Anticipation Guide Using Newsela

An engaging pre-reading strategy designed to activate schema and heighten curiosity
25 teachers like this strategy
Four Corners Activity for Anticipation Guide

About This Strategy

An Anticipation Guide is a valuable pre-reading strategy that supports student comprehension by activating schema and sparking student interest in the topic. Anticipation guides work best when students are provided a series of provocative and unique statements. Additionally, anticipation guides are effective when students are given a chance to discuss their thinking throughout the Anticipation Guide. There are several modifications to a traditional Anticipation Guide that can provide the opportunity for movement, discourse, and novelty. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of an Anticipation Guide is the opportunity for students to revise their thinking by revisiting Anticipation Guide items after reading, and qualifying whether or not they've maintained their original line of thinking.

Before Reading Implementation Steps

Teacher Preparation and Planning:

  1. Select an appropriate text or texts for students to read after the Anticipation Guide. These texts should be related to the current unit of study. Consider selecting several texts for students to read in a Newsela Text Set.

  2. Prepare a series of True/False or Agree/Disagree statements and insert them into the "Statements" column of the Anticipation Guide template, if using. These statements should be connected to the text students will be reading. Anticipation Guides are most effective when they cover topics that are controversial or debatable. See sample Anticipation Guides in the resource section below.

    • For younger students, True/False statements may be most appropriate. For older students, Agree/Disagree statements may be more effective.

  3. Create a document like the Anticipation Guide template in the resource section below to share with students in which students can respond to each of the statements.

Student Preparation:

  1. Distribute (digitally or in hard copy) the Anticipation Guide to students.

  2. Give students 5-10 minutes to complete the "Before Reading" section of the Anticipation Guide, depending on how many items there are. During this step, students will just be checking "Agree" or "Disagree." Emphasize to students that they should make quick judgments for this initial step, and should go with their first instinct in responding.

  3. Instruct students to star the 2 items on the Anticipation Guide that they feel most strongly about. Students will revisit these 2 items during the lesson closure, in the form of a written response.

  4. Upon completion of the allotted time, teacher should initiate a whole-class discussion about the Anticipation Guide items in which students move around the room to share their opinions. This strategy is often called Four Corners (See resource below for more explanation). The Four Corners strategy should go as follows:

    • Teacher should identify one side of the room as the "Agree" side and one side of the room as the "Disagree" side.

    • Teacher should instruct students that as statements are read, students should go stand on the side of the room that corresponds to their response.

    • Teachers should read the statements out of order so that students have to pay attention.

    • Teachers may ask students to discuss certain items, especially if the class is split pretty evenly or if there are only a couple of students on a side.

  5. After the whole-class discussion, students should be given 5 minutes to record notes at the bottom of  their Anticipation Guide about anything they heard during the discussion that changed their mind or that they had not thought about before.

During Reading Implementation Steps

  1. Teachers should instruct students to read an article, paying special attention to details that relate to the Anticipation Guide.

    • Newsela PRO users can have students use the Annotations feature to highlight key textual evidence to support their opinions and annotate to indicate which Anticipation Guide item the evidence corresponds to.

    • Non-Newsela PRO users can have students take notes on paper or highlight paper copies of the text.

After Reading Implementation Steps

  1. After reading the article article, students should complete the "After Reading" column of the Anticipation Guide to identify textual evidence that supports or refutes each of the claims in the Anticipation Guide.

    • If students struggle to identify textual evidence, the teacher can provide scaffolding. For younger students, the teacher can provide paragraph headings or titles to help guide students through the article by topic. The teacher can also allow students to work in pairs to find text evidence. Teachers can also consider modeling completion of the first few statements, including finding text evidence, on the Anticipation Guide for the class.

      • Newsela PRO users can provide annotations for students (see EL modification for an example).

  2. For lesson closure, Newsela PRO users can edit the Write Prompt to:

    • Reflect on the two Anticipation Guide statements you starred earlier in the lesson. Initially,  you felt strongly about those statements. Has your thinking about those statements changed? If so, what text evidence influenced your thinking? If not, what text evidence supported what you already knew?

  3. Non-Newsela PRO users can provide a paper copy of a writing prompt or have students respond on a Google Doc.

Recommended Newsela Texts or Text Sets

Gender Norms and Stereotypes

  • Essential Question: Who, historically, has had the power to define who you are?
  • Grade Level: 9-12
  • Content Area: Social Studies, English Language Arts

Climate Chaos

  • Grade Level: 6-12
  • Content Area: Science

Cultural Representation in the Movies

  • Grade Level: 9-12
  • Content Area: Social Studies, English Language Arts

Math, Then and Now

  • Grade Level: 9-12
  • Content Area: Math

Hit By a Hurricane! How Hurricanes Have Affected Communities

  • Essential Question: What is the impact of hurricanes on people and communities?
  • Grade Level: 4
  • Content Area: Science, English Language Arts

EL Modification

EL students benefit from extra scaffolding and language supports. Embedding the following supports into the Anticipation Guide strategy will help EL students be more prepared for the whole-class discussion.


Implementation Steps:

  1. Teachers can preview the Anticipation Guide items to ensure student understanding.

  2. Teachers can use simplified vocabulary on the Anticipation Guide for EL students. Teachers can use tech tools like Rewordify to aid in simplifying vocabulary.

  3. Teachers can provide "buddies" to EL students and allow them complete the Anticipation Guide together.

  4. Newsela PRO users can provide personalized annotations related to the Anticipation Guide items to help guide students as they read.

    • For example, teachers might highlight key pieces of text evidence and then add an annotation outlining which topic of the Anticipation Guide the text evidence addressed, such as the example in the resources section.

Student-Created Text Set to Identify and Defend Counter Arguments (for Newsela PRO users)

Students create their own Text Set to research and develop a counter argument for one of the Anticipation Guide items.

Implementation Steps:

  1. After reading, students should revisit the two Anticipation Guide items that they starred during the Before Reading activity and select one to continue working with.

  2. Students should research and create a Text Set, to be shared with a classmate, of Newsela articles that support the opposite view point. For example, if students strongly agree with a given item, they should search for articles in Newsela and create a Text Set that would encourage readers to disagree with the item. This supports students to practice the skill of identifying and defending a counter-argument.

  3. Students should share links to each other's Text Sets and provide the Anticipation Guide item that inspired the Text Set. Students should respond in writing, after reading their partner's text set, with their stance on the item.

"Mix To Music" Modification

Students share their thoughts about Anticipation Guide items with others, before reading, as they engage in paired, structured dialogue.


Implementation Steps:

  1. After completing the Before Reading piece of the Anticipation Guide and selecting the two items they feel most strongly about, students should write a few notes about why they feel so strongly.

  2. Students should be instructed to carry their paper and notes with them as they "Mix to Music." The teacher plays music while students walk, or dance, around the room.

  3. When the music stops, students should partner up with someone close to them.

  4. Students then share the two items they selected and why.

    • The teacher should identify which partner shares first. Examples include:

      • Partner with the longest hair shares first; partner wearing the most colors share first, etc.

    • The first partner should share their thoughts, with the second partner having about 45 seconds to respond.

    • Partners switch.

  5. Teacher should turn music back on and repeat steps 3-4 to allow time for 2-3 more partner discussions.

  6. At the end of an alloted period of time, the teacher will bring the class back together and have the students reflect on the activity by asking questions like:

    • What was one idea that a partner shared with you that you agreed with? Why?

    • What was one idea that a partner shared with you that you did not agree with? Why?

    • What did you learn from this activity?