Anticipation Guide: Day Two

One of the most common ways of using an anticipation guide in an English classroom is to provide a series of belief statements that are aligned with the material and, most commonly, students are asked to respond to them by agreeing or disagreeing with the statements in some fashion (either by short answer, ranking, yes/no, moving to a location in the classroom, etc.).  Below is an example of the traditional anticipation guide I have used with To Kill a Mockingbird

Anticipation Guide Worksheet for To Kill a Mockingbird

Directions: Before reading chapters 21 and 22 in To Kill a Mockingbird, read each of the following statements and mark on the line to the left of each statement: an “A” if you agree with the statement or a “D” if you disagree with the statement.

_____  1. The court system upholds the words in the Preamble that state: “All men are created equal.”

_____  2. Prejudice is a concern of the past that does not affect us now.

_____  3. If you are innocent of a crime, you have no need to fear the judicial system.

_____  4. You are innocent until proven guilty.

_____  5. Certain people are biologically inferior to others.

_____  6. It is okay to be prejudiced toward someone who is in a lower social class than you.

_____  7. Kids often understand a prejudicial situation better than adults can.

_____  8. You should always respect others, even if they treat you badly.

_____  9. Sometimes the only way to resolve a conflict is through physical means.

_____  10. It is perfectly acceptable to look down on others because they are not in the popular group at school.

While this format is certainly effective, if used too frequently it loses its appeal, much like the classic “come here often” pick up line.  The point of this post isn’t to reject the anticipation guide but to encourage teachers to vary the approach.  This suggestion is almost the exact same as the traditional “agree/disagree” worksheet except it takes place online.  That is honestly all it takes to garner more authentic results:  change the format.  Below is a lesson that uses the anticipation guide in a more contemporary, technologically-saavy way.

The birth of this particular lesson came from reading an article titled “Marriage:  What’s It Good For?” in the November 2010 issue of Time magazine.  The article concluded with results from a survey taken by roughly 3,000 people over the age of 18 that asked people about their views of marriage.  While this anticipation guide would work really well with any piece that explores the nature of marriage and love (such as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Awakening, and Pride and Prejudice) I found it particularly useful when teaching the John Updike’s short story “Separating,” a tale of two parents telling their children about their upcoming separation.  I really liked the questions posed in the article but was afraid they were too personal and students wouldn’t feel comfortable openly discussing the marital status of their parents or whether or not they think they will be successfully married.  If I were in their shoes I would probably just follow my friends to one side or corner of the classroom or maybe fill out the worksheet but not verbally participate.  To solve this, I put the questions online.

There are numerous survey services on the internet with a variety of features, like surveymonkey, google forms, etc.  However, my personal favorite is .  I find this website to be extremely teacher-friendly and easy to use, especially for anticipation guides because you can include numerous questions with many different question types.  You do have to create an account, but it is free, unlike many of the premier survey applications.


Once you log into the site you will click “new” to create an online anticipation guide.

This will be your primary working screen.  You can name your survey and provide a description if needed.  You will also see the toolbar (“settings,” “style,” etc.) you will be using most frequently.  To begin adding your questions it is as simple as clicking on “add a question” at the bottom of the page.  A new screen will open.


After typing in your question you will want to select “Answers & Options.”


I think it is important to select “Multiple Choice” because then you will have the most accurate information.  However, they provide you numerous options.  My first question was an “Agree or Disagree” question, so I selected a predefined answer.  However, my second question offered the students options.  For this question I typed the options in the white box, hitting “enter” for each option.  When you are finished writing your question and options you will hit “Save & Exit.”  Then you will begin the process again for each question.

After your quiz is created you will select “Launch,” located on the original page in the toolbar with “settings” and “style.”  The site will then provide you with options on how you would like to disseminate the survey to your students.  Again, there are a variety of options.  I posted a link to it on my students’ edmodo page for them to access for homework.

Then, when ready to view the results, it is as simple as going back to the original page and selecting “Results” for your particular survey.  The website can provide you plentiful information about the survey and you are even able to export it to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet if you want.

What I like about this particular approach is that it is achieving the same goals as the traditional anticipation guide, but, since it is online, it allows students to be more honest and genuine in their responses because they are anonymous.  Also, this format gives you time to react to the results.  There is nothing worse than having every student move to one corner after reading a belief statement and then not having meaningful dialogue because they are all in agreement.  For this particular survey, I was shocked by the number of students who said they never wanted to be married.  Reading these results privately gave me time to construct a powerpoint of their answers versus the answers from the Time survey and this is what led our discussion.  We had more to discuss than just why they responded the way they did.  It grew into a discussion on how their perspective is different from the adults who took the Time survey.

Taking the traditional worksheet online didn’t take much time to construct and it allowed for much more authentic responses and prep time for my lesson the following day.



1. Do you agree or disagree that there is only one true love for each person?a. Agree                           b.  Disagree2. Of the people who agree that there is only one true love for each person do you think they have found their true love?  a.  Yes         b.  No3. In your opinion, which of the below do you  think is the most important reason people get married?  a.  Love       b.  Making a lifelong commitment  c. Having children          d.  Companionship e.  Financial stability4.  Do you think you will have a closer relationship with your spouse/partner than your parents have/had with each other?  a.  Yes       b.  No5. In your opinion, which one of the below qualities makes a good husband, wife, or partner? a. Puts family before anything else  b.  Provides a good income c.  Is good at household chores        d. Is well education    e.Is a good father or mother

6.  Do you want to get married?  a.  Yes      b.  No

7.  To be ready for marriage it is more important for men to support a family financially or for women to support a family financially?  a.  Men     b.  Women

8. When it comes to raising a family, who has it easier?  Single people or married people?  a.  Single people     b.  Married people

9.  When it comes to having a fulfilling sex life, who has it easier?  Single people or married people?  a.  Single people       b.  Married people

10.  When it comes to being financially secure, who has it easier?  Single people or married people?   a.  Single people         b.  Married people

11.  When it comes to finding happiness, who has it easier?   Single people or married people?  a.  Single people       b.  Married people

12. When it comes to having social status, who has it easier?  Single people or married people?   a.  Single people      b.  Married people

13. When it comes to getting ahead in a career, who has it easier?  Single people or married people?  a.  Single people      b.  Married people

14. Do you believe the ideal marriage is one in which the husband provides financially and the wife takes care of the house and children? a. Yes      b.  No

15. In your opinion, is marriage becoming obsolete?  a. Yes       b.  No

16. Are you living with married parents?  a. Yes        b.  No


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