CONTENT LITERACY STRATEGY DESCRIPTIONS
LOUISIANA COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM
(2008 & 2012 Revisions)
Dr. William G. Brozo
The anticipation guide involves giving students a list of statements about the topic to be studied and asking them to respond to them before reading and learning, and then again after reading and learning. The anticipation guide strategy is suited to information that is verifiable. Anticipation guides can activate prior knowledge of text topics and help students set purposes for reading and learning (Duffelmeyer & Baum, 1992; Merkley, 1996/97).
Sample Anticipation Guide Statements
1. There are cases when two negative numbers multiplied together do not yield a positive number.
2. Amelia Earhart was the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean from the United States to Europe.
1. Begin by looking over the content you will be covering related to a particular topic.
Based on the content, craft statements that elicit reactions to their accuracy and decide on
a response mode. Statements may require an ―agree‖ or ―disagree‖ a ―true‖ or ―false‖ or
a ―yes‖ or ―no‖. Statements do not have to be factually accurate. Statements should
focus students‘ attention on the important information and ideas in the content.
2. Before exploring the new content, present students with the statements and response
options. These can be given in handout form, written on the board, overhead, or
projected. Tell students to respond individually to the statements and be prepared to
explain their responses.
3. Next, put students in pairs and have them compare and discuss their before reading and
learning responses to the anticipation guide statements. Emphasize that there is no
―correct‖ answer at this stage of the lesson and that students should discuss freely.
4. Open the discussion to the whole class so as multiple hunches about the accuracy of the
statements are expressed.
5. Transition from the discussion by telling students they‘re about to read and explore the
topic (Any information source is amenable to the anticipation guide, such as a reading, a
lecture, a PowerPoint presentation, a guest speaker, a lab experiment, etc.). Tell them to
pay particular attention to content related to the statements.
6. Stop periodically as content is covered to consider the statements from the anticipation
guide and have students reconsider their pre-lesson responses. Students should revise
their original responses to reflect their new learning.
7. If necessary, once the lesson content has been presented, engage students in a discussion
around the statements. This gives you an opportunity to clarify any lingering
misconceptions about issues, information, and concepts.
Buehl, D. (2009). Classroom strategies for interactive learning. Newark, DE:
International Reading Association.
Duffelmeyer, R., & Baum, D. (1992). The extended anticipation guide revisited. Journal
of Reading, 35, 654-656.
Merkley, D. (1996/97). Modified anticipation guide. The Reading Teacher, 50, 365-368.
Brainstorming involves students working together to generate ideas quickly without stopping to judge their worth. In brainstorming, students in pairs or groups freely exchange ideas and lists in response to an open-ended question, statement, problem, or other prompt. Students try to generate as many ideas as possible, often building on a comment or idea from another participant. This supports creativity and leads to expanded possibilities. The process activates students‘
relevant prior knowledge, allows them to benefit from the knowledge and experience of others, and creates an anticipatory mental set for new learning (Buehl, 2001; Dreher, 2000).
1. Begin by posing a question, problem, or other prompt to students. For example, ―How
many ways can you…‖ ―What would happen if…?‖ Frame the prompt in such a way as
to generate ideas and input from as many students as possible. Make sure students
understand the prompt being addressed and the purpose and background of the
Brainstorm Prompt for a Geography Lesson on New Orleans
We have been learning about how the unique geography of the New Orleans area
contributed to the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina. With a partner, think of all
the possible things that could be done to compensate for the areas geography that might
help prevent another similar disaster. Be creative and remember no idea is too far-
fetched. Work quickly, you have five minutes.
2. Ask students to work with a partner or in designated groups to brainstorm responses to
the prompt. State to the students in the very beginning that all ideas are welcome,
including those that might be considered out of the ordinary. These often stimulate the
best contributions from the group.
3. After a set period of time, invite students to share their brainstormed ideas. Ideas should
be listed on the board, overhead, or flipchart and should be in view of all students. Either
designate a group spokesperson or encourage all students to call out ideas while you write
them down. Avoid being judgmental about ideas as they are shared.
4. Once an initial list is established, tell students to build on the suggested ideas and to
connect ideas that are seemingly unrelated. Focus on quantity.
5. Frequently, after an initial burst of ideas there will be a time of silence. Allow the group
to be silent for a moment. Most of the time additional ideas will begin flowing and this
will generate the eventual solution to the question.
6. Connect the brainstormed ideas with the content and information to be learned in the
upcoming lesson. This can be accomplished by making statements, such as ―We now
have all these interesting ideas, let‘s see what the author says about…‖ or ―Now let‘s
compare your brainstormed solutions to the problem with the process recommended on
Buehl, D. (2001). Classroom strategies for interactive learning. Newark, DE:
International Reading Association.
Dreher, M.J. (2000). Fostering reading for learning. In L. Baker, M.J. Dreher, & J.
Guthrie (Eds.), Engaging young readers: Promoting achievement and motivation (94-
118). New York: Guilford Press.
Samuel Johnson once said ―The seeds of knowledge may be planted in solitude, but must be
cultivated in public‖ (Boswell, 1979, p. 121). The point is that students can improve learning and remembering when they participate in the dialog about class topics (Alvermann, O‘Brien, &
Dillon, 1990). Class discussion can be used to promote deeper processing of content and rehearsal of newly learned content (Green, 2000; Larson, 1999). To be effective, discussion strategies should be identifiable, purposeful, planned, and adequately described (Fisher, Frey, & Rothenberg, 2008).
; Think-Pair-Square-Share. This discussion strategy is very similar to the one just
described. After being given an issue, problem, or question, ask students to think alone
for a short period of time, and then pair up with someone to share their thoughts. Then
have pairs of students share with other pairs, forming, in effect, small groups of four
students. Again, your role as teacher is to monitor the brief discussions and elicit
responses afterward. Be sure to encourage student pairs not to automatically adopt the
ideas and solutions of their partners. These short-term discussion strategies actually work
best when a diversity of perspectives are expressed.
; Round Robin. After placing students in or forming groups of three to five, pose a
problem or question and have each one go around the circle quickly sharing ideas or
solutions. You can give students one opportunity to ―pass‖ on a response, but eventually
every student must respond. This technique is used most effectively when, after initial
clockwise sharing, students are asked to write down on a single piece of paper each of
their responses. This allows all opinions and ideas of the groups to be brought to the
teacher‘s and the rest of their classmates‘ attention. It also provides a record of the
group‘s thinking, which might be used in grading.
; Inside-Outside Circles. We have immensely enjoyed participating in this discussion
strategy, so much so that we use it often in our own university classes. It offers a novel
format and can bring about face-to-face dialoging between students who might never
have the opportunity otherwise.
Students stand and face each other in two concentric circles. The inside circle faces out
and the outside circle faces in. After posing a readiness problem or question, ask students
to discuss ideas and answers with the person standing most directly in front of them. The
interesting aspect of this technique is that at any time you can ask the inner or outer circle
to rotate until you say ―stop.‖ Then the discussion can begin anew. After a few rotations,
we randomly ask individual students to share their own ideas or those of the person(s)
with whom they have been discussing. The advantage of this strategy is the variety of
inputs possible through simply rotating the circles of students. Be sure to make enough
space in the room for this discussion activity, and move about the circle to listen in on
; Fishbowl Discussions. With this technique, a small group of students is asked to discuss
an issue or problem while another group of students looks on. The idea of the fishbowl is