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Type of Speech: 

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:

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

For further explanation:

  • Teaching in Content Areas with Reading, Writing and Reasoning by H.L. Herber and J.N. Herber (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1993).
  • A "Guided Comprehension: Previewing Using an Anticipation Guide," a lesson plan from ReadWriteThink, provides examples as well as ideas for a related approach — blank, reproducible anticipation guides students can use when they preview a text.