This week we have been really drilling down on the gritty bits of Cloze passages. They can be deceptive in that they appear straightforward but there are often little tricks and tests inside. It is so important that we focus on these because they are the areas where students tend to make mistakes. By design, Cloze passages are trying to catch them off guard.
Our biggest tip is one that we teach year on year; read on! It is vital that they read on after the missing word in order as this gives them more of an understanding of the context. All too often, students rack their brains over what the missing word could be without taking the opportunity to contextualise it with the whole passage, or even sentence! It’s a shame because they would find it so much easier by doing the reading first.
In an effort to prepare our students as much as possible for what they could face in the real 11+, we always make our Cloze passages challenging. We teach the children to first read the word bank and then read the entire passage without filling in any of the answers. This gives them a full understanding of the passage, bearing in mind the possible answers as they read it through.
They then can try to match up the missing words with the gaps in the sentences. They should not be fazed out if they do not know the meaning of a word. If there is a gap and they know that none of the other words fit there, it’s important that they feel confident enough to put it there.
The final step is that they put aside some time at the end to read over the passage in full with the words in place. This acts as a proofread of the work they have done but also is just great for making them feel confident in their work before moving onto the next question!
Why not get them to try the attached Cloze exercise and see how they do with this advice in mind?