Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: Skimming and Scanning

A closer look at Skimming and Scanning.


 Since Skimming and Scanning are often muddled up by students this session concentrates of these two reading techniques, by giving them practical activities to do.


Skimming – a fast reading technique to get a quick idea what a book; website; chapter or page is about. (General Impression).

I give the students two skimming activities by asking them to skim read by looking for clues (headings, titles, or pictures), then I put a page on the screen for 5 seconds and ask them what the whole page was about.




Scanning – another quick reading technique – this time looking for an answer to a question. Tip – make sure you understand the question. Is is a Who, What, Where, When or Where question as this affects the answer you are looking for. (Number, Place name etc).


I have 15 questions about a job advert and give one question to each pair of students. Then make sure they understand their question before putting the job advert on screen for 30 -60 seconds (depending upon the ability of the group). Students need to scan the advert for their answer.


Having done both types of these fast reading techniques the students gain a better understanding of the differences and why they might read in these ways.





Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: Different Types of Reading

The latest Information Literacy session is an introductory session looking at different types of reading.


I demonstrate five types of reading:


Scanning : I scan for a fact (phone number)using a telephone directory


Skimming : I have covered a book about “Earth Sciences” in plain paper, I then flick through and skim read the chapter headings and the students have to work out what the book is about


Detailed Reading : I sit down and demonstrate reading for understanding, and make notes in the process




Reading for Bias : I show and read out an advert. Then discuss selling an ‘idea’ rather than just a product.




finally my favourite type of reading…

Reading for pleasure : I sit, relax and read my current reading material (Carnegie Long LIst books at the moment.


I then put the class into small groups and they are given four sets of cards. One set has the name of the type of reading, a second set  why we would use that type of reading, the third set describes how we would read, and the fourth set is a picture clue. The groups have to match the cards for each type of reading.


Common mistakes every year are the muddling of Skimming and Scanning, and confusion over Bias. But we have a closer look at these in later sessions…..