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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Sample cloze activities


Cloze (fill in the gaps) activities are a great way to help students focus on key language in their vocational course. The activities involve taking key words, technical terms or concept names out of a text, leaving gaps to be filled. The students fill in (close) the gaps by predicting the correct term from a selection provided underneath or above the text. See examples below.

Uses of cloze activities

Cloze activities can be used in a variety of ways, for instance:

  • as a note taking strategy during teacher presentations or lectures,
  • to reinforce and break up reading, especially if using self paced materials,
  • for recall of key points and terminology at the end of a session or for general revision of a unit of work,
  • to promote student discussion and peer learning if used with pairs or small groups of students.

Benefits of cloze activities

Cloze activities have a number of benefits. They:

  • allow students to make their own meaning from a piece of text or theory,
  • engage students in active learning and so appeal to those who prefer to ‘learn by doing’ or writing, rather than just reading,
  • highlight key terminology and concepts for students.

Developing a cloze activity for your teaching

Take a passage from your text, handbook or manual, and photocopy or retype it. Highlight key terminology that has been introduced during class and which you wish to reinforce or emphasise. Put this key terminology above or below the text in random order within a box. Delete or white it out the terms you have selected. This works best if the terms are somehow explained by other words in the text. It is best to use this as a pair or small group activity so that students can clarify their understandings with each other. If there is no passage of text that seems suitable then create one of your own which focuses on critical terminology and its meaning.

Sample cloze activities for professional development sessions

Fears & phobias

Fill in the gaps from the words below in the following text about fears & phobias The only thing to fear is fear itself, not so apparently for a significant section of the population. In fact most people experience fears of one kind or another. Fears that are long lasting are called phobias and are basically a form of anxiety disorder which can curtail a person’s happiness and life’s choices. Some common well known phobias are ______________ or a fear of open spaces or for those who are crippled with fear when anywhere near water, ___________In fact one solution to a well known phobia which affects a lot of people_________, is to put mirrors in lifts. Less common phobias are conditions like___________ or fear of disease. Others experience monophobia, a fear of being alone, or ___________ a fear of public speaking. Some unusual phobias that affect daily life are ____________a fear of clothes, _____________a fear of nudity or _____________a fear of washing. There are of course common phobias that sometimes develop in childhood like ______________ the fear of going to bed. The good thing though is that most of us have got over our earlier phobias, particularly_______________ which is fear of the bogey man. Unfortunately there are phobias that can be difficult to overcome and can be long lasting. You may know someone who has _______________ and hence finds it difficult to be on time for anything! A more serious phobia is ____________ a fear of food and is often associated with anorexia and certainly proves how destructive phobias can be!


Put the following words and phrases in the correct spaces in the sentence:

  • Little ideas
  • Bottleneck
  • big idea
  • associated
  • paying attention
  • bottleneck problem
  • Chunking
  • conscious
  • schemas

Two types of memory

It appears that the memory functions of our brain are divided into two parts which are called short term memory and long term memory. Short term memory is primarily used for _________________ and is the _____________ part of our mind whereas _____________________ is used for storage so that you can retrieve information in the future.

Memory problems

Only 5-7 pieces of information can be transferred from short term memory to long term memory at a time. When there is too much information to be processed at a time (from short term to long term memory) we overload the brain and the information is lost. This is called the _____________________________.

Memory strategies

__________________ is an effective method to get around the bottleneck problem. This involves organising a number of ________________ or bits of information into a _________________ so that it is easier to remember. A related strategy for remembering new information and ideas is to actively link new ideas by connecting them to _______________ collections of information stored in our ____________________. These collections of information are usually stored in interconnected categories, known as ____________.

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