Anticipation Guide: Day Three

This is an alternative to the “Four Corners” activity, one where students are asked to move to four corners of the room if they “strongly agree,” “agree,” “disagree,” or “strongly disagree” with belief statements read aloud.  Again, students are familiar with the format so, in an attempt to maintain the level of engagement but vary the approach, I turned the assignment into a gender analysis. 

I began by asking the girls to sit on the right-side, the boys on the left-side.  I dim the lights, ask all the students to face the same direction and move to the right-side of the room to address the girls only.  With this arrangement, I am asking questions directly to the girls, who are unable to see the boys behind them.  For each statement that the girls agree with they must stand.

Then, all students turned their chairs to face the wall to the left.  I move to face the boys and ask the same questions in the same order.

While I’m asking the girls questions, the boys are observing the results and can begin thinking about whether or not they would stand.  While I’m asking the boys questions, the girls are observing how the boys responded differently from them.

An anticipation guide like this still offers the benefits of them personally connecting with a text by asking belief statements; however, there is the added element of how genders respond.  Since they are able to watch the opposite gender answer the same questions they can draw parallels or differences in their answers or the number of students to stand to particular questions.  Also, compared to traditional “Four Corner” activities, this also affords students the opportunity to feel safer and more comfortable since they are really only participating with half the class and can’t see the “viewers” behind them, thereby producing relatively genuine reactions.

Because of the format of this anticipation guide, the questions asked are to elicit discussion about gender.  Therefore, these anticipation guide questions, while needing some tweaking for particular texts, would work well with texts that examine gender roles, such as The Awakening, Macbeth, The Bluest Eye, Grapes of Wrath, and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Please stand if you believe…

  • If we are unhappy it is our fault; we control our happiness.
  • I believe the purpose of marriage is to make someone happier.
  • I think it is fine to have friends of the opposite sex.
  • I think it is fine to be closer to someone of the opposite sex than I am to my significant other.
  • I think a father’s primary role in the family is to be a provider.
  • I believe a woman’s primary role is to care for her kids.
  • It is understandable for a man to be absent from a family if he is doing so to provide for the family.
  • It is okay to pretend to be someone you’re not to make others happy.
  • I believe a mother should never leave her child.
  • A woman shouldn’t have a child if she doesn’t think she is ready.
  • A person is selfish if he/she asks for a divorce from a spouse who is good to him/her.
  • I think the most important thing is to be happy, no matter who is neglected in the process.
  • I think you can’t be a good parent if you aren’t truly happy.
  • I think it is better to be blissfully ignorant about life than to be knowledgeable.
  • I think it is okay if one’s happiest moments are when he/she is alone.
  • I think that having an emotional connection outside of marriage is the same thing as cheating.
  • I think I could never forgive someone for cheating, regardless of the circumstances.
  • I think it is selfish to put your concerns over others.
  • The best gift you can give yourself is to be honest with yourself, even if it has negative consequences on your life.
  • As a spouse, your primary responsibility in the relationship is to make the other person happy.
  • When a relationship becomes difficult the first thing to do is examine what you could do differently.
  • When in a relationship, I believe that sometimes it is better to ignore an issue than to confront and address it.





  1. Kelsay Parker says:

    I like this! I can use this when I teach confirmation classes at church. I think it’s wonderful to give that extra layer of safety to the students as they respond.

  2. Susan Richardson says:

    I’m thinking I’ll try this with my sixth graders tomorrow. We are reading a class book and I was giving them written questions to learn what kind of a thinker about reading they are. This group just is not ready to independtly write their thoughts yet. I think they would respond to this four corner strategy. Also, many of these thoughts/questions you mentioned in the post will be great for our weekly class meetings as we learn to support each other and become a community.

  3. Susan richardson says:

    OK….. I know you developed this website for high school teachers but I appreciate it for my middle school kids! As educators we learn so many strategies and have so many tools in our toolbox that we forget them! My kids loved this four corner activity today. They were getting into predictions and really thinking about the text. They could defend their position with support details. Afterwards we did a Type 2 quick write and I believe it is the first time they haven’t “moaned” when I said we’re going to do a Type 2! They were anxious to write their thoughts!

  4. Sandy Hamilton says:

    Love this idea!! I am going to use it with Hamlet. Your blog is my new favorite distraction. :)

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