The Comprehension Experience: Engaging Readers Through Effective Inquiry and Discussion


The Comprehension Experience is the rare book that causes us to rethink much of what we thought we knew about comprehension instruction.
-Regie Routman
Author of Reading Essentials

What kind of instruction best supports comprehension? Ask Dorsey Hammond and Denise Nessel, veterans steeped in both research and classroom practice. "Most important," they assert, "is to promote readers' intellectual and emotional...

See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$28.64 price
(Save 4%)$30.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $21.98   
  • New (3) from $24.88   
  • Used (4) from $21.98   
Sending request ...


The Comprehension Experience is the rare book that causes us to rethink much of what we thought we knew about comprehension instruction.
-Regie Routman
Author of Reading Essentials

What kind of instruction best supports comprehension? Ask Dorsey Hammond and Denise Nessel, veterans steeped in both research and classroom practice. "Most important," they assert, "is to promote readers' intellectual and emotional engagement with texts every day through effective thinking and discussion." The Comprehension Experience explains how to do it K-12 with fresh, research-driven practices.

Hammond and Nessel say readers must do more than master skills and learn strategies. They must have highly engaging, deeply satisfying experiences with narrative and informational texts. They must think actively, talk productively, and focus on meaning. Hammond and Nessel show how to do this by:

  • engaging readers' curiosity to draw them into texts
  • using teaching language to stimulate students' thinking
  • leveraging the reading-writing connection to strengthen understanding
  • making comprehension a priority for emerging readers
  • ensuring that instruction leads to effective self-directed reading.

To support what they say, Hammond and Nessel provide rich classroom dialogues to illustrate exemplary instruction in action. Read The Comprehension Experience and discover how to guide all readers to better thinking and deeper understanding.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325030418
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 787,753
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

From his first years of teaching, Dorsey Hammond was intrigued by how his students attempted to understand what they were reading. Since those early years, he has combined research study with the regular practice of working in classrooms with teachers and students, K - 12. His Heinemann title The Comprehension Experience reflects the decades Dorsey has devoted to understanding the comprehension process, especially how teachers' language and actions most effectively build on students' natural capacity to construct meaning.

Denise Nessel is coauthor of the Heinemann title The Comprehension Experience. Her motivation for writing it came from the beliefs she has long held about what makes reading instruction most effective: a firm understanding of the comprehension process and an ability to apply that understanding in ways that give both students and teachers a real sense of accomplishment. In collaborating with educators across the country to improve K - 12 instructional practices, Denise aims to bring more zest and depth to literacy instruction and content-area teaching, She finds that students everywhere respond eagerly to the right kinds of learning experiences. Skillfully crafting such experiences is her special interest. Denise began her career as a secondary English teacher. When she discovered that a number of her students read very poorly and even the high achievers did not always comprehend what they read, she knew she had much to learn. At Bowling Green State University, she focused on reading at the secondary level and put what she learned to good use as a teacher and reading specialist. Later, at the University of Delaware, she focused on K - 12 reading and refined her understanding of the reading process while teaching in that university's reading clinic and mentoring in nearby classrooms. During her years at Delaware, Denise was inspired by Russell Stauffer, whose clinical and classroom teaching was memorable and whose mentorship of his consulting team was invaluable. Denise next worked as a university professor and as a K - 12 curriculum supervisor. In 1980, she relocated to California and became a full time consultant and mentor, helping teachers at all grade levels in the US and abroad learn to teach with greater knowledge, skill, and sensitivity. During this time, she also codirected a storytelling/literacy project. Since 1989, she has helped to shape and deliver the professional development services offered by the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA), a non-profit dedicated to helping all students achieve at the highest levels. Denise has also served as a consultant to education publishers, worked as a designer of educational software, and written several books on instruction. Denise's diverse experiences have given her a broad perspective on learning and learners. She's as comfortable with a first grade reading group as she is in a high school classroom or a teacher workshop. In each situation, she aims to engage learners intellectually while making their learning relevant, meaningful, and enjoyable. When envisioning her ideal school, Denise thinks of a place where students and teachers are actively involved every day in reading, thinking, writing, discussing, and using what they learn to make their lives more interesting and satisfying. Although she is thrilled with the many excellent materials and technological tools available today, she considers the quality of teaching the most important element of any instructional program. At the core of her ideal school are knowledgeable teachers who enjoy interacting with their students, who love learning, and who are skillful practitioners.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)