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Friday, August 25, 2006

A Question of Comprehension

In Looking Glass Land words are read by holding the words up to a mirror. Our 11+ children are very lucky to have to answer comprehension question based on `Standard English’ rather than try to explain and understand the Anglo Saxon English of the `Jabberwocky’.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wade;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

We can appreciate the value and the sincerity of simple comprehension questions like:

1. Why was it brillig?
2. Why were the borogoves mimsy?

Comprehension of this nature can be taught.

Children, however, will need strong comprehension and reading vocabulary skills when they have to cope with `Cloze’ comprehension. One type of Cloze activity is filling blanks from a given list of words. A different `Cloze’ activity is providing an open ended solution.

Imagine an 11+ paper where children have to make up the missing words:

'Twas_______, and the slithy _______

Did gyre and _______ in the wade ………

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