Relief Teaching Ideas

Sharing ideas to help make relief teaching fun, enjoyable, and meaningful.


Area Dice Game


A game for 2 or 3 players.
Each player chooses a colour pencil or texta they will use in the game.
Players take turns rolling the dice, using the numbers that they rolled to draw the perimeter of a rectangle or square & writing the area in the middle of the shape.
Game ends when players run out of room to draw.
Winner is the player who has used the largest area/most squares.

This game is an old favourite. I used to play it when I was at school!

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Class Good Behaviour Incentive – Complete the Jigsaw


The class earns pieces to the puzzle when they are all working well. When the puzzle is complete they can have a predetermined reward like packing up early for a fitness game.
A classroom teacher could choose a larger puzzle & a bigger class reward like an end of term movie or class party.

*Attach magnetic strip to the back of puzzle pieces or use blu-tak so it can easily be put up on the whiteboard.

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Secret Code Spelling


You could use this free downloadable sheet to write a secret message on the whiteboard. Using the sheet, which student can decipher it first?
Have students write out their own words or messages for others to decipher.
Students can also create their own secret codes with different symbols.

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Glossary Crossword

– A great reading, spelling & vocabulary lesson! I keep a graph book in my relief folder for activities like this…


Students choose a non-fiction book that has a glossary at the back – preferably on a topic that they are studying in class!
Show them how to make a crossword ; drawing the boxes, linking the words, numbering the boxes & then listing the clues at the bottom.
Students use the words & definitions found in the glossary to create their crossword.
When finished they can swap with another student to complete.

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WANTED: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Roberton

A few weeks ago I posted about borrowing this book from the library. I fell in love with the story of the boy looking for his perfect pet & the little duck who disguises himself as a dog so he can make a friend.
Here are some activity ideas to go with the book:
-Brainstorm with the class different pets
– Create a class graph showing the pets they have
– Create an ad for their idea of a perfect pet
– Write up a T Chart comparing a dog to a different type of pet
– Write a persuasive piece of text, stating why an unusual animal would make a good pet (eg: a crocodile)
– Draw & label an animal disguised as another animal
– If you have access to craft supplies have students create an imaginary animal that would make an ideal pet
– Play ‘Dog, dog, goose!’ (same as ‘duck, duck, goose’)
– Discuss how everyone has their own strengths & weaknesses and the importance of being true to yourself.
– Have students draw a self portrait & then list their strengths underneath. Alternatively have them pass their portraits around the room for their classmates to list what they think their strengths are (this will require guidelines set & lots of monitoring by the teacher!)

I joined the library to save money but I keep falling in love with the books & buying them!!



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Word Rolls


I made these by cutting a cardboard plastic wrap roll & then sliding it inside a cut paper towel roll.
The top picture is a roll of words that rhyme with ‘at’. The bottom picture is a roll of words starting with the letter ‘s’.
Students can turn the roll, make, say & then record the words.
These could be used at a word work literacy station or as an early finisher activity.

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Kite Book Report




Here’s a creative way to present a book report. I’ve made them with many classes as a classroom teacher but they could easily be done while relief teaching as a once off literacy lesson.

-Cut an A4 piece of paper into a square.
-Fold the corners down into the centre.
– Label the sections ‘Characters, Setting, Problem, Resolution’ & decorate.
– Lift up each section & fill out (it’s best for students to do a draft copy on lined paper or in their writing books first). Junior grades could draw instead of write.
– On the inner centre section create an alternate front cover for the book. This needs to include the book title & author.
– Attach streamers or strips of crepe paper to one corner.

These make a colourful display on a classroom wall!


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Spelling Baseball

This is a great spelling revision game to play at the end of term. I like it because it allows for students to choose the level of word difficulty so that it’s not just the top spellers of the class that enjoy success.

– Write up spelling words, dividing them into 4 columns, according to their difficulty. The easiest words will be for “1st Base”, then 2nd, 3rd & finally the hardest extension words will be the “home run” words.

To play:
– Divide students into 2 teams. One will field first (sit at their desk listening for any mistakes). The other will bat first (line up at the front, taking turns spelling words).
-Decide where the bases will be around your room.
– The first batter tells the teacher what type of word they want (1st, 2nd, 3rd or home run).
– Teacher “pitches” the word by calling it out.
– Student either spells it out loud or writes it on a small whiteboard & holds it up to show the teacher and fielding team.
– If they get it correct they get to move to their nominated base.
If a fielder thinks they are incorrect they raise their hands to challenge it. If the fielder can correctly spell the word then the batter is out. If the fielder also spells the word incorrectly (drops the ball!) then the batter is safe.
If the batter has spelled the word incorrectly but no one challenges them, the teacher will announce the correct spelling & the batter will have to bat again (foul ball – 3 fouls & they’re out).
– As batters take turns spelling, the other players already on bases move around the bases, just like a real baseball game.
– Record how many runs the team makes. A run is when a batter goes around all bases & returns back to the home plate.
– 3 outs & it’s side away.

Team with the most runs wins!

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Sight Word Race

Split the class into two teams. Have them line up in their teams in front of the whiteboard.
Teacher writes sight words on board. Write each word more than once.
Hand the first student of each line a whiteboard eraser.
Teacher calls out a word.
First student to rub out the correct word gets a point for their team.
The erasers get passed to the next students in line.
Teacher continues calling out the words until all words are erased.
Team with the most points wins.

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Creative Chants

There are many ways for students to learn new things. Some are exciting & hands on but some, like rote learning, can be a little tedious! To make rote learning & memorization of times tables, sight words, rules or Bible verses more fun you can introduce different chant styles.
I’ve used some of these but have only recently found these printable cards that have even more creative chants. I’ll be printing these out & adding them to my Relief Folder.

Phonics Chart 1Phonics Chart 2Phonics Chart 4Phonics Chart 3