Top Three Sick-Day Activities


Planning a lesson from home with a runny nose, a bad cough and a splitting headache is not an easy task! Sometimes, it even feels like it would be easier to just go to school sick instead! Of course, there are the Crosswords puzzles, the Comics and the Board Games, but let’s try to push things further here a bit. I have doubled this list: one for Middle School, one for High School. So, for you mortal teachers with a big cold, here are my Top Three Sick-Day Activities…

Middle School

1. Role Play

Ask your students to work in teams of two or three. Based on the topic at hand, ask them to prepare a role play that they will present in front of the class. If you have the ressources, you can also ask them to do a movie instead. One word can suffice: for example: The House. Always great fun! For more on role plays, go have a look at a previous post… Top Three Role Plays

2. Quizlet

For this one, your students will need a computer. There are trillions of Quizlet ready for language learning (plus, you can do your own, in prevision of rainy days). The website is very complete and allows students to actively learn new material, something that is sometimes hard to do with a substitute teacher (that doesn’t always speak the target language)! Plus… Top Three Online Resources

3. Survey

This is a complex task that reuses the knowledge that you have seen in class with your students (when you were NOT sick). Based on your current topic, ask your students to do three things: 1) establish a list of questions based on the topic 2) survey these questions with the other members of the group, keeping track of the answer 3) organise a way to present the information in a graphic. Should be interesting !


Go have a look at Antonio Luna’s website for great ideas on how to support your middle (and even high) school class while your sick !

If you teach French, you can also use my “Routine d’étude” or make your very own !

High School

1. Two plus One Article(s)

This is a great activity for your IB Language B students. It is based on the Written Assignment that they have to complete in Year two. Ask your students to find online two related texts (on a similar topic, but not identical). Newspaper articles works great here. Then ask your student to write a third text in continuity with the previous two. 150-200 words for Standard Level would be ideal for a double period. If possible, ask your students to share their text with you (email or Google Drive).

2. Paper 2 Questions bank

Again best for the IB Language B students, and a great way to prepare them for their Paper 2 exam. Prepare a bank of question that follow the Paper 2 topics (the bank  can be online, or in a folder in your room). Then ask your students to answer the question that they choose in a 200-250 words text (for Standard Level) or 400 words (for High Level). This is not the most creative use of your sick day, but it’s definitely helpful for your students, especially with IB exams getting closer.

3. Interview

Based on the topic at hand, ask your students to write/film an interview in teams of 2-3 students (if written, this could even be an individual activity). Topic could range from sport figure to movie celebrity, school principal to student of the month, working professional or else… Creativity welcomed here !


Why not use a Bit of Poetry ? Or Make a cartoon ?


Voilà! I hope it helps… And get better soon !




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