H. Jurgen Combs
ANTICIPATORY SET - includes the motivation and introduction of your lesson; it is the attention getter for the lesson. This gets the attention of the students and generates interest by creating a need to know.  Obviously if the students are ready to learn, you will not need to spend a great deal of time getting them interested.

The anticipatory set refers to an activity to focus the students' attention, provide a brief practice and/or develop a readiness for the instruction that will follow. It should relate to some previous learning. If successful, the anticipatory set should help the student get mentally or physically ready for the lesson.



  • the learning
  • the purpose
  • transfer of learning
  • motivation

Do not confuse the anticipatory set of a lesson with anticipatory teaching, which refers to the teacher's ability to respond to the learner at his or her current level of understanding, then encouraging the student to respond (whether that is correct or incorrect) in an effort to get the student to move the next level of understanding.

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last updated on 27 May 2008
H. Jurgen Combs