Five Easy Lessons to Leave for a Relief Teacher

Often when relief teachers have to take our class we don't get much of a heads up, whether we are sick or have a scheduled meeting or maybe even a pleasant surprise of extra DOTT!

When this occurs it may not be practical for the teacher to just continue your normal lessons, especially if they require something you haven't fully prepared or is just to 'messy' to leave in the hands of someone who just isn't you.

These activities involve NO PREP, can be easily adapted to ANY YEAR level, require minimal resources (if any) and will be ENGAGING and have education value to the students.

While there are some very special relief teachers who will come prepared with their own lessons, you still need to have lessons prepared in case they don't.

I leave a note for my relief teacher that tells them where to find my timetable for the day and class routine information. On the note I leave 5 optional activities in case they need it and they are so easy and fun that I wanted to share them with you today so you can use them too!

1) Foldable Monsters

This is my go to lesson when I need something quick. Hand out an A4 piece of paper. Fold into 3 sections (the more equal the better but it is not crucial). Take the top section and have students draw the head of a creature then fold and ensure the neck lines cross down into the second section. Fold so the top section is no longer visible. Collect and randomly redistribute. The second person draws the body including arms but not legs, they must extend the torso lines down to the next section. Fold out of the way, collect and randomly redistribute. They then draw the legs and open up to reveal the monster. Do a gallery walk to see all the creations! As a follow up students can write a descriptive writing piece or a story about their creation.

2) Would you Rather Questions

There are so many activities you can do with would you rather question and students LOVE every single one!

Present a question and allow students to write their reasons for picking a particular side and write onto a speech bubble (key words or sentences depending on age and time allowed) and then put these up on display. This encourages natural classroom conversation and debate as students visit and read the display.

Example questions are: 'Would you rather live without the internet or junkfood?' and 'Would you rather lose the sense of taste or touch?'

Find more questions and activities in my Would You Rather Pack linked below. 

Or read my blog, linked below, for some more fun ideas! 

3) Where's the Teacher?

I don't know whether this one is more fun for the students or for you to read when you get back! Students are asked to write a creative narrative piece about why their teacher isn't at school/in the classroom. Unique and funny ideas are to be encourage along with a reminder to use the correct structure of a story (beginning, middle and end). If there is spare time students should definitely read them to their peers or add pictures!

4) Before and After Reading Activity

Show students a non-fiction book and discuss the topic of the book. Have them brainstorm their current knowledge of that topic. Depending on their year level you might do this together on the board or have them divide a page into thirds and write it in the first third.

Read the book. After you have finished, get students to record the information they know have about the topic. Then ask them to write any questions they know have. These may become research questions as another activity.

Check out my Teach and Learning Strategies and Templates pack for some more quality and engaging lesson templates. 

5) My Numbers

Give students a sheet of paper and have then draw a circle in the middle and then divide the rest of the paper into sections stemming from the middle (or provide them with a template).

Students think of numbers in their life and complete a section for each. For example their age, number of siblings, year born etc. Lower primary students can simply write the number while older students can make up equations that have to be solved to work out the number. Students can fill up the rest of the space with a picture.

For a template for this activity and prompts, please check out my About Me pack below. 

So the next time you are away, chuck a few of these lessons in and relax!


Linda Carr

Linda Carr

All the resources from Mrs. Amy both free, paid and P.D are simply amazing. She is a person still in the heart of teaching and knows exactly what teachers need / want.
Such an amazing educator.

Ingrid Wheeler

Ingrid Wheeler

Thanks Amy,
These are really fun activities which can be adapted to any age. I will be using them!

Lyn Battersby

Lyn Battersby

I am a high school English teacher. I’m currently really sick and can not put two thoughts together. I used the “Where’s the teacher?” idea for all of yesterday’s classes. According to my EA, it was a huuuuuuge hit with my Year 10s (an incredibly difficult class), so I’m assuming it went well with my 7s and 9s as well. Thank you. Now, to find something for today.

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