This is an emergency lesson plan I leave for unexpected or unplanned absences from my 7th-9th grade language arts classes. It is completed independently by students in one class period and involves no extra preparation or instructions for a substitute. Just photocopy and pass out.
Students read the wonderful story "The Last Leaf" by O. Henry (it is a public domain text) and complete a thorough set of questions about the story after they read. Answers are provided in case you want to check the work when you return.
NOTE: As a good followup, there is a nice video version of the story from the mid-1980s, starring the late Art Carney, available in three short segments on "YouTube".
**Note: This lesson is part of a larger bundle of SIXTEEN different resources that will help you prepare a sub binder that can be used for multiple absence days, whether individual or consecutive. You will save money and receive many more engaging resources by purchasing the collection called Middle School Lang Arts "No Prep" Printables: Emergency Sub Plans for One Week offered in my store.