MaryAnn Cappiello


Mary Ann Cappiello

Mary Ann teaches in the graduate literacy and specialist teacher of reading programs. She is passionate about providing children and young adults with authentic reading, writing, listening, and speaking opportunities in and outside of the classroom. She spent over a decade teaching language arts and the humanities in public schools in New York and New England. In her literacy courses at Lesley, Mary Ann transforms theory into practice, asking teachers to engage deeply with content, examine pedagogical choices, and consider a range of perspectives.

Her research interests include teaching with children’s literature, particularly nonfiction/informational text; the production of school knowledge; the history of children’s and young adult literature; the role of multimodal texts as scaffolds for comprehension; and critical literacy. In collaboration with Lesley colleague and coauthor Erika Thulin Dawes, Mary Ann has created instructional models for strategically organizing children’s and young adult literature of all genres, along with multimodal digital texts, at the center of inquiry-based curriculum in language arts and the content areas in Teaching with Text Sets (Shell, 2012).

She is also the coauthor of Teaching to Complexity: An Evaluation Framework for Literary and Content-Area Texts (Shell, 2013), blogs at “The Classroom Bookshelf,” a School Library Journal blog, and chairs the National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Committee through 2018. 

Mary Ann presents regionally and nationally, partners with museums and libraries, has appeared on public radio and consults with public television. She also coordinates Lesley’s Collaborative Internship Program, a public and private residency-based partnership for preservice teachers now in its fifth decade.


BA, Haverford College
MA and Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University

Selected Publications


  • Cappiello, M.A., & Dawes, E. (2015). Teaching for complexity: A framework to evaluate literary and content-area texts. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.
  • Cappiello, M.A., & Dawes, E. (2013). Teaching with text sets. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.



Selected Presentations

  • Byrd, B., Cappiello, M.A, Reynolds, J., Schumaker, J., Stewart, M. “Working with Educators and Booksellers: What You Need to Know.” Springfield, MA. April 2017. New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Fleming, C., Rosenstock, B. Zarnowski, M. “Mixed Feelings: Engaging Students in Historical Truths.” November 2016. Atlanta, Georgia. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E.T. “When is Nonfiction Not Nonfiction?” October 2016. Providence, RI. Literacy for All Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E.T. Harrison, G., Tingle, K. “Transitioning to Text Sets.” July 2016. Boston, MA. International Literacy Association Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A. “Expanding the Frontiers of Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults.” Moderator. Boston, MA. April 2016.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site and the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, “New Frontiers in Biography and History” Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A. “Teaching with Text Sets.” Saratoga Springs, NY. June 2015. School Library Systems Association of New York State. Annual Institute.