No-Prep Spanish Sub Plans

August 3, 2021 admin

INSIDE: No-prep Spanish sub plans even a non-Spanish-speaking sub can do. 🙌🏻


I still remember the sinking feeling I would get every time Jolene walked into my classroom. Jolene was the secretary at my school and a visit from her meant only one thing: the daycare had called the school and one of my kids was sick. It got to the point I wouldn’t even ask which one was sick anymore, she would just tell me as she entered. I wish I could count the number of times I had to throw together sub plans and rush out the door, but I can’t. It was A LOT. #thankyoudaycaregerms

Teaching in a rural school in Oregon meant the sub covering my classes never spoke Spanish. Ever. Having sub plans that anyone could do was vital. I kept a folder in the crate on my desk with emergency sub plans. Those emergency sub plans saved me on more than one occasion and I encourage all the new teachers I mentor to have several sub plans ready to go just in case.

If you feel this meme in your soul, I’ve got you covered! Below, you’ll find 5 of my go-to sub day activities. Each requires zero Spanish from the sub and can be done independently by students (my favorite kind of lessons when I was a sub!). I’ve included a bunch of freebies to help you stock your emergency sub folder, too. ❤️ Also, grab a free sub plan template here.




WHY THEY MAKE A GREAT SUB PLAN: They are self-checking!

If a student’s answer is correct, part of the hidden picture will be revealed. If a student’s answer is incorrect, the picture will not change. That lets the student know he/she needs to try again. The instant feedback really helps students improve their skills, plus makes the activity super hands-off for a sub. Students love mystery pictures and trying to guess what the picture is as they complete the activity!

Here are some FREE mystery pictures to help you out!

Here are a few other mystery pictures you might like:

Want 60+ digital mystery pictures at your fingertips just in case? Check out the discounted Digital Mystery Picture Mega Bundle.

See all of my digital mystery pictures HERE.


Students also love the reading comprehension mystery pictures for Spanish 1, preterite tense, imperfect tense, and preterite vs. imperfect!



WHY THEY MAKE A GREAT SUB PLAN: They are self-checking AND self-grading!

Boom Cards are interactive digital task cards. Students get immediate feedback on their answers so they can complete the cards independently. If an answer is correct, a bell dings and the next card appears. If an answer is incorrect, they hear a different sound and need to try again. They can skip a card for the time being, but it moves to the end of the randomized deck. Students will need to answer it correctly in order for the deck to be marked complete with a checkmark.

You as a teacher need a free Boom Learning account to use Boom Cards with your students, but your students do not need accounts or to log in if you use the Fast Pins option. Simply give them the link, they click on it and enter the code, and they play the deck. You can still hold students accountable and take advantage of the self-grading feature without them logging in by having them take a screenshot of the last slide that says they completed the deck and their score and send it to you. Students can do the Boom Cards on their phones, a tablet, or a computer.

There are more features available with a paid membership like live monitoring and data. If you want data, students will need to log in so you can track their results. If they have Google or Microsoft accounts, they can use those credentials to log into Boom. A paid membership is only $25 per year and I think it is worth every penny! I love the data. I can look at the report and see who missed what questions when I get back. That guides me in my lesson planning.

There are 50 interactive Boom Cards in each deck, plenty to keep your students busy for a good chunk of a class period. Each deck has a variety of activities for students to complete so students don’t get bored and they get a well-rounded review while you’re gone.

See how fun they are for yourself by clicking HERE to play a few cards!

Here are two free decks of Boom Cards to help you with those sub plans!

Here are my 5 most popular Boom Card decks:

Want 50+ decks of Boom Cards to keep in your digital emergency folder? Check out the discounted bundle HERE.

See all 80+ Boom Card decks in my store HERE.



WHY THEY MAKE A GREAT SUB PLAN: Interactive and great review!

Like the Boom Cards above, each set of Google Slides has 50 slides and a variety of questions to keep students engaged and learning for the duration of a class period. Each set was designed to give your students a well-rounded review of a topic. Students should be able to work through the slides independently without any help from the sub, but an answer key is provided if you want to leave it with the sub just in case.

Students will be engaged in interactive activities like:

  • identifying vocabulary words in pictures
  • matching vocabulary words and sentences to pictures
  • drag and drop conjugation charts
  • filling in the blanks of sentences with verbs
  • circling errors in sentences and correcting them
  • choosing the correct translation
  • answering open-ended questions in complete Spanish sentences
  • and so much more!
Here are some FREE Google Slides you can use in a pinch!

Here are 5 of my most popular sets of Google Slides:

Grab 50+ sets of Google Slides to keep in your digital emergency folder in a discounted bundle HERE.

See all 80+ sets of Google Slides in my TPT store HERE.



WHY THEY MAKE A GREAT SUB PLAN: They are self-checking and engaging!

Can your students escape the Aztec ghost? Can they find the Mayan treasure before it’s too late? You’ll find out when they take on these fun digital escape rooms! They will have to use their Spanish skills, and their critical thinking skills, to solve the six puzzles in each escape room. All puzzles are embedded in the escape room so all you have to do is assign the escape room and Google Form to your students and they are good to go! If you don’t use an LMS to assign digital activities, you could have the sub write the links on the board for students.

Digital escape rooms are great for a sub day because they hold your students’ attention and they are self-checking. The Google Form does all the work for the sub. If an answer is correct, the Google Form allows students to move on to the next question. If an answer is incorrect, a message pops up telling students they need to try again and giving them a hint. Teacher cheat sheets are included so the sub can see what the puzzles are, what the answers are for the Google Form, and hints he/she can pass on to any kids that might need one. No Spanish required by the sub!

Because the answers are submitted in a Google Form, it is easy for you to see how the groups did when you get back. Each puzzle was designed to take about 45 minutes to complete.



Students don’t have access to technology? Task cards to save the day! I always keep a set of task cards for whatever topic we are studying on my desk and they have come in handy more than once as an emergency sub plan. A Walk & Write is the most popular (and easiest!) way to use task cards and perfect for a sub day. Here’s how to do one:


If you don’t have task cards ready yet, you’ll need to print and cut the task cards (hence why they are a bonus idea and not up there with the no-prep resources). Then, you’ll need to hang them around the room. I have TAs and students help me with the cutting and hanging. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.

The sub needs to have students take out a piece of paper and number it 1 – whatever # of task cards you are using. Once they are ready, have them walk around and complete the tasks on the cards by writing the answers on their response sheet. It’s up to you whether they work individually or in pairs. I let them choose and it is usually a good mix of students working individually and with a partner. I LOVE seeing them collaborate and work together! You have to establish a culture in your room where it is expected that they are an equal partner in the activity, not just following someone around and writing down their answers. That doesn’t help them learn!

All of my sets have 48 cards and I like to hang all 48 up. Normally, I tell students they can pick any 30 to complete. That way, they have some choice in the activity and can skip ones they don’t want to or are unable to do. I always encourage them to challenge themselves and they are usually good about doing a mix of cards. If there is a sub, you can assign a higher number like 40 or even all of them if you want to fill the class period. There is a variety of questions so students won’t get bored, even if they have to do all 48.

Grab these free task cards for SER and adjectives HERE!

Want even more ideas for using task cards in Spanish class? Check out these blog posts I wrote: 10 Task Card Ideas for Spanish Class and 5 (More) Ideas for Using Task Cards in Spanish Class.

Grab the task card mega bundle with 40+ sets HERE and have 40+ sub plans at your fingertips!

See all of my task card sets HERE.


And if all else fails, there is always this list from Spanish Mama: The Ultimate List of Movies to Show in Spanish Class. #noshameinthemoviegame #desperatetimescallfordesperatemeasures


I hope these ideas help you make your sub plans! If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them in the comments! Thanks for reading and have a GREAT day!


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