An ANTICIPATION GUIDE on Mark Twain’s
(Using Penguin Classics 2004 edition with Chronology and Further
PURPOSE OF THE STRATEGY:
Also called reaction or prediction guides, the anticipation guide is a way to
prepare a reader prior to a reading assignment by asking them to react to
a series of statements related to the content of the material. Students will determine if they
agree with the statement, or disagree. In this case, the statements have to deal with themes or
occurrences in Pudd’nhead Wilson. Three reasons for using anticipation guides according to
Erickson, Huber, Bea, and McKenzie (1987) include: (1) relating prior knowledge to new
information to enhance comprehension, (2) creating interest which stimulates discussion on the
topic, and (3) creating possibilities for integrating reading and writing instruction.
STEP 1: READ PASSAGE OR STORY
Read all of Pudd’nhead Wilson and analyze the text to identify the major concepts (both explicit
STEP 2: DECIDE ON MAJOR CONCEPTS
Decide which concepts are most important. Use these to create student interest and to agitate
or stimulate reflection on prior knowledge and beliefs. Some of these concepts may be as
complex as deciding to see race, or as simple as deciding to commit murder.
STEP 3: WRITE STATEMENTS ON MAJOR CONCEPTS
Write a series of short, declarative statements about any major
concepts in the novel that you plan on emphasizing. These
statements should be thought provoking and should reveal am
student’s character/background knowledge. General statements are
better than abstract or overly specific ones. Famous quotations and
idioms work well. The statements should be written in a format that
will elicit students to predict and anticipate.
STEP 4: DISPLAY THE GUIDE
To allow students time to react to each statement distribute an individual worksheet to each
student. Give clear directions for what the students are to do with the guide, telling them to mark
true or false in either column for each question. Make sure to leave space for responses on the
sheet. Students should complete the guide individually, so that a more honest and clear answer
can be apprehended.
STEP 5: DISCUSS
After students have finished their worksheets, conduct a class discussion about the concepts
involved in each statement. It is important that students understand why they believe one
statement to be true or false, have them support their answers. In the discussion, students are
free to give examples from past experience and explain the decision-making process by which
they arrive at their answers.
STEP 6: READ
Inform students that all of these statements are involved in/explored
with in the next class novel called Pudd’nhead Wilson. After the class
has read the entire novel, evaluate the statements from the anticipation
guide in light of the author’s intent and purpose. You can also choose
to evaluate certain statements as you encounter them in your reading
throughout the novel’s unit.
STEP 7: REVISIT THE GUIDE
Revisit the guide after you have read the passage to allow students to
compare and contrast their original responses with current ones. The objective is to see what
information the reading of the passage has allowed them to assimilate or learn. It is interesting
for students to see if their own opinions or their classmate’s opinions have changed on these
statements because of the novel’s exploration and class discussion. Pudd’nhead Wilson has a
lot of controversial but essential topics that students need to form an opinion on.
The anticipation guide allows students to anticipate major concepts that will be encountered
during their reading of a text. Discussion stimulates review of what students know and believe
and allow them to expand these concepts. This type of previewing allows students to take
charge of their own learning and to focus their reading. The teacher (you) can use the
anticipation guide to preview student’s beliefs and knowledge about a subject, allowing a better
approach to the material.
An ANTICIPATION GUIDE on Mark Twain’s
DIRECTIONS: Read each statement below and consider your experience
with the subject. Based on whether you agree or disagree with the statement,
mark either true or false. This activity allows us to explore our knowledge and
prepare for the next class novel; this in not a quiz. We will discuss our answers after this
worksheet is finished. Have Fun!
_____ _____ It’s okay to judge a book by its cover.
_____ _____ Money is more important than family.
_____ _____ Race hasn’t been an issue in the American society since the Civil
_____ _____ Revenge is sweet.
_____ _____ Saving my own neck is more important than saving someone
_____ _____ Our skin color determines our actions.
_____ _____ Life is always what it appears to be.