3 Using anticipation guides
Reading skills and strategies can be taught explicitly while students are learning subject-specific content through authentic, active reading tasks, as the following case studies and activities show.
An anticipation guide is useful when students are required to read something that contains new or unfamiliar information. The guide can help students to prepare to read and assist them with separating facts from opinions.
Read this case study of a teacher who uses an anticipation guide to help his students read a demanding textbook chapter.
Case Study 2: Using an anticipation guide to help student read a complex text
Mr Madhav is a Class VIII teacher from Chapra. Below he explains how he supports his students with reading challenging information-based texts.
I was planning some social studies lessons on immigration and the issues facing marginalised groups in our society. I knew that the chapters in the textbook would be difficult for my students and that the topic would raise some controversial points about civil rights and responsibilities. I decided to prepare my students by creating a table. [See Table 1.]
|Statement||Before reading||Page number||After reading|
|A good citizen always does what the government tells them.||Agree/disagree||Agree/disagree|
|People who don’t own land have no right to be on it.||Agree/disagree||Agree/disagree|
|True leaders are always recognised for the rightness of their causes.||Agree/disagree||Agree/disagree|
|Might is always right.||Agree/disagree||Agree/disagree|
|People who are native to a country should be given priority in making any decisions about it.||Agree/disagree||Agree/disagree|
|Whenever there is a disagreement, majority opinion should rule.||Agree/disagree||Agree/disagree|
|If followers commit a wrongful act, the leader should pay the price.||Agree/disagree||Agree/disagree|
I gave each of my students a copy of the table and asked them to work in pairs. I explained that, before they read the textbook chapter, they should read each statement in the first column of the table and decide if they agreed or disagreed with it. They then needed to read the textbook chapter and locate the page which provided information relating to the statement, which they should note in the third column of the table. Having finished reading the chapter, they should consider again if they agreed or disagreed with the original statement.
This activity made my students pay close attention to what they were reading. They worked very productively together. I placed the class dictionary at the front of the classroom so that they could look up any unfamiliar words. When they had finished, I drew the whole class together and went through the table with them, focusing on the times they had changed their mind about the statements, and asking them to explain what it was in the chapter that had caused this.
Activity 3: Preparing an anticipation guide to reading
Plan a lesson in which your students use an anticipation guide to reading. You may use a section of the textbook or a current newspaper article. Choose a topic that relates to the interests and reading levels of your students.
Having read the text carefully, write a series of open-ended statements that invite your students to think about the issues to be covered. Avoid using statements that are obviously ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, or that ask simply for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
Struggling students will benefit from having the statements read aloud to them. You can do this yourself or pair them with a more able student, who can do so instead. When the pairs of students have completed the reading activity and the associated table, group them in fours and ask them to share their responses before reporting back to the whole class.
As your students are working, monitor their reading skills, comprehension and participation.
The key resource ‘’ provides further information on this classroom technique.
Video: Monitoring and giving feedback