Today's adapted book strategy is a cloze activity. Cloze activities involve deleting words in a sentence and having the student supply words that fill in the gap. This is a great adaptation to help students become more aware of context cues in the text. It also useful for teaching how to guess the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Research supporting cloze techniques:

There is research that supports cloze techniques as a beneficial intervention for individuals with autism (, special needs (, and typically developing children (

We used the book Here Comes the Circus Train by Peter Trumbull. Books with one sentence per page are ideal to start teaching this skill. To create the book, first we added a white piece of laminated paper to the inside front cover of the book and put a strip of velcro down the page. Next we went through the book and covered up each sentence with clear packing tape (so the pages don't rip when items are velcroed on and off. We then covered one word on each page with velcro. Finally we printed the words we covered (plus extras), laminated, and velcroed them onto the blank white page.

1 cloze

Students flip through the pages and match one of the missing words onto the velcro on each page. To make it more difficult you can cover more than one word per page.

2 cloze

It is important to consider flexibility in adapted books. Individuals with autism may quickly memorize the words that belong on each page. If this happens they will complete the book rotely, and the value of the cloze exercise will be lost. To avoid memorization in this book, print out extra words and change the target words by covering up different words in the book with velcro. In this example, the student first had to find the word “conductor” to complete the sentence.

3 cloze

The next time the book was presented we switched the word to “train”.

4 cloze

Five books under $6 that are perfect to adapt for cloze reading:

Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton :

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Eric Carle

Maisy's Digger by Lucy Cousins :

Planes by Byron Barton:

Thomas and The Freight Train By Rev. W Awdry :

Are you a special educator and would like to learn more strategies like this one? Join our trainings in the Fall!

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