When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is pull together a sub plan. This year, be prepared for the inevitable bout of flu (or need for a mental health day – oh, I’ve been there) by keeping a lesson on hand that’s truly evergreen and will work with all of your classes. It’s lame to leave yet another droning DVD documentary. Instead, provide a meaty non-fiction article on a high-interest topic and short-answer questions that will keep your students actively engaged for the full class period.

With the latest CCSS focus on non-fiction/informational texts in mind, I’ve built a variety of print-and-teach materials that can be used on those odd calendar days when you’re not quite ready to start your next unit or set aside for those days when you just can’t get to school and need a sub. Print the article and question sheets, keep a photocopied class set of everything in your file cabinet, and you’re good to go!

Some of the articles my students have loved most include a report of how many bug pieces are in the foods we eat each day, the development of a Harry Potter-type invisibility cloak by our military, and a report on high schools that have shifted their start time to allow tired teens to sleep in each morning.

Click here to view the full catalog of these “Let’s Get Real” lessons.

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