The Common Core standards require teachers to introduce more challenging texts to students without always previewing the text, pulling out the unfamiliar vocabulary, or providing a teacher gist.

An anticipation guide can offer support before reading a more rigorous text but without giving a preview of the text. An anticipation guide is not intended to be a pre-test to find out what students know before they read and then assess if students found the “right” answers after reading. Rather, this strategy draws on students’ background knowledge, cultivates reader interest, and stimulates powerful after-reading discussions. To incorporate such a strategy into your classroom, apply these steps.

  1. The Giver by Lois LowryIdentify multiple themes, issues, or concerns that the reading will address. Write 3-5 open-ended and debatable statements that challenge students’ beliefs. Avoid using statements that are right or wrong or are proven to be true/false in the reading. Rather, think in broader, more general statements that are arguable. Here is an example for The Giver.
  2. Type up the thought-provoking statements and ask students to individually mark A/Agree or D/Disagree next to each one.
  3. Facilitate a class discussion. How many agreed with statement #1? Who disagreed? Why? Encourage students to defend their thinking.
  4. Return to the original anticipation guide statements after reading. Have students again agree or disagree with each one. Compare their initial responses to their thinking now. Have their beliefs been confirmed or changed by what they read? Within this after-reading anticipation guide, include a column for textual evidence. What details in the reading supported or refuted your initial thinking? Have students reference the text details that support or counter their stance.

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