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Fun Classroom Activities For a Substitute Teacher

landscape © by me and the sysop

As a substitute teacher, you need to be prepared for anything! There could be times when you show up to a classroom and there are no plans left for you or not enough to get you through the day. You need to keep the students busy at all times in order for the day to go smoothly. If the students have work or activities to do, the day will not drag, and the most importantly, students have the opportunity to learn from you. Below is a list of fun classroom activities that a substitute can use.

Start the day off with a "Get to Know You" activity. Most substitutes do not get to know the students because they are in different classes and schools throughout the year. Before students arrive, write on the board the following questions and have the students answer them. Have the students share their answers out loud with the class.

  1. What is your favorite color?
  2. What is your favorite animal?
  3. What's your favorite TV show or movie?
  4. What's you favorite school subject?
  5. What do you like to do when not in school?


Most students are familiar with and enjoy the game, Pictionary.

  • Start out by writing student friendly movies or TV shows, books, cartoon characters, or animals on small pieces of paper and put them in a bag or a hat.
  • Split the class into two groups.
  • Next ask one student from the first group to come up to the front of the class and have them pick a piece of paper.
  • Then have them go to the board and attempt to draw it, while the rest of the class tries to guess what the drawing is.

Social Studies- Where's That State activity?

  • Most classroom have a large map displayed or can be pulled down.
  • Have two students come up to the map.
  • The first two students should stand in front of the map.
  • The teacher will then name a state.
  • The first student to point to the correct state wins that round and continues on to the next round.
  • The next student comes up to the map and does the same as the last player.
  • The last student standing wins.

Word Searches and Crossword Puzzles

These are always great to have on you. There are websites where you can find some great free printables!

These are just a few suggestions, there are many more fun classroom activities that a substitute can work into the day. Check out the rest of our blog if you would like more information about substitute teaching or how to use SubAssistant to get more sub jobs.

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