Classes don’t have to be a waste of time when the teacher is away.

Most teachers have movies they’d like to show their students, if only they could find the time.

Movies that further curriculum goals can keep students engaged and advance learning.

Advantages of Providing a Lesson Plan for the Substitute Teacher


When class time is well spent, everyone benefits.  A substitute teacher wants a class in which students are occupied and don’t get into trouble. The teacher needs to know that class time isn’t wasted and that attention is being paid to meeting educational goals.  Students benefit when their attention is focused so that in order to pass the time they are not tempted to propel various objects at their classmates. A well-planned lesson, based on a film, can meet each of these needs.

Substitutes can come to a job with a lesson plan, including the film, in tow, in case no formal plans have been left by the regular teacher.

Most teachers have films they would like to show their students but they hesitate to spend the class time necessary to show an entire movie. Yet, when the teacher is absent due to a conference, an illness or an emergency, substitutes are all too often primarily babysitters. With Set-Up-the-Sub, lesson plans for substitute teachers class time that would otherwise be wasted or of little value, can be used to both show the film and further students’ education.

Set-Up-The-Sub Lesson Plan Templates By Subject Matter

Man on Fire

Child Savior Myth and Literary Archetypes – An Introduction using “Man on Fire”

[14+; one class period]

Cast Away

Expository phase; motif; symbol; theme development; dramatic irony using “Cast Away”

[13+; one to three weeks]



Symbiosis and Predation using “Microcosmos”

[5+ (grades K – 12); one class period]


A Force More Powerful

Civil Rights Movement – The Nashville Sit-ins using “A Force More Powerful”

[12+; one class period]


A Force More Powerful

Non-violence and the Indian Independence Movement using “A Force More Powerful”

[12+; one to two class periods]