Helpful Tips and Activities for October Elementary Substitute Plans

If you’re taking some time out of the classroom this October, or just want to have sub plans prepared for an emergency, this post is for you! You’ll find some of my favorite tips and activities for October elementary substitute plans all in one place!


halloween books
Picture Books for Read Alouds

One of the BEST things to leave for a substitute is a stack of picture book read alouds! They can be used at any time and in a million ways! You can find some of our favorite Halloween-themed picture books using the Amazon affiliate links below!

*EXTRA TIP – If your school allows access to YouTube, leave the links for the YouTube read aloud videos for your favorite picture books!*

Pinkalicious: Pink or Treat! – Victoria Kann

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! – Lucille Colandro

The Berenstain Bears: In the Dark – Stan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears: Trick or Treat – Stan and Jan Berenstain


Spiral Review Worksheets

My favorite resources to leave for substitute teachers are resources the students can (mostly) complete on their own. As a former substitute teacher myself, it always made me uneasy to introduce a brand new topic to a group of students who weren’t my own because I never knew exactly how that classroom teacher wanted it done. In addition, I found that managing behavior was MUCH more simple if the students were engaged with activities they could complete confidently.

Instead of trying to find leftover worksheets from previous school days and activities, be sure to check out our monthly spiral review sub packs! Most of the skills in these packs have already been introduced to students prior to the labeled month, so help from the sub should be at a minimum!

Below you’ll find our October sub packs and the skills included in each grade level!

Skills in our Kindergarten October Sub Pack

Math skills included: 10 Frames, greater/less than 5, greater/less than 10, comparing numbers, number order. Sight words included: color words, number words. Phonics skills included: short vowels, word families, beginning sounds, blending sounds. ELA skills included: characters, setting, nouns, Halloween writing prompt.

Skills in our 1st Grade October Sub Pack

Math skills included: 10 Frame addition, making 10, greater/less than 10, simple addition/subtraction word problems. Sight Words included: color words, sight words (come, down, pull, help, now, very, too, be, jump, not, up, over). Phonics skills included: long/short vowels, L blends, ABC order, A & I word families. ELA skills included: character/setting, word order, simple writing, capitalization/punctuation.

Skills in our 2nd Grade October Sub Pack

Math skills included: 2-digit addition, counting coins, Base10, number word form, word problems. Sight Words included: color words, Sight Words (over, new, take, me, much, most, old, say, help, end, big, play). Phonics skills included: long/short vowels, L blends, ABC order, CVCe. ELA skills included: character/setting, nouns, sentence structure, Fall writing prompt.


substitute plans template
FREE Editable Sub Plans Template

Your October elementary substitute plans would not be complete without a simple way to organize them all! These FREE editable sub plan templates are perfect for prepping before your planned day off. But they’re also super helpful for those unexpected days away! Simply download the FREE file to your computer, type in your plans, save the file and e-mail it to your teammates! All they’ll have to do is print and leave them for your sub!


I hope these tips and activities help you prepare your October elementary substitute plans! If you’re looking for other resources for your classroom, check out some of our favorite resources using the button below!

halloween resources button

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