Using “anticipation guides” to activate students’ prior knowledge and build their reading confidence.

by Lakisha Odlum

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

In this series of videos, I describe how I use anticipation guides to better prepare students to read a novel with greater interest. Then, using To Kill a Mockingbird as our text, I invite participants to experience how using a set of questions that would appear in a guide establishes a environment that supports lively and respectful discussion.

Part One: Introduction

In part one of the workshop, I ask participants to answer two questions: one about reluctant readers and another about discussing difficult topics. Then I describe how I use anticipation guides to address these two challenges.

Part Two: Anticipating To Kill a Mockingbird

In part two of the workshop, I ask participants to complete an anticipation guide for To Kill a Mockingbird. Then we organize ourselves in response to how we answered the questions, and discuss the novel’s themes in a structured way.

Part Three: Going Deeper

In part three of the workshop, participants break into groups of two and provide more detail about why they support or don’t support a statement about the book’s themes. Then we discuss as a group.