Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Create Cloze Reading Activities with Google Sheets and Other Tools

A "Cloze Test" is a reading activity where a student is given a reading passage with certain words removed. Sometimes the student is also provided with a word bank, listing the missing words, while other times they are not. The task is for the student to fill in the missing words.

This is a great activity to help the student develop reading comprehension skills. It is necessary for the student to read the passage carefully and consider the context to try to determine what words would best fill in the blanks. This also helps develop and assess the student's understanding of parts of speech and vocabulary.

There are a lot of pre-made cloze activities and worksheets to be found, but what can be really useful is the ability to create these yourself. This will allow you to select your own reading passages that may be a better match for your students' reading levels and interests.

Thankfully there are several free online tools you can use to generate your own cloze activities. These include websites, and even a Google Sheets template. See below for details on these tools and how to use them.


Option #1 - Cloze Test Website

Website - http://l.georges.online.fr/tools/cloze.html

The first option is a very simple website that lets you paste in a passage of text, choose how you want words removed, and then generates your cloze test, with an optional word bank. The cloze test created can simply be copied and pasted into your own document, or you can choose the interactive option where the student can complete it online.

Here's how to use this tool:

  • Go to the website at http://l.georges.online.fr/tools/cloze.html
  • Paste in the reading passage text you want to use.
  • Choose how you want words removed. This can include "every nth word" or "prepositions" or "links words" or such.
  • Choose if you want the test to be "Text only" (so you can copy and paste it into your own document) or "Interactive" (so the student can complete it online).
  • Choose "Clues" if you want the bank of missing words included, or "No clues" if you just want the cloze test with no word bank.
  • Click "Submit" when done.


If you selected "Text only" you will now get the cloze test which you can copy and paste to use however you like, such as putting the text into a Google Doc for the student to complete.

Tech Tip: Use "Ctrl" (or "Command" on a Mac) and "Shift" and "V" to paste without formatting to get just the text and not all the extra formatting that will come from copying from a webpage.


If you selected "Interactive" you will now get a live version of the cloze test. The user can type in words for the blanks and will get a score at the bottom to indicate if the answers are correct.



Option #2 - Analyze My Writing Website

Website - http://www.analyzemywriting.com/

Another tool to generate cloze activities is the "Analyze My Writing" website. This site does much more than just cloze activities, including analysis of student writing which can be very helpful for self-editing. For this blog post though we are just going to look at the cloze generation option.

Here's how to use this tool:

  • Go to the website at http://www.analyzemywriting.com/
  • Click the button for "Cloze Test" on the right side of the page.
  • Paste in the reading passage text you want to use.
  • Choose how you want words removed. This can include "Remove Every nth Word" or "Remove Words of Your Choice" or "Randomly Remove n% of Words".
  • Click "Analyze Text!" button when done.


You will now get a cloze test generated based on your choices. You can copy and paste the text into a Google Document or Microsoft Word or whatever tool you want to use it in. You can also click the "Show Answers" button if you would like to display an answer key.

Tech Tip: Use "Ctrl" (or "Command" on a Mac) and "Shift" and "V" to paste without formatting to get just the text and not all the extra formatting that will come from copying from a webpage.



Option #3 - Google Sheets Template

Cloze Test Generator Template - Google Sheets link

A third tool for creating a cloze test is actually a Google Sheets template. Although the websites listed above do a great job of creating cloze activities, sometimes websites go away or stop working, so it is always good to have an alternative. Because of this I created a free Google Sheets template that can be used to create a cloze test from a reading passage you paste in.

Here's how to use this tool:

  • Get a copy of the Cloze Test Generator Template - Google Sheets link
  • Type a number in the cell to the right of "Position of words to remove". This will set which words to remove in the passage, such as every 8th word or every 10th word or such.
  • Next click in the cell below "Original Reading Passage" to select it (but do NOT paste your text here).
  • With that cell selected, click in the formula bar (fx bar) at the top of the spreadsheet and paste your reading passage in the formula bar (this is necessary to make sure the text is properly entered into the spreadsheet).


You will now get a cloze test generated in the cell below "Cloze Test". You can copy and paste the text into a Google Document or Microsoft Word or whatever tool you want to use it in.

You will also get the word bank (in alphabetical order) of words that were removed in the cell below "Word Bank". If you want to use these, you can copy and paste the text into a Google Document or Microsoft Word or whatever tool you want to use it in.

Tech Tip: Use "Ctrl" (or "Command" on a Mac) and "Shift" and "V" to paste without formatting to get just the text and not all the extra formatting that will come from copying from a Google Sheet.



Note: My template does not always handle punctuation well, so you may need to do some clean up after copying and pasting the results into your Google Doc or other tool. That is, you may need to add a period or comma back into the reading passage, or may need to remove some punctuation from the word bank.


Conclusion

Cloze tests are a popular method for practicing or assessing reading comprehension, context clues, parts of speech, and vocabulary. With the tools listed above you can generate your own cloze activities to match your students' reading levels and interests.

If you have _______ suggestions for other tools or ideas _______ use, please feel free _______ share in the comments _______ below.


Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1

2 comments:

  1. Dear Eric,

    These are great! Thanks for sharing. Will pass them onto our literacy teachers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks really good, will definitely try

    ReplyDelete