14 Ways to Use Cloze Sheets in Your Classroom


Do you use cloze sheet type printables (gap filling, find the word, whatever you like to call them) in your lesson? I really like them because they make sure the children are actually reading the text, they have to think about what the missing words could be and then they needs to choose the correct words for the sentence. Done well these types of exercises can be great learning tools.

Sometimes just filling in the missing words on a worksheet can become a bit repetitive. So here are some ways to spice up a cloze sheet activity.

Silly words

Give the children the missing word numbers (e.g. 1 – 10) on a piece of paper.  The teacher then reads out the text, saying a chosen silly word instead of the missing word.  Learners write down a possible alternative.  This can be done with just one silly word, for example every missing word is replaced with ‘radish’, or you can choose different silly words for different types. For example verbs are cabbage, nouns are monkeys and adjectives are sausages.

Silly word partners

This is the same as the silly words but in partners one child acts as the teacher reading out the text the other writes down the words


Using the room

Split the text into paragraphs / sentences and post round the room. Next,  write the gap numbers (e.g. 1 – 10) on a piece of paper and have the children walk around the room, doing the task as an open cloze, writing down the words they think should go in the gap next to each number, still the same activity but more active. 

Human words

Give each child one of the missing words.  The class then arrange themselves physically in the correct order.  This can get complicated and requires a lot of feedback and reminders to refer back to the original text

Silent cloze

Give each child a copy of the text and one (or two depending on class size) of the missing words.  Children move around the room, but NOT telling each other the answers, ONLY showing each other the word(s) they have.  The kids  then get all the words and put them in the right place.

Anagram cloze

Here the answers are given as a set of anagrams, which the children must unjumble before placing correctly. 

Wrong Words

Instead of giving the class a gapped text, give them a text in which the target words have been substituted for weird and wonderful alternatives.  Learners then have to pick out the words they think are wrong, and change them for the words they think are right!

Miming Cloze

Children “mime” the answers to their partner’s gapped text.

Gaps?  What gaps?

Take a gapped text and retype without the gaps, but with still with words missing.  Children  first have to find the gaps, before deciding what to put in them.

Swap words

Children have two different versions of the text, where the missing words in text A are different to the missing words in text B.  children are then paired and exchange the information to complete the gaps. 

One Letter at a time

Put the class into teams and the teacher begins to read the answers one letter at a time.  The first team to correctly guess the missing word gets a point.  An alternative is to do this as a board race, so each team has to write their answer on the board with three points for a correct answer.  Points could then be taken away for an incorrect guess / incorrect spelling.

Coded Cloze

Here, either the text or the missing words or both, are presented in a “code” form, with a decryption key for the class to work with.  A simple way of creating these is to use one of the “Wingdings” fonts.

De-lettered cloze

Remove either the vowels or, more challengingly, the consonants from the missing words.  Or possibly the original text, or both?

Shout out cloze

The teacher reads out the text with learners shouting “STOP!” every time they identify an incorrect or missing word.  They can be given points for this and additional points for identifying the correct replacement. 

For lessons with cloze sheets please stop by my shop

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