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Comprehension [Grades K-12] - Book Cover Look Inside

Comprehension [Grades K-12]

The Skill, Will, and Thrill of Reading

By: Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, Nicole V. Law

Comprehension is the structured, comprehensive, three-pronged approach—skill, will, and thrill—you need to empower students to comprehend text and take action in the world.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071812839
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Literacy
  • Year: 2020
  • Page Count: 208
  • Publication date: September 15, 2020

Price: $40.95

For Instructors

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Radically change the way students learn from texts, extending beyond comprehension to critical reasoning and problem solving. 

Is your reading comprehension instruction just a pile of strategies? There is no evidence that teaching one strategy at a time, especially with pieces of text that require that readers use a variety of strategies to successfully negotiate meaning, is effective. And how can we extend comprehension beyond simple meaning?

Bestselling authors Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Nicole Law propose a new, comprehensive model of reading instruction that goes beyond teaching skills to fostering engagement and motivation. Using a structured, three-pronged approach—skill, will, and thrill—students learn to experience reading as a purposeful act and embrace struggle as a natural part of the reading process. Instruction occurs in three phases:    

  • Skill. Holistically developing skills and strategies necessary for students to comprehend text, such as monitoring, predicting, summarizing, questioning, and inferring.
  • Will. Creating the mindsets, motivations, and habits, including goal setting and choice, necessary for students to engage fully with texts.
  • Thrill. Fostering the thrill of comprehension, so that students share their thinking with others or use their knowledge for something else.
Comprehension is the structured framework you need to empower students to comprehend text and take action in the world. 


Douglas Fisher photo

Douglas Fisher

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is professor and chair of educational leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Previously, Doug was an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association William S. Grey citation of merit and an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE. He has published numerous articles on teaching and learning as well as books such as The Teacher Clarity Playbook, PLC+, Visible Learning for Literacy, Comprehension: The Skill, Will, and Thrill of Reading, How Tutoring Works, and How Learning Works. Doug loves being an educator and hopes to share that passion with others.

Nancy Frey photo

Nancy Frey

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor in Educational Leadership at San Diego State and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. She is a member of the International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel. Her published titles include Visible Learning in Literacy, This Is Balanced Literacy, Removing Labels, and Rebound. Nancy is a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California and learns from teachers and students every day.
Nicole V. Law photo

Nicole V. Law

Dr. Nicole Law is a dynamic and passionate educator who provides relevant professional development to schools and districts across the country. Nicole focuses her experience to present instruction on Professional Teacher Teams, Leadership Improvement Practices and Structures, Data Analysis Models, School Improvement Practices and Structures, Standards-based Instruction and Design, Metacognitive Teaching and Learning Practices, Strategies for Success in Cognitively Rigorous Instruction and Levels of Depth of Knowledge (DOK), Effective Teaching Strategies for English Learners and Special Education Students, as well as Culturally Responsive and Equitable Teaching Practices.

Before joining the Leadership and Learning Center, Dr. Law served as a Curriculum Coordinator for English Language Learners, Cultural Responsivity, AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination), District Equity, and Mathematics and Science Instruction in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, Indiana. In this position, Dr. Law created multi-layered and faceted professional development for teachers and administrators covering all aspects of directed programs and curricular areas. She has written curriculum in the areas of science, mathematics, and English Language Development. Nicole trained and supported administrators, teacher leaders, site coordinators, and school improvement teams in Decision Making for Results, The Data Teams Process, Sub-group Data Dives, and Gap Reduction Practices.

Nicole is accused of not living in a world of limitations, but rather living in a world of conquering, leading, learning, and achieving in all areas of her life. She thrives on gaining new knowledge and pouring an abundance of her energy and passion in her work of coaching, empowering, and developing others. As an elementary principal, she guided her teachers through the implementation of rigorous instructional and assessment practices to create a culture of learning and achievement for all. Nicole’s leadership allowed her to lead her school through a transformation in both school culture and academic instruction.

Dr. Law completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy. Her dissertation concentrated on the principal’s role in increasing teacher implementation of effective instructional practices. She also had the pleasure of co-authoring “The Reflective Leader: Implementing a Multidimensional Leadership Performance System.” Leadership is Dr. Law’s passion; she has worked with numerous principals and district leaders on the implementation of best-practices in education.

Nicole has received various recognitions throughout her career. One of many, was the 2008 National Milken Award from the state of Indiana.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Videos



Chapter 1: The Point of Comprehension Is Not Comprehension

     But What Is Reading?

     Teaching Students to Comprehend

     Skilled Readers or Strategic Readers

     Constrained and Unconstrained Skills

     Is Comprehension Enough?

Chapter 2: Skill in Reading Comprehension

     Skill in Reading Comprehension

     Background Knowledge in Reading

     The Sounds of Language

     Phonics: Sound and Print

     Fluency in Reading

     Vocabulary in Reading

     Comprehension Strategy Instruction


Chapter 3: Will in Reading Comprehension

     Will in Reading Comprehension

     Dispositions That Underpin Learning

     Creating the Classroom Conditions for Will to Flourish


Chapter 4: Thrill in Reading Comprehension

     Thrill in Reading Comprehension

     The Right and the Responsibility of Criticism

     Reading Through a Critical Literacy Lens

     Goal Setting Through Student-Generated Questions

     Taking Action

Chapter 5: Tools for Reading Comprehension Instruction

     Texts as Tools for Fostering Comprehension

     Text Readability and Text Complexity

     The Special Cast of Digital Texts

     Texts in Primary Grades

     Tasks as Tools for Fostering Comprehension

     An Instructional Framework That Works