Approaches to Reading in the Classroom/Document

From OER in Education

Approaches to reading

Pupils need to be told how they should read until they can select the appropriate approach for themselves. You may need to model the approach you think is most helpful so that pupils can see how it is done.

  • Scanning: searching for a particular piece of information, e.g. a phone number.
  • Skimming: glancing quickly through to get the gist, e.g. the sub-headings in a textbook to see whether there is anything pertinent.
  • Continuous reading: uninterrupted reading of extended text, often for pleasure, e.g. a novel or travel guide.
  • Close reading: careful study of a text, which includes pausing to look back or to think in order to examine the text in detail, e.g. studying a text to provide a summary for colleagues or selecting key reasons for events and evaluating their veracity.

Reflecting on reading approaches

Reflect on your subject and which approaches are needed and when. List some reading activities and the approaches pupils would need to fulfil the task. Think about when pupils need more than one approach, e.g. skimming to find an extract to close-read, or scanning the index prior to skimming and close reading.

Reading activities Approaches pupils will need

Task 5

10 minutes

Classroom assignment: approaches to reading
When planning your next reading activity, plan how you will tell pupils which strategy to use.

Plan to check whether pupils know what to do and model the process if they are unsure. Modelling will make explicit the process you are going through as a reader. It might be the first time you have thought about what you actually do. Making what you do explicit to pupils will quicken the process for them.

Reflect afterwards on the successes and challenges of what you did.

The research process – reading for information

7The research process 20 minutes

Listen to the audio extract on the DVD, in which Maureen Lewis and David Wray talk about the EXIT model (Extending Interactions with Texts) which is useful when approaching a research task or reading for information. They discuss some preconceptions about reading and how to support pupils in the process. Use the sheet below to record the purposes of the various aspects as discussed by Wray and Lewis.

If you do not have access to this DVD, David Wray’s homepage provides a summary:

Process stage Purpose

Activating prior knowledge

Establishing purposes

Locating information

Adopting an appropriate strategy

Interacting with the text

Monitoring understanding

Making a record

Evaluating information

Assisting memory

Communicating information

Now read the text adapted from the EXIT model in the table on the next page, which suggests teaching strategies for the various stages. Begin to plan these strategies into your teaching.