Cloze procedures basically involve a teacher selecting a reading passage and deleting specific words which he teacher feels that students need to learn. Cloze activities can be used for all content areas and all levels of ELD (ESL). What is involved is the teacher selecting the pasage and then deciding on the criteria for the cloze. Will it be content, nouns, academic vocabulary, parts of speech, every ___th word (word count formula), etc. The choice is up to the teacher.
In the process of the student selecting the correct word choice, many reading skils come into plan. Students learn to more effectively use context to broaden their vocabulary base, deepen their knowledge of grammar, and strengthen their writing skills. Cloze activities have students thinking critically and analytically about the text as they come to a decision as to what word fits in the blank. Take a look at this description from Saskatoon Public Schools for a more detailed overview of the process. Please note that the sites provided at the end of the article provide some free services. The site I will give you shortly is 100% free. You can also go online and download cloze-generating software for free as well.
What does a cloze activity look like? Let's go to the free online cloze generator at Plain Language in Plain English. Go to the CLOZE generator site and click on it. You will see a large blank square. Copy and past your passage there. I have done one example here for you to give you an idea of what the finished product looks like.
(From "News For You", A Weekly Publication from New Readers Press, 2/9/11, Vol. 59 No. 6 page 1)
Mock Mars Flight Prepares to Land
A real trip to Mars is years away. But a crew on a mock flight will soon "land" on the Red Planet. The six-man crew is about 250 days into their journey. The round-trip flight will take 520 days. The men have been locked in a group of steel pods since June. They eat and sleep in one of them. It is about the size of a bus. It is hooked to others that are used for work and exercise. There are no windows. The men eat canned food. They only bathe once a week. But the plan has a purpose. It is a test to see how real space crews might cope on such a long trip.
Word list: crew, test
A real trip to Mars is years away. But a _______ on a mock flight will soon land on the Red Planet. The six-man ________ is about 250 days into their journey. The round-trip flight will take 520 days. The men have been locked in a group of steel pods since June. They eat and sleep in one of them. It is about the size of a bus. It is hooked to others that are used for work and exercise. There are no windows. The men eat canned food. They oly bathe once a week. But the plan has a purpose. It is a _________ to see how real space crews might cope on such a long trip.
Students here are working with key nouns (this is for high school beginning ELD/ESL classes)--CREW and TEST. However, you can have the generator create anything you wish in any content area/grade level.
When I do this type of activity for the first time, I usually include a word bank where all the words to complete the CLOZE are listed. As the students become more confident in their use of the vocabulary, I remove the word bank/list. I sometimes have students work either in pairs or small groups when completing a challenging CLOZE. This allows for lots of collaboration and that definitely benefits the ELL (ESL students) in mixed ability classes (EOs and ELLs in the same class).
I hope you enjoy the sites.
ELL TEACHER PROS