One of the most valuable teaching ideas for substitutes to keep in their back pocket is the memory tool known as mnemonics. Why is this a valuable teaching idea for substitutes? Because you can use it with students of any grade and in just about any class.
Teaching mnemonics is also a great idea for subs because it may be one of the few things you can teach during your limited time with students that they can actually use for the rest of their academic career. Finally, of all the ideas for substitutes that you may come across, a lesson in mnemonics will almost certainly rank near the top when it comes to you and the students having fun. These are just a few ideas to get you started. The fun comes in getting the students to come up with their own examples for something they need to remember for an upcoming test or quiz.
Seven Zillion Loosely Arranged Marriages Had Problems Holding Together Artfully Constructed Rationalizations
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is usually hard for most students (and adults, for that matter) to remember once you get past the Pyramids. If you can remember that little ditty above (or get your students to come up with something easier), you can put it together to bring forth the actual Seven Wonders of the World: State of Zeus, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Mausoleum of Hallicarnassus, Pyramids, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Tempe of Artemis, Colossus of Rhodes
Never Attract Young Yellow Creatures Living Among Ailing Irish Monkeys
Here is a mnemonic device that comes in handy during geography class. Use the cautionary advice in the mnemonics to remember the longest rivers in the world: Nile, Amazon, Yangtze, Yellow (that's an obvious one), Congo, Lena, Amur, Irtysh and Mekong.
Obviously, People From Texas Eat Squirrels
Kids in biology or taking a class in anatomy or even psychology may actually be able to use this one. This is a key to memorizing the bones found in the head: Occipital, Parietal, Frontal, Temporal, Ethmoid and Sphenoid.
Kate before Anne and Jane before Anne and Kate and Kate Once More
Put this little ditty to the music of your choice and you know you'll get as least once question right on your British history test. This device is for remembering the tragic wives of Britain's King Henry the VIII. Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.
Roberta Flack Loves Flying Donkeys, But Hates Little Dog Footprints
This is a mnemonic device for those who have occasion to remember the Biblical plagues cast upon Egypt. Probably will be more useful if you are teaching a private school, but you never know. It is hard to keep track of all those Biblical plagues, what with the frogs and locusts and such. Keeping in mind Roberta Flack's animal habits can actually help you with this task should the occasion arise: Rivers of blood, Frogs, Lice, Flies, Disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Firstborn.
There's plenty more mnemonic devices you can teach in a short time frame. What are some you use?