Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Emergency Lesson Plans

Posted on: May 31, 2009

fresh-appleI’m almost never out sick.  This is a good thing because my emergency lesson plans are, well, they kind of suck.  It’s motivation to come to work.  The few times I’m out, I either have the sub put on Mythbusters, or I email in a lesson based on our current work.

I would really like to have some better, stand alone emergency plans, but all I’ve come up with is Einstein’s Puzzle.  It’s a logic puzzle that takes quite a bit of thinking and time to solve.  I give extra credit for getting it right  (Einstein puzzle).  Just guessing isn’t enough, they have to show that they did the work or they don’t get the extra credit.

I need something else.  Maybe I’ll design some review worksheets of conversions or scientific notation, or maybe an SAT II section on Physics.  I’m going into my 4th year teaching these courses and that’s the best I’ve been able to do.

I need help.  Or an intervention.  What do you do?


17 Responses to "Emergency Lesson Plans"

I do what you do 😦 I’m hoping that getting new books next year will help with some of that though.

Try joining an online Teacher Community. I use it to discuss issues like this with other teachers, and its a great way to get ideas on things like lesson plans, etc.

I have a guide sheet that has them work in teams to create a quiz for the unit/section/topic using their notes. The guide requires questions of different levels and makes them review their own materials. I vary the group size and quiz dynamics to meet the class, but its pretty simple and effective lesson plan in your absence. The students turn in a quiz sheet and answer key at the end of the hour.

Could you email me the guide sheet, please.

does any one teach with books anymore??

I would be very interested in your guide, too. Would you be able to e-mail me, too?

I would be interested in your guide sheet also. Thanks

am desperate for a sub lesson, also. I just remembered I have jury duty. Could you pass on the Guide sheet?

I wasn’t the one who said they had it. In fact, I haven’t put my emergency plans in for this year either. This might be a good weekend to get them done, I’m a bit late.

Hello was hoping that you could please at least share one or two with me this way I can see how it looks and make my own. I’m a second year teacher and also teach living environment as well as physics. The school I teach at is fairly new so we are very limited on resources and supplies. I’m always looking of ways to keep the kids busy and ways where they can work together.

Thank you

I came up with an assignment when I was out a couple of weeks ago. I need to preface this by saying that I have computers in my classroom. The students were given the task of going to or any other physics game site, playing several of the games, and then writing a review of two or three of them for their physics content. It went over well.

Do you share this guide you use?

Hi Sarah,
I share everything I have but I looked thought my files and I can’t find anything. The most successful lesson I had was a worksheet that sent the students to a web activity where the students did some simulations and filled in the answers. It wasn’t a good general lesson because it was tied to where we were in the course. I think it was energy, but I seemed to have lost the files.

My experience has been so bad with subs that I just hoped my room wasn’t wrecked. If I can’t just give them real work on the current lesson, I go to a movie and call it a win. Sorry I can’t do any better, but that is where I landed after 12 years of teaching.


I would be interested in your guide as well! Several years later and you are still getting requests!

What is the answer to the Einstein puzzle?

I think it is the German living in the green house, drinking coffee, smoking Prince who owns the fish. I could be wrong, but I couldn’t stop until I figured it out. I will check myself but it is the solution I got. 🙂

You could also allow students to choose their favorite experiment so far and write a proposal for conducting a similar experiment, but with a twist, ex: if they have built a skyscraper out of index cards, they could could build one out of noodles.
Phet also has nice simulations online, and most have a worksheet to go with it.
Superteachertools website has cool ideas for activities, such as a science jeopardy game or a fake book page.

Thank you for posting wonderful resources.

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