaching careers.
  • It is 4:30 am and you wake up to a very sick child.  You have to call by 5 am to get a sub.
  • You are already running late.  On the way to school, you have a flat tire.  There is no way you are going to make it in time.
  • While at school, you get an emergency call, and have to leave immediately.
  • And occasionally, even WE (teachers) get sick and need to see a doctor.
  • How many times have you said, "I would rather go to school than have to make out plans for the substitute teacher?"
Such is the nature of life.  There are always going to be unexpected events in our lives that we have no control over.  What you do have control over is how you handle them.  Do you really want to be scrambling around in the dark at 4:30 an trying to put together some materials to send to your substitute teacher?  Well, I must admit, I have been that teacher.  And you have, too!

Let's change that right now.  Here are 5 FREE lessons that you can download, print, and leave in your sub folder.  When the unexpected happens to you, you can remain calm knowing that your students will have quality lessons to complete in your absence.  Of the 5 lessons listed and linked below, 4 of them can be used in any type of science class.  If you teach, for example, a life science class and a physical science class, you can leave these four lessons for both classes.

So here they are.  Don't procrastinate.... go ahead and click on the links and print these lessons out!  They are free, so what do you have to lose?

Click image to download free lesson.
1.  GRAPHING:  The need to review and reinforce graphing and data analysis skills is constant with our students.  Truly, this is the subject for another blog post!  Our students can use all the practice they can get, so why not have them practice while you are away from school?  In fact, if our students completed this activity several times during the year, it would be to their advantage!  In this activity, students are given data that must be graphed, followed by a set of thought-provoking and critical thinking data analysis questions.

Click image to download.

2.  SCIENCE INFORMATIONAL TEXT GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS: Here are two graphic organizers that can be used with almost any type of science text.  There are many great science news articles that can be duplicated and left with these graphic organizers in your sub folder.  As the students read the text, they will compete the graphic organizers.  Again, practice makes perfect, and our students can use all the practice they can get in learning to read and comprehend science informational text.

Click image to download.

3.  STUDY SKILL GRAPHIC ORGANIZER:  Want to leave a sub plan that covers what you have just been teaching?  This is a "compare and contrast" graphic organizer.  I use this single page all year long in my science classes.  Whatever it is that you have been teaching in science, I am quite sure that it contains concepts that can be compared and contrasted.  For example:  Students might compare and contrast photosynthesis to respiration, mitosis to meiosis, vascular plants to nonvascular plants, the three chambered heart to the four chambered heart or prokaryotic cells to eukaryotic cells.

Click image to download.

4.  DNA INFORMATIONAL TEXT WITH GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS:  This download has everything you need to leave an informational text lesson for your students.  Watson and Crick wrote a famous one page paper on the structure of DNA.  (This paper is in the public domain.)  This lesson provides the article, and the graphic organizers.  This is still a perfect lesson for a sub even if you are not covering DNA in your class.  The idea is that students get practice reading scientific journal articles. The graphic organizers help them read for understanding.

Click image to download.

5.  GENETICS MONOHYBRID PRACTICE PROBLEMS:  This lesson is best suited for life science or biology classes.  Students are given a two-page worksheet of monohybrid, or one factor, genetics problems.  This is a great review for end of course testing!

As already stated, the above 5 lessons are free.  Go ahead and download them all and check them out.  I am certain that you will find them suitable for use as emergency lesson plans in your science classes. After all, this (<---) is what we hope for our students in our absence!


Pamela Kranz said...

These all look great, Amy! I bet kids will love them! Thanks!!

Michele Luck said...

Wow! Such great lessons and FREE! You are awesome, Amy Brown Science! :)

Addie Williams said...

These are all awesome Amy!! I'm going to share your blog link with my Science Dept... I think they're going to be excited!


Room 213 said...

I don't teach science, but if I did, your blog would be my first stop What an amazing bunch of ideas!

Joy Sexton said...

What a helpful post! I love all your visuals.

Mrs. Spangler in the Middle said...

My husband teaches 8th grade Science and I know he will love these! Thanks!!

Connie Casserly said...

Amy, I love the cross-curriculum aspect of these five lessons. Awesome!

Erica Colon said...

What a generous post! No matter how bad a teacher is feeling to require a sub, they will definitely be feeling better knowing their sub plans are taken care of!

Brittany Naujok said...

These are such great lessons to be giving them away for free. Thanks, Amy, for the sub help for our science teachers.

Kristen B. said...

These look fantastic, but nothing happens when I click on them. Is anyone else having trouble?

Amy Brown Science said...

Hi Kristen. All images and the red text are clickable links that take you to the free product. All links are working for me. I am sorry you are having problems. All of these materials can be found in the free section of my TpT store. Here is the link:

Janice Malone said...

Thanks, Amy. What a generous set of plans!

Janice Malone said...

Thanks, Amy. What a generous set of plans!

OCBeachTeacher said...

As an English teacher, I love that you're teaching literacy skills in your science class! I've been trying to make STEM connections in my classes and have found excellent texts for my students to read with themes related to science topics.

Gale said...

Hi. I'm a substitute teacher...these all look like great lessons to leave.

I have a question. As a sub I enjoy when I'm actually able to teach, not just supervise...when the subject is one I'm familiar with and I'm able to help students with it. I've thought about making up some lessons, maybe something that would work with multiple grades and when I sub leaving a card or something and letting teachers know if they call me personally to sub (our system allows for that) they can pick one of my lessons to teach that day. Is that something that would make you want to call a sub again?

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this. I am a new Science teacher and I have 2 children so this will definitely be used at least once.

Amy Brown Science said...

You are so welcome - Glad to help! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and good luck in your teaching.

Melissa Abrams said...

Thank you!!

Becky J said...

Thank you so much! I'm glad I found these. I am a long term substitute and need emergency plans for when I'm out. I'm overwhelmed with enough other things so finding these as the flu and stomach virus season is hitting is perfect timing. We are even working on genetics right now!