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The season of sickness is here. All around me I’m hearing stories about the flu, ear infections, and stomach bugs. Being sick is bad enough, but is made worse with the thought of having to write out sub plans. In a perfect world, we’d have sub tubs full of matching games and fun centers ready to go. However, the world isn’t perfect and sometimes we just need a list of go-to ideas for unexpected sick days. So, here are my top two easy sub plans.


I’ve heard of many teaching situations in which teachers need videos with accompanying worksheets for subs who have absolutely no music teaching experience and very little time to go over lesson plans. I created the No Prep Activities for Elementary Music for exactly this situation! You can download my free sampler of this set here: No Prep Activities Sampler. It’s always nice to try before you buy!

This set contains links to over 60 video links in a variety of categories, such as pitch, rhythm, band, choir, singalongs, and more. You can choose to play the video using Safeshare, ViewPure, or YouTube. It also has accompanying worksheets for each of the videos. Once you’ve downloaded the set, you simply need to print the worksheets you want to use, and make sure that you have internet access in order to show the videos.

As with any video, you’ll want to preview it first to make sure it’s suitable for your unique situation. The length of the videos is indicated on each slide, so it’s easy to know which ones will work for your class periods. You could easily review each video from the comfort of your bed!

Don’t forget, you can download my free sampler of this set here: No Prep Activities Sampler.


SQUILT is a great way to combine a listening lesson with purposeful movement. Here’s how:

  1. Start by downloading these free SQUILT worksheets from my store, then print/copy enough for your students.
  2. Choose the music you want your students to hear. Personally, I would choose a piece that has contrasting elements, such as Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Contrast is important in listening lessons as it gives students more to write about, but also gives non-music subs more opportunities to contribute to the lesson. They are more likely to hear that a piece is soft and loud, rather than just soft.
  3. The lesson should begin with students moving to the music. I’ve often found that students do this naturally without much help. However, if they need it, you can print these movement vocabulary guides for your sub. That way, your sub will be able to better guide the students in their movements.
  4. Once students have moved to the piece (and hopefully are a little worn out), then it’s time for them to listen to it again, while filling out their SQUILT worksheets.

I hope these ideas make writing your sub plans a little easier! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!