Reading Strategy: Previewing, Skimming, and Scanning

Previewing, Skimming, and Scanning

Previewing

What you do before reading the text.

http://kabobhut.net/menu/

Think of a menu. We use previewing techniques when we read a menu. We don’t start at the top and read all the way to the bottom before deciding what we want.

How do you read a menu?

  1. Look at the titles.
  2. Look at the pictures or whatever catches your eye.
  3. Read any subtitles.
  4. Read the area you are interested in.

Skimming

When you look at the text and read only part of it–not the whole text, just the important parts.

What does “skimming” really mean? It is used for taking off something from the top of something else, usually a liquid. Take a look at this video.

  1. Read the titles, subtitles, look at the graphics, etc. (previewing)
  2. Read all of the introduction and conclusion.
  3. Read the topic sentences or the first sentences of each paragraph.
  4. Look for and read sentences which have key words.
    1. From the title, graphics, subtitles, etc.
    2. Bold words
    3. Italicized words
    4. Underlined words

Scanning

When you look at the text while looking for something/some specific details.

Look for:

  1. bold words
  2. patterns
  3. related words

Ex. “Where was the person hiking?”

Look for:

  1. place names
  2. the word “hiking”
  3. the hiker’s name

Do not look for “where” because this is the question, not the answer.

Teaching Idea:

Students make pairs, choose an article from breakingnewsenglish.com, read, and write questions about the article. They then pair with other groups who did the same for other articles and read/talk about each others’ articles and questions.