Primary English Tips | Comprehension Cloze Procedure

Cloze passage, just read and do, no?

No! Many kids attempt the cloze passage by filling in the answers as they read along. However, that often results in pupils missing out on contextual clues or making careless mistakes as they may not have read the sentences in totality before filling in the answers. Tried and tested, here is how a cloze passage should be completed to ensure maximum success.

Keep calm and keep reading on. Source:

Keep calm and keep reading on. Source:


1st Reading

Read through the passage once without filling in any blanks.
(Reading through helps to get a flow of the passage and to understand the content of the passage better. This is important for blanks that require words that maybe related to the topic of the cloze.)

2nd Reading

1. For blanks that require a verb (e.g. clapped, were , has, did), always look for the Doer and the 'Tense' word (a verb e.g. is, were, kicked, had) or a time phrase (e.g. two years ago, Every week etc.).
This is to find out whether the verb should be singular/plural and present/past. If a tense word cannot be found within the sentence, look for it in the sentences before or after.

2. Look for contextual clues. Words that give you a hint on what the word might be based on the content or language present.
These keywords in the sentence may be
e.g. put __________ (out) a fire.

Once a year, the school publishes a magazine. The ____________
(annual) publication showcases pieces written by pupils.

3. Read the entire sentence for each blank.
Even if a long sentence has more than 1 blank, read the whole sentence to get the meaning in its entirety. 

4. Look for the answer in the passage! There are times when the answer is actually given in the passage.

3rd Reading

1. Read through the passage once more for fluency and to check tenses and singular/plural forms. 

Remember NEVER to leave any blanks and just fill in with a reasonable guess. 

Blank = 0m immediately!


Lily Chew

An English tutor on a mission to educate children; a blogger with a passion to share and grow the love of English with the world.