Relief Teaching Ideas

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


Paper Bag Books

I have seen some great paper bag books floating around Pinterest. Unfortunately, in Australia, it is very hard to find the type of paper bags that you need for this project, especially for a reasonable price!

I decided to try to make my own version with the typical Home Brand style paper bags that you can buy at the grocery store. It is a simpler version but I’m still pretty happy with how they turned out!

Basically, a paper bag book is a book made from paper bags! You stack the paper bags on top of each other & staple or bind the closed off ends of the bags together. You can then decorate, draw & write on the paper bag pages. Alternatively you can glue paper onto the pages to write & draw on. Pretty simple, huh?

You can then place card/paper inserts, or other flat objects like photos, paper cut outs, postcards, etc, into the open part of the bag. You can attach smaller pieces to string or popsticks & then sticky tape the string to the inside of the bag so you don’t lose them.












They are so versatile. They can be used to present work or projects, to record trips or excursions, or to review a unit of work. They can be adapted to suit all ages too!

More paper bag book ideas:
– All About Me (Place photos or special items, like 1st birthday cards, in the pockets.)
– Alphabet or Number Books
– Poetry
– Holiday Journal (Photos, ticket stubs, postcards, pamphlets can go into the pockets)
– Highlights of Grade __
– Revision or project for science, health or Society & Environment topics (eg: Australian States & their flags and emblems)
– Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift book
– Book Reports
– LOTE (eg: Items of clothes in Japanese – in the pockets put paper clothes to dress a paper doll that’s attached to the book)

Insert Ideas:
– Moving eyes on a popstick (cut out eye holes & draw eyes on a popstick that you can put in the bag insert & move around)
– Turning wheel with a window cut out of the paper bag page to show the different pictures you’ve drawn on the wheel
– Characters attached to string that can be pulled out from a pocket
– Answers to questions that you’ve written on the outer part of the bag
– Ribbons or coloured in masking tape tags sticking out of the edges to help pull inserts out

If you can find the American style paper bags that can be opened up to have sides & a bottom then you can make some pretty special looking books.

I would love to try some of the ideas found on these pages too:!)&m=1


4D Trioramas


I accidently came up with this idea when arranging some normal trioramas. They fit so well together! I’m sure other people have done this before & it’s not a new idea but it was a revelation to me. 🙂

I glued the four trioramas together to make one display. You could paper clip them together if it was a group project & each child wanted to take home their own work at the end of term.

This 4D triorama could be used for book reports, story sequencing, science projects, geography studies, other SOSE topics or whatever else you can come up with!

Here’s how I made it:

1. I started off with plain A4 paper. Card would work better but I didn’t have any to use.

2. Fold down top right corner. Make a crease. Do the same for the top left corner.


3. Flip the paper over & fold the bottom edge up. Make a crease. Open it up again & then fold a line 2 cm up. Make a crease.


4. Turn the page back over again. Open up all of the folds. Cut the top right diagonal to the centre point.

5. Add text to the bottom flap. Leave the bottom 2cm section blank.
Decorate the bottom, left & right triangles. Leave the top triangle blank.

6. Add glue to the blank top triangle & fold & glue it behind the right triangle, forming the triorama.

7. You can either leave it like this, with the text hanging over the desk, or glue 3 more completed trioramas together.

8. Turn them upside down & glue the overlapping corners of the 2cm flaps you folded earlier. This will form the base.

9. Add paper cutouts, modeling clay, figurines, etc, to finish off the display.


So that’s how I made up my 4D triorama! This one is only an example so I didn’t spend too much time on the written research or illustrations. 🙂
I think they would be a fantastic project for kids to work on in the classroom & I’m sure that they could come up with WAY better finished products than this one!

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Felt Board Story Pictures


You can buy felt boards & stories or make your own like I did! This one is quite large (120x90cm!) but smaller ones would be a lot easier to transport between classrooms.

To make a bought two 60x90cm pieces of corrugated cardboard (the type that has a smooth surface) from Bunnings.

I also bought an assortment of coloured felt squares, craft glue & 300cm dark blue felt from Spotlight. I bought an extra long piece of felt just in case of mistakes!

I laid the felt flat on the table & then placed the two pieces of board side by side on top of the felt. I didn’t glue the boards together because I wanted it to stand up like an open, upright book.

I then folded the felt over the boards & trimmed the excess off (like you would do if covering a book in contact).

I glued the felt to the board with craft glue.


You can see by my photo that the trimming wasn’t measured!

I then cut shapes & simple pictures from the felt* squares to use on the board. I am constantly updating these shapes, depending on my little boy’s likes & the stories we’re reading.


* a little tip I discovered using the felt…it doesn’t stick very well when it’s new. The more you use it, the better it sticks! Rub the pieces together to get them to stick quicker. 🙂

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Angry Birds Anger Management Lesson


What a great health lesson from “The Home Teacher”!

She has made FREE printable posters & a student work booklet to help children understand their anger and learn some appropriate strategies to deal with it.



The booklet helps students to identify what anger looks & feels like, goes through what you shouldn’t do when you’re angry & gives strategies to help them calm down when angry.

A great resource to aid in classroom discussions about feelings & appropriate behaviors!


For further information & to download the printables, click on the links below.

Link to article & printables:

Her original post about each of the angry birds and their role in helping kids understand and deal with their anger:

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The Ummm Game

The classroom teacher that I did relief work for today, reminded me of this oral language game I used to play when I was a classroom teacher.

-Write topics on small pieces of paper (eg: food, weather, birthdays, homework) & place in a container.
-Choose a student to come up to the front & select a piece of paper without looking.
– The student then has to talk about this topic, as the teacher times them.
– Time stops & the student is out as soon as they say “um” or “uh”.
– Choose another student to come up to choose a topic & have a go. Keep choosing students for as long as you’d like to play the game.
– Winner is whoever can speak the longest without saying “um”.

It’s harder than it sounds!!! I’ve had some students who can’t believe that the first word out of their own mouth is (yep, you guessed it!) “um!”