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.

Living Questions: Teaching Ideas for Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor

Rich for thinking about the scientific process, the nature of inquiry, the people behind our public policy, and the nature of biographical writing with living subjects, Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor offers teachers, librarians, families, and the children in their care much to explore.

Exploring Native American Activism: Teaching Ideas for We Are Still Here!

deal for explorations of Native American history, U.S. history, contemporary current events, We are Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know offers teachers, librarians, parents, and young people the opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps and then act on that information in the quest towards justice.

Kids in Action: Teaching Ideas for The Floating Field

Ideal for explorations of agency, language, environment, and sports participation, The Floating Field reminds us that children and communities are their own best agents of change.

Learning from the Unspeakable: Teaching Ideas Centered on the Tulsa Race Massacre

Weatherford and Cooper’s fusion of art and history bring to light a shameful episode a century ago that allows teachers, librarians, young people, and their families to reconsider our present and reaffirm our commitments to anti-racism.

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.