I have a folder set aside with a video tape or DVD, video question sheet on one side and a science reading passage with questions on the other. Also attached is a simple set of directions for the lesson.
I also maintain a SUBSITUTE TEACHER FOLDER in which I have a list of the bell schedule, a brief of how I manage my class, and the emergency procedures. I keep this near the phone where it is easy to see.
This is what I call the EMERGENCY LESSON PLAN.
I have it in case I am taken ill suddenly and am too sick to come in and set up for a substitute teacher. I do not use it for something to do because of lack of planning a lesson. I have also used it when a colleague has called me saying they are sick and can I find a video for their substitute to show.
For the video I recommend:
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS: SCIENCE IN PARADISE*, available on the internet at PBS.com. It is a wonderful mix of five 8-13 minute segments on Sea Turtles, Volcanoes, Bahaman Pan Drums, the Big Astronomy Dish at Arecibo, and Sea Fan Disease. My kids really like this show and it strongly reinforces how science is everywhere…even in the Bahamas.
You may have a better Idea for a video, but I hope yours is as good as the one above. Even though you are not there you can still have a great lesson and not just showing a time-filler.
I also recommend from the same series: EXPEDITION PANAMA, LIFES LITTLE QUESTIONS, GOING DEEP ( ½ hour) and HYDROGEN HOPES (1/2 hour).
I hope this helps,
Love to Teach and Teach with Passion
Remember...It's not Magic, It's Science