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Adolescent Literacy

Reading Strategies

Strategy: Anticipation Guide

Readance, J. E., Bean, T. W., & Baldwin, R. S. (1981). Content area reading: An integrated approach. Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.

Tierney, R., Readance, J. E., & Dishner, E. K. (1995). Reading strategies and practices. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


Anticipation Guides can be used to introduce any reading assignment as well as a film, a field trip, or a guest speaker. It attempts to enhance reading comprehension by presenting a number of statements about the subject, thus stimulating prior knowledge. The goal of this strategy is to encourage in-depth discussions revolving around these statements, thus motivating the students to get involved in the assigned reading.


(As suggested by Tierney, Readance, & Dishner, 1995)

  1. Carefully peruse the text to be read, and identify the major concepts to be learned by the students.
  2. Be sure to determine the students' prior knowledge of these concepts.
  3. Create three to five statements. It is important to consider how much knowledge the students have prior to the reading. They need to be able to understand what the statements say, but not enough so that reading the passage would be redundant.
  4. Decide the best order for the statements to be presented and prepare the guide. Usually, the statements would align with how the information is presented in the text. (However, this is always the teacher's decision.)
  5. Determine how the guide will be presented to the students. There are several possible choices-giving a hard copy to each student, writing it on the chalkboard, or using an overhead of the information. It is important to always include a set of directions and blanks for the students' responses.
  6. Present the guide to the students by first reading aloud the directions and statements. Students, working individually or in small groups, should be encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about each statement as well as their agreement or disagreement.
  7. In discussing the statements, each one is read by the teacher who asks students to vote whether or not they agree. This discussion must include at least one opinion on each side of the issue for each statement. This gives everyone an opportunity to hear various opinions and to evaluate their own.
  8. The students are directed to read the text, keeping in mind their own ideas about the subject, those of their classmates, and how the information they are reading coincides with what was discussed.
  9. After reading the text, a second discussion is held. At that time, the students respond again to each statement, using the information they have just learned and how it reflects the original thoughts of the class. The type of text used determines whether agreement with the author is always mandatory.


Reading Strategies and Practices by Tierney, Readance, and Dishner (1995) is an excellent source. The information below is found on pages 259–260.

Prior to reading information about food and health, the students will be given the following:

Anticipation Guide: Food and Health

___________________ 1. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
___________________ 2. If you wish to live a long life, be a vegetarian.
___________________ 3. Three square meals a day will satisfy all your      body's nutritional needs.
___________________ 4. Calories make you fat.

After presenting the above guide to the students, responses can be formulated individually or in a small-group setting and shared with the entire class. Following this discussion, an appropriate text is assigned for reading, after which a second discussion about food and nutrition will take place.


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