Self-Guided Student Resources For a (Much Needed!) Sick Day.

“What?! We are nowhere near June, yet?!”

Yup. We all get to that point in the fall where it feels like we’ve been back at it forever, but in reality, we have not. Teachers (like myself) are more likely to show up to work with a horrific cold or flu- with the exception of COVID, than to call-in sick. If and when I take a “sick day”, it is usually because I just need a break, or a day of fun. If you are a teacher who makes a point to plan these “sick days” regularly- good for you! I would love to relinquish control of my classroom more often, but I am a self-identified control freak, and I experience some anxiety with the thought of leaving my classroom (many of my co-workers make fun of me for this, so you are welcome to as well).

What makes a planned sick day equally as difficult is the time it takes creating sub-plans. Do you created a bulleted list? Do you provide a word-for-word script for your substitute? Do you say “screw it” and leave a video to play? While that final option is tempting, it serves the students little opportunity to enhance academic skills and social studies-content implementation.

Well, by golly- have I got the solution for you! My school district allots teachers 13 sick and personal days per year. I created a social studies package with 16 resources to cover those days, and then some! ALL 16 resources incorporate literacy skills and US History content that can be applied to units throughout the school year. Every resource includes a primary source related to a specific US History event with directions for annotating. Each primary source is followed by a two-page scavenger hunt activity, a 5-question quiz, and an argumentative writing assignment. Not only does it tap into 21st century learning objectives and state standards for social studies, it is completely SELF-GUIDED for your students! No need to stress over weird scripts for your sub!

In all seriousness, my students really enjoy these primary source activities. I use them regularly; it is simply a bonus to have them on-hand for sick days. Give them a try! Start with a sample of what the package includes with this free primary source scavenger activity: “Ain’t I a Woman” by Sojourner Truth. Like it? Click on the image below to get all 16 resources!

Enjoy the rest of the school year, and the ease of mind that you can now have in planning a sick day 🙃.


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Hi! I’m Teri, a.k.a. the “Mad Historian”. I enjoy fitness, heels, and history, but most of all, I love creating effective classroom resources and sharing my strategies.

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