The purpose of an Anticipation Guide is to allow readers to engage in the themes and ideas that will be presented in a text or unit of study. Often, anticipation guides will ask students for their opinion or background knowledge on a topic that will be focused on in future readings. The intent of an anticipation guide is to pique students' interest before they read and to help set a purpose for reading. When students come across the ideas and themes they have already considered, they have more of a connection with the author and/ or the characters in the text.

I've used anticipation guides for two of the texts I teach. One is Arthur Miller's The Crucible. I chose to use an anticipation guide before reading and acting out this play with students because I wanted them to have some common ground with the characters in the play. Because this play is set so far in the past, I wanted to make sure that its basic issues and themes did not get lost in the translation from the world of the Puritans to our modern American culture. I used this strategy in conjunction with a Think-Pair-Share. This pairing worked quite well and prompted good conversation. We looked at these questions later in our reading and answered the same questions again from the point of view of the main characters. It was valuable to hear students' reflections on the similarities and differences between their opinions and the choices and opinions of the main characters.

I used this same strategy to lead into Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. I decided on this activity to start the book because there are several controversial issues presented in the text and I wanted students to be prepared. I used this strategy with senior students, and their discussion was so heated during our first conversation that I decided to revise my plan and break our discussion into more than one class. Luckily, a weekend and an outdoor discussion activity cooled the opinions of the more upset students. Here is a copy of the anticipation guide I used for this activity:




You can find a more in-depth instructions on the use of anticipation guides and two basic templates of anticipation guides at this Adolescent Literacy site.

A photo of the Anticipation Guide questions used in the Think-Pair-Share acitivty designed to lead into Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
A photo of the Anticipation Guide questions used in the Think-Pair-Share acitivty designed to lead into Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
Students participate in an outdoor extension of an Anticipation Guide activity designed to lead students into Suzanne Collins' novel The Hunger Games.
Students participate in an outdoor extension of an Anticipation Guide activity designed to lead students into Suzanne Collins' novel The Hunger Games.