Strategy #1: Creating a Cloze activity

Cloze activities can be used to develop word recognition and prediction skills. They also offer instructors opportunities to assess students' comprehension. Importantly, Cloze activities require learners to engage with the text on several levels, to draw on background knowledge, and to develop a range of strategies for interpreting written information. Similar to a fill-in-the-blank assessment, using the chapter's key terms or vocabulary list, you can prepare a series of sentences with one or more missing words. Students work individually or in groups to find the term or concepts that complete the thought.

As you develop a Cloze activity for your students, follow these steps:

1. Choose a section of the reading that provides sufficient clues and supporting information to aid word identification.

2. Select an appropriate number of words to delete. Don't delete so many words that the activity becomes a guessing game.

3. Leave all the words in the first 2-3 sentences of the text to establish the context.

You can use this as a classroom activity by putting students in small groups to work on the Cloze exercises you have developed. This type of interaction and collaboration can be useful for students because it encourages retention of vocabulary meaning as they negotiate ways to complete the exercise and as they discuss the words themselves.

Students can also create their own Cloze activities for independent study or to share with other students.The construction of a Cloze activity forces students to focus on "difficult" words, which helps them build their vocabulary.