10 Read Aloud Books to Leave for Sub Plans in 2024

Some schools require teachers to submit their sub plans the first week of school to the main office. You may be wondering, “How am I supposed to create sub plans that are appropriate for the whole year?” The kids change so much over the course of the year. What you would leave for activities for substitute teachers in September would look very different than what you would leave in February. There are many answers to this question, but this blog post will focus on one specific one: Read alouds.

Read alouds are a great sub plans activity to leave for substitute teachers because they are whole-group lessons that all students can participate in. Plus, children love to be read to. Whether it’s by their parents, teacher, sibling, or another adult, it is a time when they can just enjoy quality literature that they may not be able to access on their own. Better yet, they provide incredibly meaningful conversations and learning opportunities for your kids. Check out the list below of 10 read aloud books that are perfect for leaving for sub plans!

5 Reasons Read Alouds are Great for Sub Plans

Here are 5 reasons why read alouds are great for sub plans:

  1. Students love to be read to so they’ll be engaged and learning during the experience.
  2. Even if you don’t have a hard copy of the book, your students can still access the literature through technology. For example, you can find a link of the book being read aloud on Youtube and include it in your sub plans.
  3. All students can access the activity and participate in it.
  4. It is a sub plan activity that is easy for substitute teachers to understand and implement.
  5. They lend themselves to great class discussions where they can learn from a different adult and gain a new perspective.
I just got an awesome tip from The Clutter-free Classroom about sub plans. They suggest leaving reading activities when you take a sick day. Read alouds are simple and easy lessons to leave for a substitute teacher. They suggest so many great books for teaching elementary students. You won’t believe how many ideas they have for books about substitutes! #elementaryreading #substituteteacher #sickday

Top 10 Books for Sub Plans

Below are my top 10 favorite read aloud books to leave as part of my sub plans.

1. Miss Nelson is Missing

Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard is a story about an unruly classroom of students and a teacher who finds a creative way to teach them a lesson. The students in Room 207 were the worst-behaved students in the whole school. They were constantly acting up and poor Miss Nelson was unable to teach.

Then one day, Miss Nelson goes missing and Miss Viola Swamp comes into the classroom. She wears an ugly black dress, never smiles, and loads the students up with homework.  It isn’t long before the students miss Miss Nelson and start to look for her.

When she returns a few days later, the students are thrilled to see her. They no longer misbehave and act like angels in the classroom.  In the end, it is revealed that Miss Nelson was in the classroom all along and she had dressed up as Miss Viola Swamp to teach her students a lesson about being respectful. This is my favorite book to leave as sub plans!

Miss Nelson is Missing book cover and writing paperMiss Nelson is Missing book cover

2. The Substitute Teacher from the Black Lagoon

The Substitute Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler is a story about how Hubie’s teacher, Mrs. Green, is out sick so the class is going to have a substitute teacher. The substitute, named Mr. Frank N. Stein., is nine feet tall, crashes through walls, and hurls students into outer space. The kids in the class were expecting to party all day, but that is definitely not what the substitute had in mind.

The Substitute Teacher from the Black LagoonJamaica and the Substitute Teacher book cover

3. Jamaica and the Substitute Teacher

Jamaica and the Substitute Teacher by Juanita Havill is a story about a girl named Jamaica and her experience with a substitute teacher, Mrs. Duval. Jamaica thinks that her substitute is very nice and has a fantastic day with her until it’s time to take a spelling test. Jamaica is not prepared for it and makes a poor choice. She is worried about what Mrs. Duval will think of her. This is another good book to leave as sub plans!

4. Dear Substitute

Dear Substitute by Audrey Vernick is a story about Miss Pelly, a substitute teacher who covers Mrs. Giordano’s class. She doesn’t do things exactly like Mrs. Giordano. The kids learn that it’s okay if the substitute teacher does things a little bit differently.

Dear Substitute book coverMy Teacher's Not Here book cover

5. My Teacher’s Not Here

My Teacher’s Not Here by Lana Button is a book that tells the story of a kindergartener named Kitty who is very nervous when she sees that her teacher, Miss Seabrooke, is not at school because she is home sick. In her place, there is a substitute teacher named Mr. Omar.  Kitty is worried that no one will be able to help her with the things Miss Seabrooke usually does. This is another good book to leave as part of your sub plans!

6. Substitute Teacher Plans

Substitute Teacher Plans by Doug Johnson is a story about how Miss Huff accidentally mixed up her plans for the substitute teacher with her day-off activities list. The substitute followed all of the plans that Miss Huff left,  which led to a pretty wild day with the class.

Substitute Teacher Plans book coverSame Way Ben book cover

7. Same Way Ben

In Maryann Cocca-Leffler’s Same Way Ben, Ben likes things the same way every day, so he is upset when, one morning, Mrs. Garcia isn’t there to greet him when he gets off the bus. Instead, it’s Mr. Elliot, the music teacher. In the classroom, Mr. Elliot tells the class that he will be their teacher not just for that day, but for the next six weeks while Mrs. Garcia is on maternity leave.

That morning, Mr. Elliot plays loud music, which Ben doesn’t like because the class never listens to loud music in the morning. The next Monday, Ben arrives to the classroom to find that Mr. Elliot has moved the tables. His friend Cami goes to sit at the yellow table, and their usual green table has been moved from the corner near the cubbies. Later that day, Mr. Elliot announces that he has made blueberry and cream cheese bagels for lunch so Ben won’t be able to eat his usual chicken strips and apple.

Ben feels overwhelmed and begins to cry. Suddenly, Mrs. Garcia comes to visit with her new baby and teaches Ben that new changes, although scary at first, can make life an adventure. This is another great book to leave as part of your sub plans!

8. Miss Malarkey Won’t Be in Today

Judy Finchler’s story Miss Malarky Won’t Be in Today is about a teacher who worries about being out of class. With a fever, Miss Malarkey knows that she won’t be able to teach so she calls in sick to school. She worries about which substitute teacher will get called in to teach her class. She hopes the principal won’t call scary Mr. Doberman, or silly Mrs. Ungerware, or nervous Mr. Lemonjello. She knows her students will be too much for Mr. Lemonjello to handle. Miss Malarkey gets so worried that she decides to go to school to check on her class. When she gets there, she realizes that she won’t really have anything to worry about!

Miss Malarkey Won't be in Today book coverSubstitute Creacher book cover

9. Substitute Creature

Substitute Creature by Chris Gall is a story about how Ms. Jenkins’ class full of troublemakers arrived at school and saw a substitute teacher in their classroom. The substitute teacher has tentacles, yellow spots, and one eye.  He encourages the students to follow the rules by telling them stories about his former students, but that does not stop them from their naughty ways.  At the end of the story, he shares his personal experience which finally changes the students’ behavior.

10. Here Comes Teacher Cat

The last on the list of books that are great to leave as sub plans is Here Comes Teacher Cat by Deborah Underwood. It is about a cat who does not want to be a substitute teacher to a class full of kittens. He agrees to do it and follows all of the lesson plans. By the end of the day, both Cat and the kittens learned some important lessons.

Other Sub Plan Resources

Check out these other sub plan resources!

1st grade sub plans resources2nd grade sub plans resources3rd grade sub plans resources
buy now buttonbuy now buttonbuy now button
4th grade sub plans resources5th grade sub plans resourcesemergency sub plans
buy now buttonbuy now buttonbuy now button

In closing, we hope you found this list of read alouds to leave for sub plans helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts about planning for a substitute teacher and making sub plans. In addition, you might want to download the free eBook, The Clutter-Free Classroom’s Guide to Preparing for a Substitute Teacher and check out my emergency sub plans.

Share it: