September 2015

PROFICIENT READERS – Tap their prior knowledge about the subject before they read.

Anticipation guides can be used to activate and assess students’ prior knowledge, to focus reading, and to motivate reluctant readers by stimulating their interest in the topic. Because the guide revolves around the text’s most important concepts, students are prepared to focus on and pay attention to read closely in order to search for evidence that supports answers and predictions. Consequently, these guides promote active reading and critical thinking. Anticipation guides are especially useful in identifying any misperceptions students have so that the teacher can correct these prior to reading.

1. Identify the major concepts that you want students to learn from reading.

2. Determine ways these concepts might support or challenge the students’ beliefs.

3. Create four to six statements that support or challenge the students’ beliefs and experiences about the topic under study. Do not write simple, literal statements that can be easily answered.

4. List each statement followed by a continuum on which to rank one’s agreement or disagreement with each statement. See link:

5. Share the guide with students. Ask the students to react to each statement, formulate a response to it, and be prepared to defend their opinions.

6. Discuss each statement with the class. Ask how many students agreed or disagreed with each statement. Ask one student from each side of the issue to explain his/her response.

7. Have students read the selection with the purpose of finding evidence that supports or negates their responses on the guide.

8. After students finish reading the selection, have them confirm their original responses, revise them, or decide what additional information is needed. Students may be encouraged to rewrite any statement that is not true in a way that makes it true.

9. Lead a discussion on what students learned from their reading.