Notice and Note Reading Strategy

Signposts and Anchor Questions

Adapted from Resource: Reading Nonfiction: Notice & Note by Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst

Use these signposts and anchor questions in conjunction with the Notice and Note reading Strategies.

Signposts and Anchor Questions:

These are notable parts of a text that either provide insight or raise questions. These signposts are frequently found through many different texts.

Below are five commonly used signposts. The anchor questions that accompany them are written in progression starting from the elementary level and ending at the high school level. These are just suggestions and can be altered to fit the needs of your students.

  1. Contrasts and Contradictions: Alerts readers to opposing ideas.
    Anchor Question Suggestions:
    • What does this make me wonder about?
    • What is the contrast or contradiction and why is it significant?
    • Why did the author point out this contrast or contradiction?
  1. Extreme or Absolute Language: Brings the readers’ attention to words that make an exaggerated or untrue claim.
    Anchor Question Suggestions:
    • What does this make me wonder about?
    • Why did the author choose this language?
    • What does this reveal about the author’s biases or purpose?
  1. Numbers and Stats: Shows the reader that the author has purposely used a number to help the reader draw a conclusion, make an inference or make comparisons.
    Anchor Question Suggestions:
    • What does this make me wonder about?
    • Why did the author use these numbers or amounts?
    • What purpose do these numbers serve in this context?
  1. Quoted Words: Readers use words to identify and examine who is using the words and the message behind them.
    Anchor Question Suggestions:
    • What does this make me wonder about?
    • Why was this person quoted or cited and what did it add?
    • What is this person’s perspective?
  1. Word Gaps: Refers to vocabulary and how it is used to build upon comprehension of the text.
    Anchor Question Suggestions: 
    • Do I know this word from another text?
    • Does it seem like technical talk for this topic?
    • Can I find clues in the sentence to help me make sense of the word?

How can I use this strategy?

  • Have students identify guideposts within an article by using the annotation tool
  • For younger students you may want to use the Annotation feature to write in the anchor questions so students can answer while reading
  • Have students work in partnerships to discover guideposts and pose anchor questions
  • Have posters in your room with anchor questions for each guideposts. Through the year continue to add anchor questions. Have your students create their own questions!
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