The Journal of Extension - www.joe.org

April 2017 // Volume 55 // Number 2 // Tools of the Trade // 2TOT7

Improving the Impact of Extension Through the Use of Anticipation Guides

Abstract
In this article, we present the anticipation guide as a tool for preparing Extension audiences to learn the main points of Extension materials. Anticipation guides improve learner comprehension by appealing to an individual's natural curiosity and helping the individual focus on key ideas. Anticipation guides can be used with all types of Extension materials and across all Extension programs. We describe how to create anticipation guides for use with Extension materials and explain how to use them effectively and easily. We also provide examples of anticipation guides based on various Extension topics.


Rebecca C. Smith
Assistant Extension Professor and Director, MSU Extension Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy
Department of Agricultural Economics
Becky.smith@msstate.edu

Stephanie M. Lemley
Assistant Professor
Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
smb748@msstate.edu

Mississippi State University
Starkville, Mississippi

Introduction

Extension's mission of directly providing practical education to improve individual lives largely depends on how individuals comprehend the material presented to them; the impact of Extension work is limited when audiences cannot access the information, some of which can be highly technical and hard to use (Karimi & Atai, 2014; Risdon, 1990). This article builds on Journal of Extension literature on improving learners' comprehension (Miller, 2001; Pellien & Rothenburger, 2014; Risdon, 1990) by presenting a method of creating and implementing a tool for helping all learners better understand Extension educational materials.

Content Literacy Strategies: Preparing Audiences to Learn

To improve reach and impact, Extension can implement content-area literacy strategies that prepare audiences in both formal and informal educational settings to learn. Content-area literacy strategies encompass general reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing strategies that can be used in all content areas (e.g., sciences, human development, citizenship, agriculture). This article highlights a tool that adds excitement to learning settings, increases audience expectation, and improves participant engagement: an anticipation guide.

Humans are naturally curious. Curiosity leads to discovery and exploration (Perry, 2001). Anticipation guides can help spark curiosity about a specific technical text or idea ("Anticipation Guides," n.d.). In addition, setting a purpose for reading can motivate learners to read a specific text (Pressley & Allington, 2015). An anticipation guide (Herber, 1970) is a tool that requires learners to become actively engaged in a text or presentation. Anticipation guides can be used for enhancing vocabulary or comprehension development. They encourage learners to predict what they think a text or presentation will be about and then verify their predictions. Prediction is an effective reading behavior (Caldwell, 2007). Further, anticipation guides require learners to engage critically ("Anticipation guides," 2016; Forget, 2004). Using an anticipation guide, the learner responds to statements about the material before reading or viewing/listening to it. As the learner then reads the text or views/listens to the presentation, he or she looks for evidence to support each initial response. For initial responses that are incorrect, the learner modifies the responses on the anticipation guide, using evidence from the text or presentation.

Creating and Implementing an Anticipation Guide

To create an anticipation guide, use the following steps (modified from Fisher, Brozo, Frey, & Ivey, 2015):

  1. Identify the most important information in the text or presentation.
  2. Adapt that information into short statements that grab the learner's attention and set a specific purpose for engaging with the material. The statements should be a combination of correct statements and incorrect statements.
  3. For each statement, develop a response option set such as "agree/disagree," "true/false," or "yes/no."
  4. Create the anticipation guide. A table can be an effective format for an anticipation guide because the guide should include the statements and areas (e.g., columns) for learners to record their "before engaging" and "after engaging" answers and applicable evidence from the text.
  5. Before learners engage with the material, have them look at the statements and respond using the required response options, recording their responses in the "Before" column on the anticipation guide.
  6. After they respond individually, have learners pair up and share their responses as partners and then with the whole audience. Do not supply the correct answers at this point.
  7. Present the session information. Have the learners determine whether their original responses were correct or not according to the evidence in the text/presentation. You can pause throughout the presentation of the information and have the learners discuss whether their responses changed and why. Learners can indicate correct answers in the "After" column on the anticipation guide. In a classroom setting, learners should explain why their answer changed using evidence from the text/presentation.
  8. Ask learners to share their "before engaging" and "after engaging" responses and their justifications. If any misconceptions remain, address them.

Examples of Anticipation Guides Based on Extension Texts

Here, we provide examples of anticipation guides based on Extension texts in the fields of family and consumer science (Figure 1), equine science (Figure 2), and disaster preparedness (Figure 3). The example informational texts are ones that could be used in both formal and informal educational settings. Completed samples of corresponding anticipation guides are in the appendix.

Figure 1.
Anticipation Guide for "Understanding Today's Food Label"

Directions: Prior to reading the article, read the five statements below and record "Agree" or "Disagree" in the "Before Reading" column. Then read the article. If your responses change from what you wrote in the "Before Reading" column after reading, note those changes in the "After Reading" column and provide evidence to support your positions.

Statement Before Reading After Reading Evidence
All foods must contain a food label.
Food labels must define specific terms such as "good source," "light," and "reduced."
There are specific requirements for food items deemed "organic" or "made from organic ingredients."
Food labels may contain a claim regarding a connection between health and the food item (e.g., cancer and fat).
The percent daily value (%DV) helps you determine whether a food has a low or high percentage of a certain vitamin or mineral.

Note: The applicable text can be found here: http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/publications/p1908_0.pdf


Figure 2.
Anticipation Guide for "Basic Horse Safety Manual"

Directions: Prior to reading the article, read the five statements below and record "Agree" or "Disagree" in the "Before Reading" column. Then read the article. If your responses change from what you wrote in the "Before Reading" column after reading, note those changes in the "After Reading" column and provide evidence to support your positions.

Statement Before Reading After Reading Evidence
You should not speak to your horse before approaching him or her.
When leading your horse, walk beside him or her.
You can mount and dismount a horse in a barn.

Note: The applicable text can be found here: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/4af/4af05ma/4af05ma.pdf


Figure 3.
Anticipation Guide for "Disaster Relief: Drinking Water inanEmergency"

Directions: Prior to reading the article, read the five statements below and record "Agree" or "Disagree" in the "Before Reading" column. Then read the article. If your responses change from what you wrote in the "Before Reading" column after reading, note those changes in the "After Reading" column and provide evidence to support your positions.

Statement Before Reading After Reading Evidence
Use food-grade bottles to store water in case of an emergency.
Use bleach to sanitize any bottles used to store water.
You can store bottled water in direct sunlight.

Note: The applicable text can be found here: http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/publications/P2243.pdf

Conclusion

To achieve Extension's mission, Extension professionals must reach individuals with the information they need to improve their lives. Using an anticipation guide is an effective and simple strategy for increasing the engagement of learners by tapping into their natural curiosity and making Extension materials more accessible to both formal and informal audiences. Anticipation guides prepare learners for the knowledge they will receive and can be used with all manner of Extension materials and audiences. Creating an anticipation guide involves identifying the key ideas the learner should remember and writing sentences for the learner to consider before, during, and after reading a text or viewing/listening to a presentation.

References

Anticipation guides. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.adlit.org/strategies/19712/

Caldwell, J. A. (2007). Reading assessment: A primer for teachers and coaches (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Fisher, D., Brozo, W. G., Frey, N., & Ivey, G. (2015). 50 instructional routines to develop content literacy (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Forget, M. A. (2004). Max teaching with reading and writing: Classroom activities for helping students learn new subject matter while acquiring literacy skills. Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing.

Herber, H. (1970). Teaching reading in the content areas. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Karimi, M. N., & Atai, M. R. (2014). ESAP students' comprehension of multiple technical reading texts: Insights from personal epistemological beliefs. Reading Psychology, 35(8), 736–761. doi:10/1080/0270211.2013802753

Miller, J. E. (2001). How to write low literacy materials. Journal of Extension, 39(1), Article 1TOT2. Available at: https://www.joe.org/joe/2001february/tt2.php

Pellien, T., & Rothenburger, L. (2014). Addressing the next generation science standards: A method for supporting classroom teachers. Journal of Extension, 52(4), Article 4TOT7. Available at: https://www.joe.org/joe/2014august/tt7.php

Perry, B. D. (2001). Curiosity: The fuel of development. Retrieved from http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/curiosity.htm

Pressley, M., & Allington, R. L. (2015). Reading instruction that works: The case for balanced teaching (4th ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Risdon, P. (1990). Writing to teach. Journal of Extension, 28(1), Article TOT3. Available at: https://www.joe.org/joe/1990spring/tt3.php

Appendix

Suggested Answers to Anticipation Guides for Three Extension Texts

Anticipation Guide Suggested Answers for "Understanding Today's Food Label"

Directions: Prior to reading the article, read the five statements below and record "Agree" or "Disagree" in the "Before Reading" column. Then read the article. If your responses change from what you wrote in the "Before Reading" column after reading, note those changes in the "After Reading" column and provide evidence to support your positions.

Statement Before Reading After Reading Evidence
All foods must contain a food label. Agree Disagree "The FDA still allows point-of-purchase labeling for raw fruits, raw vegetables, and raw seafood. Other exceptions to nutrition labeling include food served for immediate consumption and ready-to-eat food that is not for immediate consumption but prepared on site, like bakery and deli items. Food shipped in bulk, as long as it is not for sale in that form to consumers, and plain coffee, tea, and some spices that contain no significant amounts of nutrients are also exempted. Foods produced by small businesses may also be exempt under the 1993 amendments to nutrition labeling, as long as they meet the criteria and notify the FDA before marketing their products." (p. 1)
Food labels must define specific terms such as "good source," "light," and "reduced." Disagree Agree "Now, food labels have specific definitions for these terms, so you can believe these words when you see them on a package:
  • free
  • light
  • more
  • good source
  • high
  • low
  • reduced" (p. 1)
There are specific requirements for food items deemed "organic" or "made from organic ingredients." Agree Agree "Foods that claim to be organic or made from organic ingredients must meet requirements to state such claims on their packages." (p. 2)
Food labels may contain a claim regarding a connection between health and the food item (e.g., cancer and fat). Agree Agree "Food labels can carry information about the link between certain nutrients and specific diseases. For such a "health claim" to be made on a package, the FDA must first determine that the diet-disease link is supported by scientific evidence." (p. 2)
The percent daily value (%DV) helps you determine whether a food has a low or high percentage of a certain vitamin or mineral. Agree Agree "The quick guide to %DV serves as a reference point for how foods can fit into your daily eating pattern. The percentages are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Foods that offer 5 percent or lower %DV are considered low in that nutrient, while 20 percent or more is considered high in the nutrient." (p. 4)

Note: The applicable text can be found here: http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/publications/p1908_0.pdf

Anticipation Guide Suggested Answers for "Basic Horse Safety Manual"

Directions: Prior to reading the article, read the five statements below and record "Agree" or "Disagree" in the "Before Reading" column. Then read the article. If your responses change from what you wrote in the "Before Reading" column after reading, note those changes in the "After Reading" column and provide evidence to support your positions.

Statement Before Reading After Reading Evidence
You should not speak to your horse before approaching him or her. Disagree Disagree "Always speak to your horse before approaching or touching him. Some horses are likely to jump and may kick when startled." (p. 3)
When leading your horse, walk beside him or her. Agree Agree "When leading your horse, walk beside him—not ahead or behind. A position even with the horse's head or halfway between the horse's head and its shoulder is considered safest." (p. 5)
You can mount and dismount a horse in a barn. Agree Disagree "Never mount or dismount a horse in a barn or near fences, trees, or overhanging projections." (p. 8)

Note: The applicable text can be found here: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/4af/4af05ma/4af05ma.pdf

Anticipation Guide Suggested Answers for "Disaster Relief: Drinking Water in an Emergency"

Directions: Prior to reading the article, read the five statements below and record "Agree" or "Disagree" in the "Before Reading" column. Then read the article. If your responses change from what you wrote in the "Before Reading" column after reading, note those changes in the "After Reading" column and provide evidence to support your positions.

Statement Before Reading After Reading Evidence
Use food-grade bottles to store water in case of an emergency. Disagree Agree "If you decide to fill your own containers with water, you can use food-grade plastic containers for storing water. Examples of food-grade containers are store-bought plastic containers that have held food or beverages, such as soda, water, juice, or punch." (p. 1)
Use bleach to sanitize any bottles used to store water. Agree Agree "Then, sanitize the container by rinsing it with a solution of one teaspoon of household bleach per quart (one-fourth gallon) of water. Be sure that the bleach solution touches all inside surfaces of the container." (p. 1)
You can store bottled water in direct sunlight. Agree Disagree "Store the containers upright in a cool, dry place. Because direct sunlight and heat gradually weaken plastic containers, store them away from heat and light to prevent possible leaking." (p. 2)

Note: The applicable text can be found here: http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/publications/P2243.pdf