Music is such a wonderful teaching tool because there are so many activities that you can do with it. Besides singing and gesturing along to the music, you can use activity sheets, flashcards and games to extend the impact of your songs. One activity that we find particularly useful are cloze exercises, or fill-in-the-blank worksheets.
Cloze exercises are printed song lyrics with words or phrases missing. As students listen to the song, they fill in the missing information. They are great for students that are working on their reading and writing skills. They are also great for students that are a little hesitant to stand up and sing, but who still love music.
It’s easy to make your own. Simply type up the lyrics of the song you would like to use, then, remove selected words and replace them with a blank line. You can adjust your exercise to the skill level of your students. For an easier exercise, add a list of the words so that students can read them and know how to spell them. Make it more challenging by leaving the words off.
There many ways that you can use this great tool with your students. You might start by playing the song as background music during another part of the lesson or have it playing as the children enter the room. You can introduce the vocabulary with flashcards and review how to pronounce and spell the words that will be part of the exercise.
Pass out a copy of the lyrics to each student. Play the song and have students listen for the words. You might need to restart the song several times or pause the music so that students have time to write in the missing words.
After they have filled in all the blanks, listen to the song one more time and have students point to each word as it is sung and double check their answers.
Often, kids will sing along as they listen. If the students are willing, stand up and sing and gesture the song together.
Are you ready to try a cloze exercise? Here’s a free cloze exercise worksheet for “Skidamarink,” perfect for Valentine’s Day lessons, around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, or anytime of year you need a sweet song.
For more cloze exercises, see
the enhanced CDs in our Theme Series. our Resource Center for free downloads. Every song on the Animals, Halloween and Christmas CDs includes a cloze activity sheet!