Investigating a Synthesized Comprehension Instructional Strategy: The Cloze Story Map

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The Journal of Educational Research



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Although the cloze procedure has been a standard teaching and testing technique for decades, researchers have recently begun to question its usefulness for either teaching or measuring comprehension effectively. Concurrently, group teaching strategies using mapping techniques have been shown to impact readers' comprehension significantly. The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to describe the synthesis of the cloze technique with story-mapping techniques resulting in the Cloze Story Map (CSM), and (b) to test the immediate and long-term usefulness of this synthesized comprehension instructional strategy with both expository and narrative text types. Subjects were 101 fifth-grade students whose prior knowledge was tested to eliminate probable effects on comprehension. The comprehension of the CSM strategy group and the controls were both tested for immediate and long-term recall using a written free-recall protocol. The written free-recall protocols were scored against text templates created using Kintsch's (1974) propositional analysis. The CSM strategy group recalled more than the controls on both text types (p < .001) and under both immediate and delayed recall conditions (p < .001). Results suggest that the Cloze Story Map can be used effectively to improve intermediate-aged elementary readers' comprehension of both expository and narrative text.