Friday Dialogue from Your Two Favorite Educators
As Emily and Aubrey look back over the week they use their razor sharp wit to assess their innermost feelings about anticipation guides. And bangs. And Toad the Wet Sprocket. Don’t worry it works.
1. Identify and describe in great detail your earliest memory of anticipation guides and their role in your formative education. How did they improve your desire to religiously learn all things literary?
Aubrey: I remember one specifically from 9th grade English in preparation for reading Romeo and Juliet. Personally, this was a bad time for me. I was wearing navy blue Guess jeans with a green silk shirt and spending an inordinate amount of time curling my bangs. I also spent a lot of time singing the lyrics to “Walk on the Ocean” by Toad the Wet Sprocket. Things did not look good for Romeo and Juliet and my literary education from the start. You can see how the anticipation guide was inconsequential. I couldn’t tell you a single question that was on it but I can vividly see myself circling the yes or no questions while humming the refrain to that song.
Emily: I don’t know what is more depressing: navy blue Guess jeans (presumably with a triangle tag on the pocket), silk shirt, Toad the Wet Sprocket, or the curled bangs. I’m lying. I know what is the most depressing: the curled bangs. Seriously? I would pay your parents money to find a picture of you as a freshman with curled bangs. Can we get bangs on your avatar?
Aubrey: You joke but my bangs were a work of art. An Aqua Net work of art.
Because of the nature of the anticipation guide, one indirect result is that it allows students to make predictions about the text. If they are responding to belief statements held by the characters or the author then they are able to make predictions about the characters in the text. However, in higher level classes the students are naturally able to make personal connections with the characters as they read, thereby making the anticipation guide in its basic form unnecessary to spend valuable class time on. However, while often able to anticipate what happens to the characters, they often struggle to anticipate style. Therefore, to help my AP students activate their reading, I often create pre-reading activities to ask them to anticipate style.
Any easy way to get them making literary predictions is to give them a text from the same author and in the same style to study prior to reading. For example, the style in Hemingway’s “In Another Country” closely resembles the style he utilizes in A Farewell to Arms. The same is true for Fitzgerald’s “Winter Dreams,” whose rhetorical and literary markers mimic The Great Gatsby. However, if looking for an immediate, hands-on approach, consider having them study and discuss key stylistic elements to a piece before to reading it. Read more
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. Read more
Aw…the egregious pick-up line. We’ve all heard them, most of us have ignored them, some of us have fallen for them, and we’ve all pitied the poor fool who actually thought that saying “If you were a new hamburger at McDonald’s, you’d be McGorgeous” would warrant a meaningful relationship. Or that “excuse me, do you have your phone number, I seem to have lost mine” would actually invite a girl to share her number. Or that the oldie but goodie “come here often” will bring about a lifetime of happiness and wedded bliss. Read more
Ever wanted to know how an anticipation guide is like a pick-up line? Come back next Monday to see our discussion of the anticipation guide and get three new ways to incorporate it in your classroom.