A cloze text is an activity where several words have been deleted from a reading text. The hard-core cloze requires the deletion of every nth word, regardless of what part of speech it is. That is, you delete every 8th word in the text, or every 10th, etc. A variation, very useful for directing the focus of the lesson, is to delete only verbs, or nouns or adjectives, etc. Also, the teacher may decide to delete any words s/he thinks relevant. The students then have to provide the missing word(s) according to context and grammar.
A challenging way to tackle a reading text is to copy it and create a cloze exercise. You may, if the text is too long, choose to create a cloze for the first paragraph(s) of the reading as an introduction.
In any case, the suggestion in this article has to do with a creative way to get students to do the cloze exercise using post-it notes.
Preparation: Apart from the cloze-text, prepare post-it notes with one answer in each. Produce two or three sets of answers and include three to five “distractors”, that is, words that do not belong in the text, for each set.
Procedure: Once your students have worked out the missing words in the text, get them to form pairs or groups of three to check each other´s answers. While they are at it, stick the post-it notes on the walls. When the students have finished checking their answers, ask them to stand up and look for the missing words in their texts among the post-it notes on the walls. They must work as teams in order to collect the right answers. They must not have their texts at hand while searching for the answers, but they can go back to their seats to consult their texts. You may want to give a time limit for this activity so as to make it more competitive and fun or just let them work at their own pace. This will depend on your class style and other factors you know better than anybody.
Check answers: Once the answers collection has finished, check answers with the whole class, and if you like, assign points to the teams for correct answers. Remember to ask for reasons why they gave such and such answer.
The activity may be adapted by copying the text on a large piece of paper, such as a flipchart or series of flipcharts that you will stick on the board. In this variation, the students will work individually: they fetch post-it notes from the walls and go to the enlarged text and place words in their corresponding space.
Reflection: As a final stage, it is advisable for this type of exercise to get students to work in their teams and reflect on how they arrived at the answers they had and why they were right or wrong. This stage will promote metacognition, which means, they will analyse how they know what they know and understand the process of producing language.