Chapter books challenging their ability to synthesize and accumulate information, and sustain comprehension. Longer texts require readers to be more skilled around the goals of:

  • sustaining understandings about plots that have many events, and may include events out of order (flashback, foreshadowing)
  • visualizing settings which often change from chapter to chapter, and which may be unfamiliar to the reader
  • tracking characters and their growth, changes, and relationships across time
  • handling more difficult vocabulary and the richer use of figurative language
  • determining themes by taking into account an entire long text, and using the book to uncover the meaning of symbolism.

Jennifer Serravallo's Complete Comprehension: Fiction supports growth in these goals, all of which contribute to whole-text comprehension and engagement. Complete Comprehension provides everything you need to:

  • assess a student's whole-book comprehension via each of the four goals
  • evaluate their facility with the component skills of each goal to plan instruction
  • teach reading strategies directly matched to the needs you identify.

For those familiar with Jen's work, this Assess, Evaluate, Teach framework is connected to the comprehension progressions she defined in Understanding Texts & Readers and to the instructional ideas in The Reading Strategies Book. In Complete Comprehension, these three pillars of the framework each receive their own teaching guide.


Complete Comprehension includes 28 authentic trade books (two each at levels J to W) by award-winning and beloved authors such as Linda Sue Park, Kate DiCamillo, Nikki Grimes, and Jon Scieszka. A student chooses from among the texts, then reads independently. As they read, labels affixed in the book cue them to pause their reading, and write their answer in response to open-ended prompts on a provided response form. No instructional time is required to obtain these written assessments; students read and answer prompts on their own while teachers can continue working with other students who are not engaged in their own reading. The Assess guide includes instructions on how to introduce the assessment to the whole class, how to gather and prepare your resources, how to administer the assessment with individual students, how to support book selection, and how and when to assess students. All of the prompts for all 28 books are also included for easy reference.


Once you've received a student's response form, Jen's commonsense rubrics in the Evaluate guide help you make sense of the student's written responses and pinpoint opportunities for growth. Spend a short amount of time with these rubrics and your student's response form in hand, typically 10 to 15 minutes when you first start getting to know the rubrics, and as little as 5 minutes with increased proficiency. Sample student responses from Jen's own field research, keyed to the progressions she shared in Understanding Texts & Readers, help you determine whether a reader is approximating a skill, is proficient with it, or demonstrates exceptional understanding. Once you've evaluated each response on the form, use the Planning Form, a quick tally sheet, and the if-then table that recommends clear next steps pinpointed to the reader's strengths and needs. The Evaluate guide includes a 4-step protocol for evaluation, suggestions for getting the most out of the rubrics, summaries of each included trade book, guidance on what to look for in students' responses, and sample student responses. 


Teachers love The Reading Strategies Book, and Complete Comprehension provides 100+ strategies in the Teach guide: 75+ strategies unique to Complete Comprehension and 20+ variations on some of the most foundational strategies from The Reading Strategies Book. Each strategy is on its own page, and formatted just like those in in The Reading Strategies Book, with classroom charts, lesson language, and mentor text suggestions. Organized with a chapter for each of Jen's four comprehension goals for fiction and reader engagement, the Teach guide makes selecting the most beneficial strategy for a student easy.  

Online Resources

Complete Comprehension includes an online cache of additional support. You'll find all the response forms and evaluation materials ready to download or print, as well as print-ready PDFs of the prompt-response labels in case you should need more. Using the resource right away is made easy with how-to videos that walk you through every step of the Assess-Evaluate-Teach process. In addition, you'll find videos of Jen in classrooms bringing the strategies from the Teach guide to life. She models and demonstrates a variety of lesson structures to use in your classroom (including mini lesson, read aloud, conferences, small groups, close reading, and more).

With Complete Comprehension, you’ll know your readers’ thinking more deeply and have all the tools you’ll need to create differentiated instruction that helps readers make progress every day.