Super-smart Record Breakers

play by David Bateson , illustrated by Craig Phillips

Learning intention:

I am learning to use scanning as a text processing strategy so that I can navigate texts for specific purposes.


Success criteria:

  • I can demonstrate how to scan a text for specific information.
  • I can scan a text to find specific information.
  • I can use scanning to determine whether a resource will answer my questions.


Before reading Super-Smart Record Breakers, explain that students will be practising the text processing strategy of scanning. Ask if anyone can give a definition of scanning (answer: moving eyes quickly down a page to find specific words or information). Ask students to give examples of times when scanning might be useful. Sample answers include when you need to figure out if a resource has useful information for a school project, when you want to know whether you have all the utensils required for a recipe, when you want to find the main character’s name in a narrative.


Explain that you will demonstrate the skill of scanning using the first page of Super-smart Record Breakers. Tell students you’re looking for the name of a road through a mountainous valley, then use your finger in a zigzag pattern down the text, explaining that this is how the students’ eyes should move when scanning. Rest your finger on the words “mountainous valley” on the first page and read the line aloud, as well as the next two lines. Tell students this gives you the answer to the question (a pass).


Ask students to use this strategy to find a question in the play that asks about a French phrase (page 31). Note: They can use their finger in a zigzag fashion to assist their scanning strategy at first, but encourage them to use only their eyes as they continue to practise.


Other information for students to find using the scanning strategy:

  • a question about James Bond
  • mention of kilo
  • a question about football
  • mention of Sherlock Holmes
  • how many contestants there are on the show (students can also use their knowledge of text structure to check the character box at the top of the text)


Once students have practised the scanning strategy, explain that they will be using this strategy to be finding information throughout this issue of Orbit. Remind them that knowing text structures will be useful, for example, checking subheadings in non-fiction texts, matching illustrations or photographs to events in texts.


Questions (answers and where to find them are in brackets):

  1. What do most people think hyenas are good for? (a laugh, The Hyena’s Lament, page 17)
  2. What is a fancy material yo-yos can be made of? (Titanium, The Thing on a String, page 11)
  3. How are Sherpas genetically suited to the mountains? (They have higher proteins in their red blood cells, Sherpas: Heroes of Everest, page 20)
  4. What is the name of the baby who came to Australia in a shoebox? (Mai, She Came in a Shoebox, pages 23-26)
  5. What is Orbit’s word of the month? (Forage, Contents, page 3)
  6. What can a dandelion be used for? (Telling the time, Time, page 12)
  7. What are the magical items that Gren and Enid try to sell the omukade? (An amulet that lets you see in the dark and a cloak of sleep magic, Goblin’s Market, page 35)