Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap is a simple, useful game which can be adapted for any age or class level. It helps with word recognition, word boundaries, and reading in general. One aspect of the game is that it can be used in any situation and with any class and takes very little preparation.

Basic Idea

The basic idea behind the activity is to take a text and remove the spaces/gaps to leave a string of letters. For example, an original text could be:

Cat people really are different from dog people, it turns out, according to a study that really was conducted and, presumably, really did receive some kind of funding. Specifically: dog people are more extrovert and agreeable; cat people are more neurotic, but also more open to new experiences.

Simply remove the spaces/gaps and punctuation to have:

catpeoplereallyaredifferentfromdogpeopleitturnsoutaccordingtoastudythatreallywasconductedandpresumablyreallydid receivesomekindoffundingSpecificallydogpeoplearemoreextrovertandagreeablecatpeoplearemoreneuroticbutalsomoreopentonewexperiences

Print the text out and have the students, either in groups or individually, add in spaces/gaps, capitals and punctuation to recreate the original.

The original text, obviously, needs to be suitable for the class. Make sure it’s the right level in terms of grammar and vocabulary and that it will be of interest to the students.

Variations on a Theme

Instead of using a text you can create a string of related words for the class. Suppose, for example, you are doing colors with a class. You might give them this string to space/gap:

redblueorangeyellowpurplewhiteblackgreencyangrey

Thus it’s infinitely adaptable and can be a fun way to end the lesson and practice the vocabulary learned at the same time.

Posted in Lesson Plans & Activities.

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