The anticipatory set of a lesson is often ignored but can have a large impact on your students. J. Gonzalez defines an anticipatory set as “a brief portion of a lesson given at the very beginning to get students’ attention, activate prior knowledge, and prepare them for the day’s learning. Also known as advance organizer, hook, or set induction, as coined by Madeline Hunter in the 1960’s.” Communicating the purpose and learning objectives is an important part of a lesson plan but, I would argue it doesn’t always get your students interested and excited to learn. The anticipatory set is meant to pique your students’ interest and whet their appetite for what is to come.
Sure, you could start your lesson with “Today we are going to learn about the gods and goddesses of the Ancient Greeks” or you could enter the classroom wearing a toga and a crown of ivy. Perhaps, instead of telling the students “We will learn how collections of cells form tissues” you could show them a quick video of human body cells, tissues and organs. Anticipatory sets come in different forms but are delivered with the intention of gaining your students’ attention. In today’s culture our students are engrossed in social media;, so why not use this to our advantage. Iphonefaketext.com is a website that allows you to create fake iphone text message conversations between historical or fictional characters to download and share.