Cloze /Close Reading

Cloze Reading or Close Reading?

Posted on May 25, 2013. Filed under: Cloze /Close Reading |

When my students began to discuss the pros and cons of “close reading” this semester, I thought they were discussing “cloze reading”. It turns out that it is a common mistake many teachers make,  but once you understand the two approaches, teachers begin to realize that the two instructional strategies could not be more different.

Let’s start with cloze reading and a sample.

cloze reading

What is Cloze Reading?

Cloze procedure is a reading strategy in which words are deleted from a passage according to a word-count formula or various other criteria. The passage is presented to students, who insert words as they read to complete and construct meaning from the text. This procedure can be used as a diagnostic reading assessment technique.

What is the purpose?

It is used to: identify students’ knowledge and understanding of the reading process, to assess the extent of students’ vocabularies and knowledge of a subject and to encourage students to think critically and analytically about text and content

How do I create close materials? To prepare materials for Cloze exercises, any of the following techniques may be used:

1. Select a self-contained passage of a length appropriate for the grade level of the students being assessed. Use materials easily read by the students.

2. Leave the first and last sentences and all punctuation intact.

3. Carefully select the words for omission using a word-count formula, such as every fifth word or other criteria.

4. To assess students’ knowledge of the topic delete content words which carry meaning, such as nouns, main verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

5. When preparing the final draft of the passage, make all blanks of equal length to avoid including visual clues about the lengths of omitted words.

6. Have the students read the entire passage before they fill in the blanks.

To learn more about the close reading method watch this short video


Close Read

The common core standards are encouraging teachers to engage students in close reading. In close reading it is common to stress the idea of taking students through a text multiple times.

For a first reading, you want to ask questions that ensure that the students understand and think about the major ideas in the story or article. That means you limit your questions to big ideas or you query information that you think the students might be confused by.

On the second reading, you want to ask questions that require students to analyze how the text works: why the author made certain choices and what the implications of those decisions would be in terms of meaning or tone.

On the third reading, the issue is how does this text connect to your life and your views, critical analysis of quality and value, and how the text connects to other texts (Shanahan on Literacy, July 12, 2012). 

To learn more about close reading

Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Tech Part One 


Now when someone asks you about cloze or close reading you will know the difference!

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