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Spanish Class Sub Plan Ideas (other than a movie)

spanish class sub plan lesson ideas

One of the absolute worst aspects of being out as a teacher is having to put all the time and effort into a sub plan! Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of sub plan ideas and some were more successful than others. My goal has always been to keep students practicing their Spanish language and culture skills in some sort of way. 

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve definitely assigned a movie as a sub plan. However, I much prefer to save movie days for days I’m in the classroom so that my students don’t just assume that a sub day = “easy, movie day.”  I like to keep them on their toes! So, here are some ideas to consider for your next day out!

Cultural Webquest

Sometimes it’s hard to incorporate culture in your regular curriculum schedule due to time constraints, but it’s so important and many students find it engaging. I love assigning cultural webquests (either digitally or printed with QR codes) on a topic relevant to the unit or season. Check out some of these popular options as a ready-made sub plan!

Curious to try out a webquest with your students for the first time? Check out this free Quinceañera Webquest to sample the lesson with your classes, either on a day you’re present or your next day out!

Guided Song Activities

Engage your students with music using an age- and level-appropriate song! Provide your sub with access to play the song and provide students with a guided handout or digital slides with activities that accompany the song. Ideas include: cloze lyrics activity, phrase hunt and find, cognates search, analysis of a (previously studied) target structure, research/learn about the artist(s), theme analysis & more!

Check out some pre-made song activities HERE!

Digital Practice Activities

Digital Practice is great when you don’t have time to make printed handouts and want to provide students/yourself with immediate feedback as to their understanding of a topic. I love designing Google Forms to review a recently-studied topic. Enable the “quiz” feature so that you can input an answer key and students can receive a score directly after finishing! It also helps to include a space for students to leave questions for you – some students might prefer this over asking in front of the entire class!

Review Games

Review games are a fun way to keep students engaged and reviewing previously studied material while you’re out!

Some fun game ideas include:

Review Handout / Practice

Sometimes when I’m short on time, I’ll throw together a quick handout that reviews what students have been studying. Instead of designing all the activities myself, I’ll create a few activities and also leave sections for students to write answers to relevant textbook activities. You can have students complete a free write, write 10 creative sentences using unit vocabulary or a certain grammar structure, write 5 questions to interview a partner and write his/her responses and include a few textbook activities as well. When it comes to grading, I’ll save myself time and pick 1 or 2 activities to grade (or have my TA grade) to hold students accountable! 

Cultural Research & Report

Cultural reports don’t have to be some intensive, long project! I love having students complete mini one-pager reports on a relevant cultural topic! 

With these cultural reports, students are guided through completing a draft sheet of notes (based on their research) and then will display their findings via a 1-page poster or a digital slide. Students can complete this on la comida, la ropa, los deportes, personas famosas, etc.

Review Poster

Are your classroom walls looking a little bare or needing some updating? Have students complete an artsy review poster while you are out! Students can complete an “about me” poster or create a visual poster that targets a specific grammar structure they have studied, such as -AR verbs.

I hope these ideas inspire you when looking for some engaging and educational sub plan ideas to use while you’re out! What other ideas do you love for sub plan lessons? Let me know in the comments below! And, most importantly, enjoy your day off, whether it be for resting/healing or taking some personal YOU time – you need & deserve it!

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Meet Kristen Photo

¡Hola! I’m Kristen, the teacher-author behind La Profe Digital. I design Spanish teaching resources rooted in culture, communication and authentic resources to help save YOU time!

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