Experiencing the New

Anticipation Guide

Make up a list of five or six true /false statements on the text to be read. These statements are debateable and might seek an opinion or provoke feelings in the reader. Students respond to the statements individually and then discuss with a partner or small group. After reading students revisit the statements, see how their initial opinions may have changed and reflect on what ideas were affirmed and challenged and what they have learned. They should find evidence for their opinions in the text. To extend this activity, students can respond to the statements with agree or disagree and then explain why.

When constructing an Anticipation Guide:

  • Analyse the material and determine main ideas;
  • Write the ideas in short declarative statements;
  • Put the statements in a format that will encourage anticipation and predictions;
  • Discuss the readers’ predictions and anticipations before reading; and
  • Assign the text and have students evaluate the statements according to the author’s purpose; and contrast the predictions with the author’s intended meaning.
Statement Agree/ Disagree Were you right? Reflection


Before Reading
List everything you know about this topic before reading

During Reading
Briefly note new information you find during reading

After Reading
Write a summary and three questions

One sentence main idea statement:

Instead of words, students can also draw and represent their ideas through images.

Caption Strategy

This strategy focuses students on extracting ideas or concepts and clarifying conceptual understanding. Select an illustration, photo or series of pictures on a given topic. Working individually, in pairs or in groups, the students write captions that capture the essence of the image. Students compare and discuss the captions they have created.

Chat Chart

After reading/viewing a text/s students discuss the text in small groups and then complete the chart.

My words

My questions

The most important parts

My connections

My thoughts

A variation:





Clink and Clunk

This strategy assesses what students have learned and what needs to be covered in m ore depth. After students have responded to a text in an open-ended, they draw up a table with two columns headed ‘clink’ and ‘clunk’. Under ‘clink’ they record the information they really understand. Under ‘clunk’ they record what they do not understand. In groups students discuss and clarify information, using peer tutoring and teacher support to ensure all students understand the information.

Double Entry Journal

This type of journal consists of two parts. On the left hand side, students record interesting parts or facts from the text, excursion, film, demonstration, experiment or talk. On the right hand side they record their responses and reactions. Variations include: Author’s main points/Question you want to ask; Literal/Inferential statements; Facts/Inferences; In the text/My connections.


Conduct an experiment using scientific method.

  • Initial Observation: Something you have noticed that you want to investigate.
  • Create Hypothesis: Your initial view that you want to test.
  • Gather Data: Search for information already available on this subject.
  • Review Theories: Find out the main explanations currently available – relevant concepts and the theories that tie these concepts together.
  • Design Experiment: How are you going to test your hypothesis?
  • Conduct Experiment: Record observations.
  • Draw Conclusions: Is your original hypothesis correct?
  • Report on Results: Include the whole story of the experiment as outlined in the steps above.


Interpret a text using a ‘frame’ according to its genre:

  • Narrative: orientation (characters, setting, starting event), complication (something surprising or interesting that happens, one or more episodes), resolution (how the story ends).
  • Report: general topic (what class of things does something belong to?), description one facet at a time or one aspect of the topic at a time (looks like, does, habits, examples etc.?), conclusions.

Graph Stories

When reading a novel or short story, students record rising and falling action of the plot on a graph. Students could also write a short story that describes what is being depicted in a graph.

Jigsaw and Gallery Tour

This activity is characterised by participants within a home group each becoming expert on different aspects of one topic of study.

  1. Students are formed into home/cooperative groups.
  2. Students in home/ cooperative groups are assigned to a different expert group. (as per diagram)
  3. Together, expert partners study their topic and plan effective ways to teach important information when they return to their home/ cooperative groups.
  4. One way of teaching is for the expert group to display their information on paper.
  5. Participants return to their home/ cooperative groups and then take their group on a Gallery Tour to each display. In a Galley Tour, students display their work and one person stands by it in order to explain it and answer questions when small groups visit.
  6. Or participants can return to their home/ cooperative groups and teach all members of their group as they are now the experts.

Literacy Experiences: Receptive Activities

The teacher or other learners introduce a written text that is unfamiliar or ‘hard’—but nevertheless at least half intelligible. Students respond to in open-ended ways and through questions such as what did you think if this text, how did you connect to it, did it remind you of anything in your own experiences, what do you think will happen next?

Multiliteracies Experiences: Receptive Activities

The teacher or other learners bring in a multimodal text that is unfamiliar or hard, such as an image, video, game, sound recording or object. Students respond to it in open-ended ways and through questions such as what did you think if this text, how did you connect to it, did it remind you of anything in your own experiences, what do you think will happen next? Students could also:

  • Describe: What are the key features of the multimodal text? What stands out as its main points?
  • Examine: Which bits are not-so-obvious or confusing?
  • Perceive: How can we figure out the meaning of the parts that are not-so-obvious?
  • Infer: What do you think the creator meant to be saying?

In a group learning context, different members of the group could be given different roles: describing, examining, perceiving, inferring. You could also use the equivalent of note taking for visual texts – circling parts of images, labeling and captioning.


Naturalistic Observation: Watch and record behavior without saying anything or intervening in the action. Record what is happening using an observation sheet.

Participant Observation: Record events and behavior in a group or set of activities in which you involved.

Action/Event Observed

Interpretation of the Event

Event 1:

Event 2:

‘On the Road’ Stream of Consciousnesses Reflections on New Experiences

Record your impressions of a new or unfamiliar place in the order in which you ‘travel’ through that new territory—a place, a group or a new area of learning. Keep a weblog or diary, take pictures … note what seems unusual, strange or difficult to understand.

Paired Reviews

This strategy provides students with practice in summarising what has been read and learned. Students work with a partner, taking turns in being the ‘talker’ and the ‘listener’, reviewing a text that has been read. Paired Reviews enhance clarifying and paraphrasing skills, develop listening skills, give students time to process what they are learning, help students remember new information, encourage reflection on own learning, encourage students to verbalise their understandings about text and allow students to respond to texts through feelings and ideas.

  • Pair students as Partner A and Partner B.
  • Partner A begins by recounting something interesting from the text and talks for 60 seconds, while Partner B listens.
  • After 60 seconds tell them to ‘Switch’ and change roles. Partner B cannot repeat anything said by A
  • When Partner B has spoken for 60 seconds, partners switch again. Now Partner A has 40 seconds to continue the review. Stipulate that nothing stated already can be repeated. After 40 seconds announce ‘Switch’ where Partner B gets 40 seconds.
  • Follow the same procedure allowing each partner 20 seconds to recap.
  • This strategy is a quick way for students to summarise their understandings about a text. The no-repeat rule forces partners to really listen and think carefully about what they can say. Time periods can be adjusted to fit the needs of the students. When the activity is completed questions or confusions can be addressed.

Picture Priorities

Collect pictures related to a topic and number them randomly. Give students time to examine the pictures and to discuss their responses to them. Then ask them to rank the pictures in order of importance or to sequence them in an order that makes sense to them. They then compare and contrast their order with other students or groups. They could them reorder their pictures.


P-O-E (Predicting, Observing, Explaining) is a strategy that enables students to conduct investigative work and develop a summative conclusion of what they think is going to happen and why they think it will happen.

P 	Predict: What do I think is going to happen?

O 	Observe: What did I observe during the investigation?

E 	Explain: Why do I think this happened?

Reaction Guide

Students read/view a text and respond to it in an open-ended way, connecting to the text and relating it their own experiences. Then provide students with a group of 5-10 statements which focus on important concepts in the text and are thought provoking or controversial. Students record whether they agree or disagree with the statements and then read/view the text again, checking their responses and changing them if they wish. They then discuss their responses in small groups, coming to consensus about their responses, and ensuring each group member can justify the group’s decision. Call upon each group to share a response and justify it.

Read and Retell

A Read and Retell enables practice in a range of literacy skills including reading, writing, listening, speaking, thinking, interacting, comparing, matching, selecting and organising information, remembering and comprehending. As an assessment tool, it provides information about comprehension, sequencing of ideas and writing skills.


  • It is important that the context be carefully set by the teacher for the use of the retelling. Students must feel that they are doing it to help them become better readers and writers, not that they are being tested.
  • In selecting a text, ensure students have had previous experience with the genre/text type, e.g. fables, fairy stories, reports.
  • Texts should be of high interest and within the students’ reading ability.
  • After selecting the text and making multiple copies, fold and staple so that only the title is visible.

The Retelling

  • Students read the title and write one or two sentences on what the text with such a title might be about and some words/phrases that might be in the text if your prediction was right.
  • Students share or compare these predictions with a partner or small group.
  • Everyone reads the text individually. Read in order to enjoy and understand. Read as many times as you need to recall. Some students may benefit from having the story read to them first as a scaffold to them reading the text alone.
  • Retell the text, writing in your own words. Write as much as you can recall for someone who has not read the text. You must not look back at the text.

Sharing and Discussing

In pairs or small groups ask students to discuss:

  1. How are your retellings different from each other and how are they different from the original text?
  2. Muddled meanings: Did you muddle, change or omit anything so that the author’s meaning was changed?
  3. Paraphrase power: Did you use any words which were different from those in the text but mean the same?
  4. Borrow a Bit: If you could borrow a bit from your partner’s retelling, which bit would you borrow? Why?


Ask students to write down any new learnings they have made during the session and/or any concerns they have. They could also write about what they would like to work on to improve their reading and writing skills.

Reciprocal Teaching

Reciprocal Teaching will support students to deal with new text, stopping at times in the text to:

  • Summarise: What are the main things the text is about? What are its key points?
  • Question: What are the bits of the text that don’t make sense? What is puzzling or unclear?
  • Clarify: How can we figure out the meaning of the confusing parts? What do we still need to know to work out the meaning behind the text?
  • Predict: Where might the text go next (part way through the text)? Or what do you think the author wants you to get out of the text (as the end of the text)?

In a group learning context, different members of the group could be given different roles: summariser, questioner, clarifier, predictor. In asking questions about the text, students could also take on roles. One could ask questions about the language, another could ask questions about the audience and purpose of the text, another could ask questions about how students have connected to the texts and links to real world and another could ask questions about how different people would respond to the text.

Right Angle Thinking

After reading or viewing a text/s, students record interesting information and associated ideas and thoughts.

Save the Last Word for Me

Assign a story, selection or passage to read. Students locate five statements that they find interesting or would like to comment on – statements with which they agree or disagree, have heard of before, found interesting, contradict something they thought they knew or want to say something about. They could be statements that particularly surprised, excited or intrigued them.

Distribute five post-it notes to each student, a card for each selected statement. Students write one statement on the front side of the post-it note. On the reverse side, students write comments/reflections about the statement which they are willing to share with their group.

In groups of 3 or 4, students share one of their five statements. The first student reads a statement to the group, locates it in a text but does not make any comment on it. Students then discuss, make comments and give their reactions to the statement. When everyone has commented, the student then gets the ‘last word’ on the statement. The process is repeated with all group members.

Stick to it!

Students read a text and use post-it notes to mark a word, sentence or part of a text that they don’t understand. If they read on and the question is clarified, they remove the post-it note. After reading, students work with a partner and discuss the post-it notes that still remain and also how they clarified their questions.


Old-fashioned summarising remains a good way to approach a new written text.

  • Plan: Create a table of contents, or a heading/main points outline, or a site map for a website.
  • Keywords: Underline the main words of phrases in the text.
  • Main Ideas: Create an abstract, or one paragraph long summary of the text.
  • Notes: Write out the main points being made by the text in the order in which they appear. Use headings and indents to make the overall structure of the text clear. Turn whole sections of the text into a word, a phrase or a short sentence. Or write a ‘topic sentence’ for every paragraph. Or, use these note taking methods when listening to a spoken text.
  • Outline: Use outline mode in Word, PowerPoint or PDF or a folder structure on computer as to create a map or a sketch of the text.

You can also use summarising templates.

What you remembered from the text

Looking back and adding more or making corrections

Main Ideas in the Text


Create a paper or internet survey for people around you (your family, your classmates, community members). Question types might include: yes/no, multiple choice, scales (such as 1 to 5 rankings for satisfaction, interest, agreement), ranking (of preference, importance etc.) open-ended short text responses.

Beware of the limitations of surveys: Have you surveyed enough people to get a balanced view of a group? Have you written the questions to get the kind of answer you want? Will the people responding to the survey give ‘true’ answers to the kinds of questions you are asking?

Text and Subtext

After summarising the text and identifying an important quote from the text, this strategy supports students to infer a deeper or underlying meaning through identifying the subtext.

Restate the reading in your own words

Quote from the reading


Text Annotation Strategy

Annotate the text as you read and after you have finished reading it. You may have to read it a couple of times and don’t worry if you don’t annotate every single thing!


In the margins record a question mark (?) for any questions you have about what is happening or about the vocabulary.


Underline aspects of the writing style. This could be a line or phrase that you think is beautifully worded or makes you think. It could be something about the style or tone that strikes you or that you like or dislike. Put a double line under what you think is the best written sentence in the story.


Draw a C for your connections when the story reminds you of something you have read or seen or done in your own life.


Write ! when something is interesting, important, unusual and it surprises or even shocks you.

Discuss your annotations with a partner. Focus on what you consider to be most important or interesting. Share any other opinions, ideas or predictions about what will happen next.

Other codes might include:

M: I want to learn MORE about this

N: new information

TH: Theme of the text

AHA: Big idea in the text

Think Sheet

My Questions

My Thoughts – what you already know

Text ideas – important ideas (after reading)

Topic Wheel

Students draw and wheel with spokes. In each section of the wheel, students record:

  • Things I know about the topic
  • Things I feel about the topic
  • Things I would like to find out about the topic
  • Ways I could find out more about the topic

Three Level Guide

The teacher or students develop true/false questions on text at three levels:

  • Literal: these are statements that can be found in the text
  • Interpretative: these are statements that the students have to interpret or infer from the text
  • Analytical or applied: these relate to bigger ideas/issues in the text

Students respond to each question individually and then share their responses with a partner, coming to consensus rather than compromise about the statements. They should refer back to the text in their discussion. Pairs can then form a group of four, share their responses and come to consensus.

Video or Audio Interview

Conduct a video or audio interview of a person or people you know well, in a familiar setting.

Structured Interview: A list of direct questions, requiring direct answers, that the interviewer works through, one by one. Useful when you are asking more than one person about the same thing, and trying to work out the differences in perspective, understanding etc.

Semi-Structured Interview: a schedule of the main topics you want to cover, but allowing that the conversation may go off in other interesting directions and that questions may be covered in a different order, depending upon the drift of the conversation. The interviewee is encouraged to ignore questions if they want to and to ask their own questions if they like. This approach makes it harder to compare interviews when you are asking more than one person about the same thing.

Open-Ended Interview: An open conversation which starts with the interviewer describing the general area they want to cover in the interview, and allows an impromptu dialogue to develop.

Web of Wonder

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