Anticipation Guides - activate inquiry

Examples of Anticipation guides.
Lenski's online reproducibles are available through the purchase of Reading & Learning Strategies.
A great reproducible graphic organizer is available at readwritethink

  • Start every lesson or unit with your own review of what is important.  Limit this to 3-7 ideas.
  • These ideas or statements should be read and understood by all students of all levels of learning.
  • This is not a vocabulary checklist.
  • This can be a True/False review.
  • Create a series of 3-7 statements that must be defended with evidence.  True/False, open ended, even multiple choice can work for this strategy.
  • Statements "should offer allow students to answer with some knowledge but are designed to rely on elaboration and or a more complete understanding.  This differentiates for students who answer below grade level and above grade level.
  • All statement answers should be generated through class discussion. Answers could be posted anonymously. Use of instant response recorders or online survey tools allow for immediate review such as, flubaroo

Types of Guides
Place a check mark next to statements that are true:
______ Japan and the US are similar in population density. (social studies)
______  Jamestown was the first European settlement in North America (social studies)
______ a pound (lb) is equiavalent to a kilogram. (consumer/ family science)
______ If you lack eggs for a recipe, there are compatible substitutes. (consumer/ family science).
______ marijuana and alcohol are examples of depressants. (health)


put a check mark next to all that apply 

North Korea
communist countries  

generalizations- Add specific evidence
1. New commodities changes the diet and demographics of Europe with the discovery of America. (social studies)
2. Steinbeck epitomizes American literature
3. The Supreme Court case that changed the culture of America the most was: (personal law)
4. When we think of classical composers, the first to come to mind is: (music)
5. the average teen runs a mile in _________ minutes. (phys ed)

Anticipation - constructing truth through comparative texts and imagery. 
Assault on Battery Wagner
Harper's Weekly 
Students listen to a reading of the Civil War letter by Robert Gould Shaw to his wife Annie concerning the raid on the town of Darien, Georgia.  Students draw what they think is taking place in the letter.
They watch a scene from the movie, Glory, depicting that same raid.  They discuss the similarities and differences to the primary source.  Then the images of Darien from internet Civil War site, photo collections and current location on Google Earth.  They resketch the raid collaboratively or individually, adding accurate detail.  They form a consensus concluding what purpose is drawn from this history and the historic fiction.

Scavenger searches- People Searches-  put a different classmates name in each box.

Find a classmate who                                             (globalization study)

Has visited a UNESCO site
Can identify Pablo Neruda’s “claim to fame”
Can explain a millennium goal of the United Nations
Can sign
Is bilingual
Can explain the term “mestizo”
Has travelled Europe
Can describe Thai cooking style
Can describe Tex Mex cooking style

Problematic Situations-
set up a problem for classmates to collaborate on at the start of class.  Use class lesson to address possible methods, facts and solutions.  Revisit the problem.
I love this weekly puzzle from the Splendid Table where call in listeners attempt to Stump the Cook.  Students can take the weekly challenge or can develop a similar scenario for the Family and Consumer Science classroom:
You have to prepare a 3 course meal- using these 5 items found in the fridge....  You can also use 3 items of your own choice ie- rice, eggs, sugar....  The theme is...  

The Research-

Developing rapport with students is key to student learning. To get students to "buy in" to their class experience they need to know what role they will have.  If the role isn't active, if it doesn't give students an opportunity to make choices and changes, it is likely that some student will disengage.  Disengaged students are likely to antagonize or strain the teacher's sense of control and management and this will then lead to a loss of rapport.
H.L. Herber developed a simple, routine activity and graphic organizer to "frontload" study thinking and inquiry. His activity required a learner to take a stand or make a decision about a key idea in the text before reading.  His method was supposed to increase student determination to find evidence that would uphold an idea or refute it.  They were reading for a purpose that they set themselves. After reading, students return to the Anticipation Guide to evaluate their understandings of the material, to correct misconceptions they may have had about the key ideas prior to reading, and to reflect on the meaning of the text. (Herber, 1978)
link to Herber's research

Susan Lenski took this strategy developed it for the modern classroom.  She emphasizes its flexibility as a strategy that can help students find a purpose for reading test and non textual print media.  Lenski emphasizes the importance to intertextual links.  Learning and reading are social constructs that are not built only in a linear fashion. Intertextual connections need to be prompted by someone asking the questions that link to past experience and learning. (Lenski, 1998) Text is any source that communicates reading but it is an act of compromise.  In order to build ones learning, a student must add and take away past learning until it fits sensibly like pieces of a new puzzle.

I add that anticipation and intertextuality produce positive results when the educator deliberately encourages positive recall of past learning.  This can't really happen unless that educator is attuned to the practices and content covered by past teachers.  Me and my colleagues often give students quizzes relying on missed questions to reteach social studies content.  Our attitude tends to summize that students didn't really learn it.  We seldom intentionally use the language and the strategies of our precursors to prompt that recall.  We seldom remind students of what they learned. I could ask a student to draw a freehand map of the world and assume that they can't do it.  Or I could remind them that in middle school they drew freehand maps on oranges, how many remember doing this? Could you do this again if given the opportunity?
I discovered that when I used the phrase, "think, pair, share" students automatically turned to one another and began a routine for discussion that needed little encouragement.  Had I not seen this practiced in the elementary grades, I never would have known to use it.

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