Ep 172: Anticipation Stations: Your New Go-To Pre-Reading Activity - EB Academics

Ep 172: Anticipation Stations: Your New Go-To Pre-Reading Activity

Anticipation activities help students better understand reading material, dig more deeply into discussions, and feel more engaged in the unit. If you’re looking for a great activity to help students go beyond the surface of a novel or short story and really enjoy their class reading, try out Anticipation Stations!

Caitlin and Jessica will walk you through the simple steps of preparing and implementing this intriguing anticipation activity. Students will love rotating from station to station, exploring ideas from the novel and from their peers. The best part? As students later approach these ideas in the novel, they will be primed to engage with them in an insightful, complex way.

So take a listen, so you can start setting up your own version of this rinse-and-repeatable activity with your next classroom novel. The combination of movement, cooperation, and challenging ideas is sure to hook your students and prime them for learning. 

Tune in now to hear:

  • [01:20] The power of anticipation activities: Why you shouldn’t skip a pre-reading activity!
  • [02:30] How to use Anticipation Stations as a system in your classroom 
  • [03:10] Looking for more activities like these, already done for you, plus lots of teaching support? We’d love for you to join us in our EB Teachers’ Club! Add your name to the waitlist here
  • [04:20] The examples in this how-to will come from Lois Lowry’s The Giver, but you can use Anticipation Stations with any class novel, and many short stories, too
  • [5:00] For this activity, you will create statements related to the ideas of your novel, which you want students to consider as they read. After students approach these ideas in their text, you can revisit the statements to see if their thinking has changed!
  • [05:30] Step 1: Come up with about 8 statements that are debatable and connect with ideas from your novel
  • [05:50] Jessica shares example statements for The Giver
  • [06:40] Step 2: Once you have your statements, type them out and print them (one statement per sheet of paper). Ideally, laminate these, so you can save them for next year, too. Next to each poster, tape a large piece of paper (chart paper, butcher paper, etc.)
  • [07:50] Step 3: Place students in groups of 3-4. Ideally, give each group member a different color marker, so they can easily differentiate who wrote what. Place each group at a different statement poster (order doesn’t matter)
  • [08:30] Step 4: Instruct students to read their poster’s statement and write their thoughts on the paper. These first thoughts are open-ended. For example, students can agree/disagree and explain why, make connections to the statement, ask questions, etc.This step takes 3-5 minutes (on average) and should be silent
  • [09:30] Step 5: Have students rotate! Now they will read their new poster’s statement and the student writing on the paper. Students can react to the comments by underlining sections, agreeing/disagreeing in writing, asking questions, etc. (We recommend holding students accountable by having them write their names or initials next to their additions)
  • [10:30] Step 6: Have students rotate from poster to poster, adding their thoughts and ideas, until they arrive back at their own. NOW they can talk! They should discuss the comments made on their poster because they are going to debrief the class on what was written
  • [11:00] Step 7: As students paraphrase what was written on their posters, discuss the ideas as a whole class. 
  • [11:40] Notice all the high-level thinking students are doing before they even read the first page of their novel!
  • [12:10] Step 8: After the discussion, have students write a prediction about what the novel will be about, based on the poster statements they just interacted with
  • [12:30] Don’t forget – rinse and repeat this activity with other novels! 

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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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