Anticipation Guides

An Anticipation Guide chart with four columns: Agree, Disagree, Statement, Comment/Notes"


The two sources below complement each other as a practical introduction to this reading-thinking-writing strategy.

A. "Anticipation Guides" (post)

1. "Background"

  • This "strategy ... activate[s] students' prior knowledge ... build[s] curiosity about a new topic ... [and] sets a purpose for reading."
  • "Before reading a selection, students respond to several statements that challenge or support their preconceived ideas about key concepts in the text."
  • This "challeng[es] them to critically think about what they know or think they know about a topic."
  • "Anticipation guides can be revisited after reading to evaluate how well students understood the material and to correct any misconceptions."

2. "Create the Strategy"

  • "Identify the major ideas presented in the reading" -- or viewing or other multimedia "text" engaged.
  • "Consider what beliefs [and prior knowledge] your students are likely to have about the topic."
  • "Write general statements that challenge your students' beliefs [and/or misperceptions]."
  • "Require students to respond to the statements with either a positive or negative response" beyond "I agree/disagree": ask for brief exposition of their views through a quick write, journal entry, etc.

3. "Use the Strategy"

a. "Have students complete the anticipation guide before reading."

  • "They may work by themselves, in pairs, or small groups." 
  • "Remind students that they should be prepared to discuss and debate their reactions to the statements on the anticipation guide after they have completed it."

b. After students finish the guide, "encourage a class discussion of students' reactions to the statements."

  • "Remember, you want to activate their critical thinking about the topic, so dig deeper than students' answers and get to their justifications."

c. "Have students read the text with their anticipation guide responses fresh in their minds so they can react to the text as they read." 

  • "Encourage students to mark or write down where the text supports their initial reaction to statements, or causes them to rethink those reactions."

d. "Have a class discussion after reading." 

  • "Ask students if any of them changed their position on any of the statements."
  • "Encourage students to share how they reacted to the text, given their initial responses captured in the anticipation guide."
  • "Make sure students share examples from the text where their initial responses were either supported or challenged."

B. "Anticipation Guides" (post)

1. "Rationale"

  • "[S]tudents ... express their opinions about ideas before they encounter them in a text or unit of study."
  • This "helps students recognize and connect to themes that surface in their learning."
  • "[R]eview[ing] anticipation guides at the end of a lesson or unit ... help[s] students reflect on how learning new material may have influenced their opinions, perhaps by reinforcing previously held beliefs or by causing ideas to shift."

2. "Procedure"

a. "Select Statements"

  • "The most effective statements relate to universal themes and dilemmas and are phrased in ways that make sense when applied to events in the unit of study and to situations in students’ lives."
  • These starting points may be likely common misperceptions or broad generalities, quotations, essential questions, etc. 

b. Have "Students Respond"

  • "Prepare a worksheet or graphic organizer that structures students’ responses by asking them to decide if they strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement and then to explain why."
  • "Alternatively, ask students to provide a response in the form of a numerical ranking. For example, 1 can represent the strongest agreement and 10 can represent the strongest disagreement."
  • "You might also give students one or more statements to respond to in their journals."

c. Have Students "Reflect on Anticipation Guides"

  • "[S]tudents review their anticipation guides after completing a text, noting how their experience with new material might have changed their thinking."
  • "Reflections can be in writing and/or through discussion."
  • "Often the statements used in anticipation guides make effective jumping-off points for essay writing."

C. Sample Anticipation Guide

An Anticipation Guide with Agree/Disagree columns for Before Reading and After Reading with columns for Statements (Before Reading) and Support from the Text (After Reading)


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