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The cloze procedure is something you will see a lot of throughout your teaching career.

This lesson will define what a cloze procedure is and describe the technique and steps you should follow when implementing it in your classroom.

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What Is a Cloze Procedure?

The cloze procedure is a reading comprehension activity in which words are omitted from a passage and students are required to fill in the blanks. This procedure is incredibly useful in reading instruction because it can be easily done by any teacher and provides valuable reading comprehension information.

Creating a Cloze Passage

There are several different methods used to create cloze passages. All of these methods entail finding a passage that is at the target student’s reading level and deleting words in a pattern.

The range for deleting words depends on reading ability and what kind of skills you wish to assess. You can delete every five words up to every 10-20 words or more. If you wish to assess a more specific skill, such as specific vocabulary words, you can select a passage and delete only those vocabulary words.Let’s look at an example of a cloze passage by converting the information we just discussed into text. Notice how just about every fifth word has been deleted.There are several different (blank) used to create cloze (blank). All of these (blank) entail finding a passage (blank) is at the target (blank) reading level and deleting (blank) in a pattern.

The (blank) for deleting words (blank) on reading ability and what (blank) of skills you wish to (blank). You can delete every (blank) words up to every (blank) words or more. If (blank) wish to assess a more (blank) skill, such as (blank) vocabulary words, you can (blank) a passage and delete (blank) those vocabulary words.

Assessment Using Cloze

The cloze procedure is commonly used in reading assessment because it requires students to use different reading comprehension skills to fill in the blank. For example, if a cloze procedure was used to assess vocabulary, students would need to use their knowledge of the vocabulary words as well as context clues in the passage to determine which word should be used to fill in the blank.Assessment using the cloze procedure is less concerned with fluent student reading and more with targeting specific reading comprehension skills. Reading a cloze passage requires students to look to either side of a blank to figure out which word needs to be used to fill in the blank.

This flexibility means that the cloze procedure can be used to assess a variety of skills.The following passage is a cloze procedure that could be used to assess student understanding of articles:There once was (blank) family of dogs. (blank) dogs were all very large and black. One day, (blank) dogs went to (blank) aquarium where they saw many fish. They also saw a few hippos. (blank) hippos were very big and swam in (blank) pool. There was also (blank) anaconda, which is (blank) snake.

In this example, students will need to access their knowledge of which situations require the use of which article. This procedure will require them to move slowly through the passage and check the context of each blank to determine which article should be placed in the sentence.

Marking a Cloze Assessment

Marking a cloze assessment comes down to what skill you wanted to assess and what data you wanted to gather from the procedure. For example, if students were required to fill in specific words, such as the passage for articles we just discussed, only one correct answer per blank would be accepted. However, if the goal was to have students fill in a word that would simply make the sentence grammatically correct, a wider variety of answers would be accepted.

For example, in the following sentence, only one answer would be accepted:(blank) trees are losing their leaves because it is autumn. (Students should fill in ‘the’ in the blank).However, in this sentence, a variety of answers would be accepted to make the sentence grammatically correct:The (blank) dog jumped over the fence. (Students could fill in many different adjectives here to make the sentence correct.)

Lesson Summary

Let’s review. The cloze procedure is a useful tool for teaching and assessing a variety of reading comprehension and grammar skills.

By deleting random or specific words from a passage, you can gather information about the students’ reading skills and use the data to drive reading instruction. The cloze procedure is incredibly flexible and can be used for a variety of purposes in your classroom.

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