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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Elementary Music Sub Plan Ideas

Coming up with sub plans may easily be one of the most headache-inducing tasks any teacher has to endure. It's so hard to come up with a plan that is easy enough to explain and simple enough for a substitute to implement while also being engaging and meaningful enough to keep students from checking out entirely (or worse). Over the last couple of years I've found a few favorites that have been well-received by both students and subs alike, so today I'm sharing some of those with you!

A couple of years ago I shared how I have my emergency sub plans organized. If you haven't already, I encourage you to go check out that post as well- I have been loving the system and after several years it is still going strong! I also included some more of my favorite sub plans in that post that you'll want to read about:

1. Soundscapes

This one works for any age group, even up to middle or even high school! I prepare some ziploc bags in advance with the same random objects in each one (paperclips, straws, pieces of paper, etc). The teacher splits the class up into small groups and gives each group a bag of items and secretly assigns them to a place, like an airport, beach, or playground. Each group then has to come up with a list of sounds they would hear in that place and figure out how to recreate those sounds using their bodies, voices, and/or the items in the bag and present their soundscape to the class for the others to guess what their place was. 

2. Musical Favorites Poster

This is great for the beginning or end of the school year, or during Music In Our Schools Month, and also works for all grade levels! I made a template that has spaces for students to write and/or draw their musical favorites (favorite instrument, favorite dance move, favorite songs, etc), on a double-sided paper. The teacher simply goes over each section to make sure they understand how to fill it out (especially the younger ones who may not be able to read the headings), and then have them fill out their poster. I have them write in all the answers in pencil and then give them the option to allow early finishers to color it in if they have time. At the end of class they can all share their "posters" with each other. This would be the great start for a bulletin board too! ;) 

3. Abstract Music Listening

This one is based on the book, Niko Draws a Feeling, and is another great one that can work with a wide range of ages. I've written a whole separate post on my lesson plan for this one, but the basic idea is to read the story about a boy who draws designs that represent abstract ideas and feelings rather than concrete objects, and then have students do the same to represent the mood of an abstract piece of music. Here's my post with the detailed plans:

Book-based lessons in general can be great for sub plans! Click here to see all of my favorite lesson ideas using children's literature. 

The full lesson plans and materials for each of these ideas are included in my sub plan templates, along with the ones from my previous post. If you want to save yourself a few headaches next year, I highly recommend picking up this resource! I'll continue to add to the set as I come across more lesson ideas that work for substitutes as well. 

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