Anticipation Guides


Anticipation guides ask students to express an opinion about ideas before they encounter them in a text or unit of study.  Completing anticipation guides prepares students to recognize and connect to these themes as they surface in their learning.  Reviewing anticipation guides at the end of a lesson or unit is one way to help students reflect on how learning new material may have influenced their opinions, perhaps by reinforcing previously held beliefs or by causing ideas to shift.


Step One: Select Statements for the Anticipation Guide.

The most effective statements relate to universal themes and dilemmas and are phrased in ways that make sense when applied to events in the unit of study and to situations in students’ lives. For example, below are suggested statements you could use when creating an anticipation guide to prepare students to address the themes of justice and forgiveness:  


  • Punishing perpetrators for wrongdoing is necessary to achieve justice. Offenders should suffer for the crimes they have committed.
  • Justice is best achieved when the perpetrators repair the harm they have caused.
  • After a community has been through a time of conflict or violence, it is better for everyone to move on and forget the crimes or hardships of the past.
  • The truth heals. Perpetrators should be encouraged to confess their crimes in exchange for lighter sentencing.
  • An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.


Step Two: Student Response

Prepare a worksheet or graphic organizer that structure students’ responses by asking them to decide if they strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree with the statement, and then explain why.  Alternatively, ask students to provide a response in the form of a numerical ranking. For example, 1 can represent the strongest agreement and 10 can represent the strongest disagreement. You might also give students one or more statements to respond to in their journals.   

Step Three: Reflect on Statements Again after Completing the Text

Often teachers have students review their anticipation guides after completing a text, noting how their experience with new material might have changed their thinking.  Reflections can be in writing and/or through discussion. Often the statements used in anticipation guides make effective jumping-off points for essay writing.

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.