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8 Fun Time Filler Activities For Substitute Teachers

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

How do you fill time when substitute teaching?

These time fillers for substitute teachers will give elementary students the ability to have free choice while practicing writing in letter form.

The proper letter format is explained below.

Students will write a rough draft, edit with a partner, and then write a final copy.

Time filler activities for substitute teachers - writing prompts

8 Time Fillers For Substitute Teachers

Writing Prompts:

​Write a letter to a former

teacher telling them what you remember about their class (describe one event

that you remember) and

how they influenced you.

​Write a letter to a

character in your favorite

book. Tell them what you

think of them and give them ideas of what you would do in their shoes.

​Write a letter to your

parents telling them about your class. What do you do each day? Who are your friends? What is your favorite subject? What is

recess/lunch like for you?

​Write a letter to the

principal or vice principal of your school. Tell them one idea you have to make the school a better place. For example, better lunches, more recess time, more field trips, etc. Use details

to make them really want to do what it is that you’re asking.

​Write a letter to a younger student in your school. Think about what you can teach them. In your letter write the steps to teach them how to do something that you know well. Some examples are… How to do a math problem, How to tie your shoes, How to draw a dog, How to walk quietly in the hallway, etc.

​Write a letter to your

future self and make

predictions about what you will be like at that future age. For example, if you’re in 1st grade, predict what you will be like in 5th grade. If you're in 5th grade, what

will you be like in middle


​Write a letter to a person

in another country telling

them what school is like

where you are. Since you

don’t know their name, just make one up or write… Dear Student.

Tell them what classes you take, how you spend

lunch/recess, what extra

activities you do outside of school, and anything else that you find important or interesting to tell them.

​Write a letter to your

favorite author. In your

letter tell them what you

love about their books,

characters, writing style,

illustrations, etc. If you

have a suggestion for

future books or characters, let them know in your letter.

How do you teach elementary students to write letters?

A Letter Has 5 Parts

  1. Heading: The Date

  2. Greeting: Dear Student, (The dear and name are ALWAYS followed by a comma)

  3. Body (What you are writing to them)

  4. Closing ( Sincerely, From, Yours Truly,) The closing is always followed by a comma

  5. Signature (This is your name)

*** The heading, greeting and closing are all on their own separate lines and the greeting and closing are always followed by a comma (,)


03/16/2023 (1. Heading)

Dear Mrs. Lollie, (2. Greeting)

I remember your class like it was yesterday, and I miss you so much! Do you

remember on the first day of school, I went to the wrong classroom, and nobody knew until before lunch? You sent Sara to each class asking for me, and she finally found me in Mr. Pop’s class. Did you know that Sara and I are still friends to this day? I hope your class is great this year, and if you have a chance, can you write back to me? (3. Body)

Sincerely, (4. Closing)

Evi (5. Signature)


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