Skimming and scanning are both skills that can help you find information from texts more quickly, but people often get confused between them.
Skimming is a way of getting the gist, or general idea, of a text quickly. Instead of reading every word, use features such as the title, subheadings or pictures to give you an idea of what a text is about.
Instead of reading the whole of each paragraph you can just read the first and last sentences, or try to pick out key words as you go along. This skill can take a while to master, but will be a great help to you if you can.
Scanning is a way of looking for specific information in a text. For example, you may be learning about King Henry VIII and want to know the date he became king. This will be shown as a number rather than a word, so instead of reading the whole text you can move your eyes quickly across the words until you come to a number.
As with skimming, you can make use of titles and subheadings to make sure you are looking in the correct part of the text, but then think about features of the word you are looking for. If you are looking for the name of a person, scan the text for words starting with capital letters, as these tend to stand out, or look for words beginning with the letter that you are looking for.
In this worksheet you can practise skimming and scanning techniques.