Activating Prior Knowledge about Insurance

Educator activates prior knowledge about insurance topics.
Made by GFLEC
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
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About this Micro-credential

Apply for a micro-credential before December 22nd, 2017 for a $75 Amazon gift card!*

*Offer valid until 12/22/2017. To receive a gift card, participant must complete all portions of the micro-credential application including the optional survey. Gift cards will be awarded in the form of Amazon eGift Cards emailed to the account specified by the participant. Each participant can receive maximum one gift card. GFLEC reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time.

Key Method

The educator values students’ previous experiences and uses an anticipation guide to activate students’ prior knowledge about insurance at the beginning of the lesson.

Method Components

What does it mean to activate prior knowledge?

  • Activating prior knowledge is a process by which educators use strategies to identify what students already know about a topic in order to determine its accuracy and build new knowledge upon what is already known.
  • An anticipation guide is one strategy that is geared toward activating prior knowledge while also challenging preconceived ideas students bring into the classroom. This is done by having students analyze a series of statements and decide if they are true or false, or if they agree or disagree.

Suggested Implementation

  1. Review the anticipation guide materials and examples in the resources section.
  2. Use the blank anticipation guide document in the resources section ( or create your own with 8-10 statements that students will rate as true or false before and after the lesson. Vary statements between general and specific to create interest and encourage students to use their background knowledge about insurance.
  3. Discuss the answers for the “before” column when students are finished. Ask further probing questions that require students to provide their reasoning for their answers and identify their background knowledge.
  4. After the lesson, the right column can be used as a closing activity.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Christen, William L., and Thomas J. Murphy. “Increasing Comprehension by Activating Prior Knowledge.” ERIC Digest (1991): n. pag. ERIC. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
  • Christen, William L., and Thomas J. Murphy. “Increasing Comprehension by Activating Prior Knowledge.” ERIC Digest (1991): n. pag. ERIC. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
  • Swiderski, Suzanne M. “Transforming Principles Into Practice: Using Cognitive Active Learning Strategies In The High School Classroom.” Clearing House 84.6 (2011): 239. MasterFILE Main Edition. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
  • This study by the National Center for Education Statistics provides statistics on student engagement with personal finance topics outside the classroom. National Center for Education Statistics. The Nation’s Report Card: Economics. Institute of Education Statistics. U.S Department of Education Sciences, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
  • “Anticipation Guide - Decisions: Managing your Money.” Statewide Instructional Resources Development Center. Texas Education Agency, 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
  • “Classroom Strategies: Anticipation Guides.” All About Adolescent Literacy. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
  • Lewis, Ann, and Aleta Thompson. “Activating Strategies for Use in the Classroom.” Greencastle-Antrim School District. N.p., 2010. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
  • “Different Types of Insurance.” Oklahoma State Department of Education. N.p., 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
  • McMaken, Linda. “4 Types of Insurance Everyone Needs.” Investopedia. N.p., 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
  • Williams, Geoff. “3 Types of Insurance You Need – And 3 You Don't.” U.S. News and World Report Money. N.p., 2 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.


Anticipation Guides


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

The items in this following section detail what must be submitted for evaluation. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3, and a "Yes" for the artifact submitted for Part 2. 

Part 1. Overview Questions

(300-word limit)

Why did you choose these specific questions for the anticipation guide?

Part 2. Work Examples / Artifacts

Submit one video that demonstrates your competence with the anticipation guide strategy and shows how your use of the strategy activated students’ prior knowledge.

Also submit one sample of student work that shows a completed anticipation guide.

Part 3. Teacher Reflection

(300-word limit)

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as guidance:

  • How did this technique help you communicate this personal finance content to your students?
  • Which other personal finance topics can this teaching technique be used for in the classroom?

Part 4. Survey (Optional)


Please answer a brief survey about your experience teaching personal finance. Your responses will:

  • help us understand barriers personal finance teachers face; and
  • help us improve the resources being offered to personal finance educators

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


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