Skimming and Scanning Know How

Here are two reading skills that your children are going to need to master in this age when everyone is drowning in information. Skimming gives readers the overall picture, while scanning lets a reader pick out one particular fact or just a few facts.

Skimming is great for a first look at a book to see if it seems interesting or has information children need. Have your children look at several books on the same topic to see which one is most appealing to them. Tell them to look at the table of contents, if there is one, and the chapter titles as well as pictures, sentences and headings that capture their interest. Their eyes should be flying over the page. They should take home the book that they find most appealing.

Scanning is a search for specific information. Typically, it is reading quickly from top to bottom. You can play games that will help your children master this skill. Have a race to find a name in a phone book or the first use of a particular word in a newspaper story.