The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf
Mary Ann Cappiello

About Mary Ann Cappiello

Mary Ann is a professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. A former public school language arts and humanities teacher, she is a passionate advocate for and commentator on children’s books. Mary Ann is the co-author of Teaching with Text Sets (2013) and Teaching to Complexity (2015) and Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy (Stenhouse, 2021). She has been a guest on public radio and a consultant to public television. From 2015-2018, Mary Ann was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) Committee, serving two years as chair.

Teaching Ideas for a Democracy Under Assault

What can educators do? We can offer young people an opportunity to better understand and make sense of this moment through information. Nonfiction books for young people offer us gripping accounts of the past and present in language that engages young people’s hearts and minds. Nonfiction books for young people provide a “container” of information vetted and researched, with evidence documented in bibliographies and chapter notes, acknowledgements and author’s notes. Nonfiction books for young people personalize and problematize history. Nonfiction books for young people can be juxtaposed in the classroom so that students can hear a range of perspectives and make sense across texts. Nonfiction books for young people can model inquiry and informational literacy, while also providing essential information about our past, our present, and the government structures within which we operate.

Books as Bright Spots in 2020

We don’t know what next year holds. We don’t know where books will take us. But as we do each year, we’ve curated “best of” lists from a range of publications and organizations that review children’s and middle grade books. We hope you find these lists useful. You may be in search of winter holiday hibernation reads. You may be trying to find just the right book for a child or tween in your life, or new books for your classroom collections or school library.

Celebrating Collective Action in The Teachers March

The Teachers March! captures a powerful moment in U.S. history, celebrates the tenacity and intrepidity of teachers, and has an important role to play in language arts and social studies curriculum.

Rethinking Thanksgiving

We wanted to make sure our readers knew about the “Rethinking Thanksgiving” webinar hosted by authors Kate Messner and Traci Sorell on Thursday, November 12th.

Celebrating Kindness with When We are Kind

n the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, When We are Kind offers preschool and primary grade children a vision of kindness they can enact in their own lives.

Reading the World with Becoming a Good Creature

“School is not the only place to find a teacher.” This first line of Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green’s picturebook adaptation of their 2018 adult book How to Be a Good Creature may ring true for many students and their families right now.

Preparing for the 2020 Election Cycle

When headlines scream out our political dysfunction, and a global pandemic keeps us uncertain at home, we can all feel powerless. But with a book like this, that offers both information and action, young people, their teachers, and their families can feel empowered.

Exploring Native American Activism and Environmental Justice

In this historic moment, as people around the world shelter at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, there has never been a more potent time to be reminded of our need to be good stewards of the earth we share.

Using Online Museum Resources for Literacy Learning

Whether you are a K-12 teacher trying to support students online or a parent, grandparent, or family or community member trying to support learning for a range of students and ages during this period of disruption, we hope you can find these resources interesting and engaging, and these simple protocols helpful.

Shedding Light on 20th Century Termination and Relocation Efforts with Indian No More

Ideal for explorations of family, friendship, and identity, the impact of federal policies generationally on Native Americans, and the process by which we claim our own identities, Indian No More will linger in the hearts and minds of readers.