Writing sub plans suck! Let's face it.

Many of us, including myself, avoid taking a day off, even if we need to because taking a day off is just too much work. You have to write sub plans, grade any work that students do, and deal with any discipline issues that occurred when you were out.

It's even more difficult for us world-language teachers because the odds of them finding a sub that can actually help students with the language we teach are slim to none.

I've come up with my go-to sub plans that don't require any work by the sub except for time-keeping, yet a day in the target language is not lost for the students like it might be with other busy work we might have assigned.

My go-to sub plans include writing, reading, listening, and speaking in the target language in a stress-free environment that is fun for the students.

First, divide your available class time into 5 equal segments. Those will be the available time that students will need to complete each phase of the activity.

For the first time segment, you'll have the students write a story in Spanish to the best of their ability.

During the second and third time segments, have students form small groups and read their stories to each other. They will decide as a group which story they want to move forward with and illustrate that story with no words or text of any kind. This drawing should be in story-frame format with one box per student in the group.

During the final two segments, the students will tell the story only from the pictures to the rest of the class. Each student is responsible for talking about one frame of the story. Call each group up one at a time until the whole class has presented.

If there is time, have the students vote on which story they liked the best. You could offer some sort of prize for the best one.

Have the sub collect all of the written stories and the pictures for you to look at when you return.

This is a great activity that allows students to still get their language practice in even while you are not there. It's also fun for the students as they can show off their creativity.

It's great for the sub because all they have to do is keep time and manage behavior. Easy peasy.