Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Skimming And Scanning

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11

Skimming and Scanning are two important reading skills. The following exercise will help the children to practise these, will increase their exposure to different kinds of texts, and will increase their awareness of the different consonant blends.

1) Choose a page of text which can easily be photocopied onto a single A4 page. This can be from any kind of book, and if the activity is repeated, try to vary the kinds of texts that you use (e.g. stories, information books, and pages from dictionaries). Make sure that each child has one copy. They should also have access to coloured pens and / or pencils.

2) Read through the text with the children to give them a general understanding of it.

3) The main part of the activity can be tried in two different ways:

  • Give the children a time limit (e.g. 5 minutes) and ask them to find as many occurrences of a certain consonant blend (e.g. “ch”) as possible. They should colour each “ch” on the page in a certain colour (e.g. red), whether the “ch” is found at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a word. At the end of the time, ask them to count the number of “ch”s they have found.
  • Before the lesson, count how many “ch”s there are on the page. Then, instead of getting the children to find as many of these as possible in a certain time, ask them to find them all (telling them how many there are on the page), colouring them in as above. The first person to find all of them wins.

4) Now, ask them to find a different blend (e.g. “st”), making sure that they colour these in using a different colour.

5) Repeat the activity using different texts and finding different blends.

Another suggestion has been contributed by a visitor…

This is fun practice for identifying keywords. You need a class set of whatever non-fiction or fiction text is currently being studied. If the books are shared, partners must take turns, or you risk torn pages!

The teacher chooses 2-3 words, each occurring only once on a page. Write the word, then the page number on the board. The winner is the first person to find the word and prove it by reading the sentence containing that word. Then children can identify and write up their own keywords for others to find.

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