Skim First, Answer Later: A Textbook Study Strategy
If you've seen the tome of a textbook your middle schooler has been lugging around, you know that getting through a chapter is quite a chore, nevermind retaining important information. But textbook studying doesn't have to be a slog. Here's a simple activity you can do at home before your middle-schooler begins those long end-of-the-chapter review questions.
What You Need:
What You Do:
- Read the first chapter question and help your child identify 1-2 key words in the question (names, places, dates, vocabulary).
- Begin with the first section of the chapter and skim by reading only the first and last sentences of each paragraph.
- While skimming, remind the student to look for the key words from the question.
- Next to each question, write the page number and paragraph number (e.g. p. 53, #3) where you find the key words.
- Repeat this process for each chapter question.
This is an easy way to find answers to factual questions, as well as support for open-ended, higher-level questions. By breaking down the questions into key words, and lessening the amount of reading, homework sessions with your middle school student will be shorter and more efficient. Eventually, students will be able to skim first and answer sooner!