K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Learn more about anticipation guide

Anticipation guide: "A Little Kingdom in Carolina"
A learner's guide to the article "A Little Kingdom in Carolina," this activity will support student comprehension.
Format: worksheet/learner's guide
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Anticipation guide: A royal colony
This activity presents students with a series of true/false statements about the early Carolina colony. Students respond to the statements before and after reading an article about the changes in the Carolina colony in its first fifty years, as it was divided into North and South Carolina and changed from a proprietary colony to a royal colony.
Format: /lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens
Students read, discuss, and write about Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens by Spencer Johnson, M.D., a parable about life's changes, and how best to benefit from them. By reading the parable, students will learn ways to react positively to inevitable change, and gain insight into their personal decision-making processes regarding changes in their lives, now and in the future. This lesson plan is modified for Advanced English Language Learners in the 9th and 10th grades. It is written for 45 minute class periods, but can be modified for 90 minute block classes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Ann Gerber.
Anticipation guide: The importance of one simple plant
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 2.9
This activity is designed to be used with the article "The Importance of One Simple Plant." A series of true/false statements will enable students to compare what they previously knew about maize with what they've learned by reading the article.
Format: /lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Pliny and the Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
The purpose of this lesson is to use earth science concepts--from volcanology--to explain to students studying the letter of Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus how Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. Students will study and demonstrate mastery of the eruption and its historical impact through a webquest on Pompeii, reading of an articles with appropriate content-area reading support, participation in interactive lecture, writing of a journal entry about life in Pompeii at the time of the eruption, oral presentations on life in Pompeii, reviewing of the grammatical functions of all tenses of participles, and using a rubric to evaluate a video on Pompeii to be used for instruction.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Second Languages)
By Gregory King-Owen.

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A list of true/false statements designed to challenge preconceptions and focus student attention during an assigned reading. A pre-reading strategy useful in any content area.

Additional information

Developed by H.L. Herber (1978), this strategy is used to activate and assess the background knowledge of students, to provide a purpose or focus for reading, and to stimulate interest in the topic or chapter. Since students are curious and prefer active over passive learning, anticipation guides provide motivation for students to read closely to find evidence and support for their own predictions.

Follow these steps to create an anticipation guide:

  1. Identify major concepts you want students to learn from the text.
  2. Create four to six statements that support or challenge students’ beliefs about the topic.
  3. Share the guide with students and ask them to be prepared to defend their opinions.
  4. Discuss with class.
  5. Have students read to find evidence to support or disprove their responses.
  6. After reading, students will confirm or revise their responses.

For further explanation see Teaching in Content Areas with Reading, Writing and Reasoning by H.L. Herber and J.N. Herber (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1993).

Examples and resources