READ ALOUDS – COLLABORATIVE CLOZE
Monitoring and Assessment
First Steps Reading
Analysis of Reading Strategies
Read and Retell
Collaborative Cloze can be conducted as a small multi-ability
group activity or done as a read aloud strategy with the whole class.
Either way, the text is first read aloud ensuring readers have the necessary
scaffolding to access meaning from the text.
By collaborating and discussing options to complete the text, all students
benefit from participating irrespective of their reading level. Less confident
readers may bring a lot of prior knowledge to the discussion, whereas
more competent readers may provide the necessary scaffolding to process
Engagement: Empowering Teachers with Successful Strategies
Collaborative Cloze is an effective comprehension strategy that
demonstrates to readers how the reading process works. The process draws
on the learner’s knowledge of the content, vocabulary, grammar,
Through Collaborative Cloze students discuss and share feedback
about possible word options they are unpacking, their knowledge of the
reading process, and share their multiple understandings of the text using
the language of the text and topic.
This strategy encourages risk-taking and while there are many substitutions
that are justifiable, readers are encouraged to examine the appropriateness
of the choices they make according to the group’s combined knowledge
of the content and topic. When completed as a group process, less confident
learners become aware of the strategies that good readers use when predicting
Engagement: Engaging Students in Purposeful Social Practices
Any adolescent fiction/nonfiction, novel, short
story, song, poem
- encourages students to make sense of texts using the four cueing
- builds on the knowledge students bring to the reading situation
- teaches students what to do when confronting unknown words
- reinforces that reading is about meaning making and not necessarily
a perfect process
- provides a model of what good readers do when processing print
– they read ahead, reread, predict on the basis of meaning,
guess, test out possible options and verify that their predictions
make sense – and scaffolds less confident readers
- scaffolds and assists readers to deal with the demands of new
texts and topics
- exists as a complete unit of meaning
- may link with KLAs for
- revising a topic already studied
- assessing prior knowledge of a topic to be investigated
Possible texts suitable for use by chapters
‘Holes’ by Sachar, L. (1998) New York: Dell Yearling.
‘Seedfolks’ by Fleischman, P. (1997) New York: Harper
‘Voices in the Park’ by Browne, A. (1998) New York:
Collections of short stories
Wilding, M. (Ed.) (1994) The Oxford Book of Australian Short Stories.
Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Butters, P. & Webby, E. (Eds.) (1993). The Penguin Book of
Australian Ballads. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Four Roles/Resources of the Reader
Based on the Four Roles/Resources of the Reader
developed by Freebody and Luke (1990), Collaborative Cloze involves
students in the following repertoire of purposeful social practices:
Decoding the codes and conventions of written,
spoken and visual texts, eg:
- focuses on and discusses a range of possible options
that draw on knowledge of words
- explores the various functions of words in terms of
- focuses on particular contextual clues to assist in
eliminating inappropriate responses and finding the best fit
Understanding the purposes of different
written, spoken and visual texts for different cultural and social
- listens to and shares the experiences of texts with others
- discusses options leading to increased understanding
of how texts work and what words mean
- considers how the pragmatic nature of texts, eg presentation,
contribute to and create textual meaning
Comprehending written, spoken and visual
- draws on the four cueing systems to find possible options
that fit the meaning of the text
- tests out predictions with others
- listens to interpretations and explanations of others
in order to enhance comprehension skills
- understands that reading is an inquiry process built
around the knowledge and experiences of readers
Understanding how texts position readers,
viewers and listeners, eg:
- recognises the positions that readers take in constructing
the meaning of a text
- understands that reading is an interpretative process
and there is not necessarily one right response in comprehending
- analyses the context and nuances of specific texts while
drawing on individual experiences
Four Resources Guideposts
Cloze Guideposts provide a useful assessment tool.
Implementing the Strategy
Select a short text – fiction or non fiction, songs, poems. (See
suggestions and websites above.) In selecting a suitable text, avoid material
that is dependent upon what has preceded it. Make sure the text can stand
alone and is approximately 250-300 words.
Enlarge the text on the photocopier to fit on A3 paper so that the group
can see the text OR if the text is being used with the entire class, make
an overhead of the text.
Leave the first and last sentences intact. The first sentence serves
to establish a context. Eliminate no more than every fifth word. Eliminate
approximately 50 words in total.
Draw lines (blanks) where words are missing. These lines should be of
uniform length. If a particular word (that is, one that is content specific)
is required, the shape of the word could replace the line. When these
words are eliminated, the text becomes an effective means of revising
the unit of work and the terminology used.
In small groups:
- Students read the text through once together saying ‘something’
when they come to a space.
- They then discuss possible word options. A group member lists responses
in the space provided. The group then discusses the most appropriate
option and circles the ‘best’ response.
- Groups bring their responses to a central location and all groups
read aloud responses simultaneously. The substituted words are read
as they proceed through the text.
- Using the overhead, students read through the text silently. Ask
students to read aloud the text substituting any word that fits when
they come to a blank space. Do not stop at the word. Allow students
to hear the variety of responses.
- Discuss the options made by groups – ‘Your group used
the word … Why did you decide that was the best word for that
- Discuss the process used for deciding on words. Explain that the
process is the same as readers use when they come to unfamiliar words.
Strategies such as: reading on, rereading, using context clues, guessing,
predicting are all effective means of understanding and building vocabulary
skills and comprehension.
Tierney, R.J. & Readence, J.E. (2000). Reading strategies and
practices: A compendium. (5th Ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Weaver, C. (1994). Reading process and practice: From socio-psycholinguistics
to whole language. Portsmouth: Heinemann.
Allen, J. (2000). Yellow brick roads: Shared and guided paths to
independent reading 4-12. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse.