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Anticipation/Reaction Guide

An Anticipation/Reaction Guide utilizes a twin strategy to increase reading comprehension: stimulate prior knowledge and experiences before reading and then reinforce key concepts after reading.

  • The guide presents students with a series of leading questions to be answered in writing before reading.

  • Students then share their answers in a class discussion designed specifically to "activate, or better "reactivate," prior knowledge. This review of prior knowledge helps students "connect" with the topic.

  • Students read the text passage and then evaluate their written answers (prior knowledge). Students should note when their answers agree or disagree with the text's content.

  • Finally, students engage in a summarizing discussion, expressing how the reading selection reinforced or challenged their prior knowledge.

Steps to Constructing and Using Anticipation Guides:

  1. Outline the main ideas in a reading selection. Write the ideas in a short list (no more than 5 or 6 points), using clear declarative statements. Do not include generalizations or abstractions in this list.

  2. Rewrite the main statements in the form of questions to prompt the students' prior knowledge and to elicit student reactions and predictions.

  3. Have students write responses to each of the questions. These written responses should include any necessary explanation or evidence.

  4. Allow students to openly discuss their answers/predictions prior to reading. Note any recurring themes in the discussion. Also, note any opposing or contradictory points of view.

  5. Have students read the selected passage. Instruct students to make comments on their written answer sheet, noting agreement and disagreement between their answers and the author's message or purpose.

  6. Encourage open discussion of these comments. Chart common themes of agreement and disagreement. Focus especially on student ideas and attitudes that change during the reading.

Learn More:

  • Duffelmeyer, F.A., Baum, D.D., & Merkley, D.J. (1987). "Maximizing reader-text confrontation with an extended anticipation guide." Journal of Reading, 31, 146-150.

  • Lenski, Susan D., Wham, Mary Ann, & Johns, Jerry L. (1999). Reading and learning strategies for middle and high school students. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

  • Manzo, A.V., Manzo, U. C., Estes, T. H. (2001), Content area literacy: Interactive teaching for active learning. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  • Readence, J.E., Bean, T.W., & Baldwin, R.S. (1998). "Prereading strategies-anticipation guides." In Content area literacy: An integrated approach (6th ed., pp. 159-161). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

  • Embedded Questions

  • Anticipation Guide


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