Clozes, also know as “gap-fills,” are good tools for assessing vocabulary and comprehension and for helping students learn about context clues.
Most clozes you find on the web, I think, are fairly useless because they create the clozes using some kind of formula instead of omitting words strategically. Having students create clozes, and then having their classmates complete them, maximize their learning benefit. I’ve written a longer explanation of how I use them at Use “LearnClick” For An Excellent Metacognitive Lesson.
Here are my choices for The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills):
Smile is a free web tool from Michigan State University, and allow teachers (and students) to easily create clozes, drag-and-drop exercises, and sequencing activities. They also allow you to use audio and video with the activities, and will host them as well.
The British Council has recently unveiled a “gap fill generator”. As the CASLS blog writes: “The program will automatically select difficult and topical words according to your specifications and generate a cloze activity that you can print out.” Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t appear that you can easily identify exactly where you want the blanks to appear, unlike in the two previous tools I’ve mentioned. You also have to register — for free — in order to use it.
One simple way to make clozes that you print out is just to copy and paste text in a Word document and strategically delete the words you want people to fill-in.
David Deubelbeiss has discovered a tool that makes it even easier. The Cloze Creator was developed by Zander Martineau, and works great.
David has written a blog post and created a screencast showing how it works, which I’ve embedded below. David explains it in the context of using English Central video transcripts (which are excellent), but the same instructions hold true for any piece of text.
Additional suggestions are welcome.
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