Lesson Plan Title : Practicing Skimming

Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School Level)

Overview and Purpose : Skimming can be very useful when you want to quickly find information in a large document. This technique will be one that students will want to master for use in future research assignments.

Objective: The student will be able to skim an article and pick out answers to questions asked by the teacher.


One newspaper per pair of students, photocopies will do too. A yellow or colored highlighter.


Ahead of time pick out several facts from the newspaper. I would focus on facts that students have a high level of interest in. Usually pop culture is a big hit or a controversial topic among students of that peer group. I often find anything to do with iPods, Facebook, or Mobile Phones to be a huge hit.

Pass the papers out to each pair of students. Tell them which section you are going to ask your question from and wait for them to get to that section.

A good way to teach skimming is to incorporate the use of a highlighter. Just ask them to highlight areas that stick out to to them.

Ask a question about one of the articles. If the group of students highlighted that section they get 2 points. The first pair of students to find the information stands up. If they answer correctly, then they get a point. The first team to 5 points wins.


For homework, have students write one or two paragraphs about how easy or difficult they found the activity to be and why. Do they see any benefits to being able to skim an article? Are there any disadvantages?