While cloze tests might be fun and interesting, teaching and practicing them in a way in which they benefit the most can often be a challenge for teachers, parents, and educators. However, adding a fun element of gamification, the cloze tests can also be practiced with games and activities.
While the cloze tests act advantageous for professional and educational settings for testing and assessment, however, the potential of cloze tests being an instrument of fun and games, while also enhancing learning is yet to be acknowledged and implemented.
This blog taps into that potential and takes a look at several Cloze test activities that can be used in the classroom to enhance learning and fun.
Making Cloze test fun with games and activities
Cloze Test is an innovative and effective educational tool that also lends itself to being used in the classroom in a fun and interactive manner. Some ways to do the same include:
1. Buzz for it
For this activity the educator will require one cloze test passage, a screen to display the same, and 2 buzzers.
The class will be divided into two teams. For each blank, the team who buzzes first will get the chance to answer. If they answer correctly, they’ll get points for that blank. If not, the other team will have an opportunity to try and answer. At the end of the passage, the team with the highest points will win.
This activity will add the component of competition to cloze tests. Students won’t only learn and improve their grammatical, spelling, and vocabulary skills but will be encouraged by the incentives to continue learning and retaining these important concepts. Teachers can also use a few grammar manipulatives and combine them with this activity for an even more effective result.
2. Jumble it up
For this activity, the educator will need a cloze test passage and jumbled-up words for every blank. These will need to be printed up, such that every student gets their individual sheet to work on.
Here the task of the students will be to use the clues presented by the jumbled letters and fill in the blanks with the word that completes the sentence and makes it comprehendible.
This activity can be used to assess the vocabulary skills of the students. By not letting them give the more common words as answers, but instead, providing them with a unique synonym in a jumbled-up form will not only ensure that they learn the meaning of synonym but also how to spell it and use it in their daily vernacular.
3. Raise the placard
For this activity, the educator will need to make a placard for each article a, an, and the. The number of sets of these placards required will depend on the number of teams the educator is planning to divide the class into. They will also need a screen to display the cloze test passage.
The class will be divided into 4 to 5 teams with an equal number of students in each. They will all be given their sets of placards. Each team will have their turn raising the placard with the appropriate article to fill in the blank. The team will also be required to justify why they think this particular article will be used to fill in the blank in the sentence. Each correct answer will win the team a certain number of points. At the end of the passage, the team with the highest points will win.
This activity will help in teaching students what articles should be used and where. The need to justify their choice of the article will eliminate any guesswork that might be operating and ensure that students actually understand why that particular article is appropriate in a sentence.
4. Race against time
For this activity, the educator will need one sheet per student with a cloze passage printed on it and a timer clock.
Every student will be given the cloze passage and their task will be to fill in as many blanks and complete as many sentences as possible in the limited time of 60-120 seconds.
The need to complete passage in a short amount of time creates a competitive situation. Under these conditions, just maintaining accuracy is not enough. The individual also gets to work on their speed to quickly identify some common missing parts of speech and complete the passage as quickly as possible.
5. Place me where I belong
For this activity, the educator will need a screen to display the cloze test passage. They will also need to make chits will all the answers written on separate chits.
Here each student will get a chance to come up, pick a chit at random and place it in the passage where it fits the best. The entire class will work together to complete the passage and make it comprehensible.
This activity will test the comprehension skills of the students. To be able to appropriately place their chit in the correct place so that it makes the passage meaningful would require all of them to first read the entire passage and use their foresight.
6. Find my sibling
For this activity, the educator will need a screen to display the cloze passage as well as the hint to fill the gap. The hints will either consist of the word that correctly fills the gap or its exact opposite.
Here the class will again be divided into two teams. The students will be presented with a blank and a hint. Their job will be to list as many synonyms or antonyms as possible that will correctly fill the gap. The number of points given to the team will depend on the number of antonyms or synonyms they are able to list. At the end of the passage, the team with the highest number of points will win.
This activity will test the vocabulary, more specifically, the knowledge of antonyms and synonyms of the students. This will not only ensure they understand the meaning of the word but together, will also encourage them to come up with words that mean the same or the exact opposite. Students will also learn from each other and this will enhance their vocabulary as well.
7. Read it out loud
For this activity, the educator will need several cloze passages with missing articles and a screen to present the passage on.
Every student will get the opportunity to read the passage by filling in the appropriate article as they read. If they make a mistake, the passage will automatically be passed on to the next student. This will go on until one student read the entire passage with all the correct articles. The student who does it right can be rewarded for their performance.
Articles are a simple but essential part of the language. This activity will help the students in becoming proficient with the concept and know which article to use in what sentence and context.
8. Guess what?
For this activity, the educator will need a screen to present the passage as well as pictorial clues for each missing word.
The task of the students here will be to correctly name the missing word based on the clues given.
This activity will help in the testing topic or subject-specific knowledge like various mathematical functions, parts of the human body, types of flowers, etc.
9. Add a verb
For this activity, the educator will be required to make several chits with sentences written on them. These sentences will have a missing verb.
The class will be divided into 4 to 5 teams with an equal number of students on each team. Each team will send one member from their team to go look at a chit at random and then act out the missing verb and its tense. The first team to guess the verb with the correct tense will get the point. At the end of all the sentences, the team with the most points will be declared the winner.
This activity will help the students in not only learning the importance of verbs but also tenses. The students who will be acting out the missing word in each instance will need to have a sound background of tenses that will be appropriate for this particular sentence. This activity will make a test of verbs and tenses fun with its acting and guessing component.
10. Punctuate it
For this activity, the educator will need a screen to present the cloze test passage on and a pen that allows the students to draw on the screen.
Here students will come one by one and be asked to fill in the missing punctuation marks if any in the sentence presented to them. Their goal, as a class, would be to together make the passage meaningful and comprehensible by adding the missing punctuation marks in appropriate places.
Punctuation is an essential part of speech that, if used appropriately, can give meaning to or completely transform the sentence and if used incorrectly, can render the sentence meaningless. Hence, just like other activities for punctuation, this activity too will help students in understanding the importance of punctuation and how to use various marks appropriately.
Cloze Test is an innovative educational strategy that aids with the learning and assessment of several parts of speech, grammatical concepts, spelling, vocabulary, subject-specific knowledge, etc.
It can be used in the classroom in the form of an activity that combines both fun and learning. The games and activities mentioned above combine all the benefits of a Cloze Test with the amusement and engagement of competition. Cloze Test presents a great educational opportunity and should be used for its learning and educational potential.