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MaryAnn Cappiello

Professor

Mary Ann Cappiello headshot, outside

"The creative impulse, like love, can be killed, but it cannot be taught. What a teacher or librarian or parent can do, in working with children, is to give the flame enough oxygen so that it can burn. As far as I'm concerned, this providing of oxygen is one of the noblest of all vocations." - Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Dr. Mary Ann Cappiello is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to that, she served as a curriculum facilitator for English Language Arts and Social Studies at the middle level, and she taught English Language Arts and Humanities at the middle and high school level in New York and New Hampshire.

At Lesley, she teaches courses in children's and young adult literature and literacy methods, including a specialized course in nonfiction for children and young adults. She also mentors the content literacy and children’s literature courses and advises doctoral students. Previously, she served as program director of the Collaborative Internship Program, a residency-based teacher preparation program in its fifth decade.

Along with Erika Dawes, she is the co-author of Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy (Stenhouse, 2021), as well as Teaching with Text Sets (Shell, 2012) and Teaching to Complexity: A Framework for Evaluating Literary and Content-Area Texts (Shell, 2014). She has been a guest on public radio and a consultant to public television, and her work has appeared in English Journal, Language Arts, The Dragon Lode, School Library Journal, and School Library Connection. She blogs about children's and young adult literature currently at "The Classroom Bookshelf," a School Library Journal blog, and champions the use of biography in the K-12 classroom at The Biography Clearinghouse.

Previously, Mary Ann reviewed children's and middle-grade books for Language Arts. From 2015-2018 she 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. Mary Ann was also a consultant on the new PBS kids' show "Molly of Denali." Read more about her participation.

Mary Ann serves on the Advisory Board of the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLIF), the Program Committee of the American Independence Museum (AIM), and as a Board Member of The Afribuk Society.

Education

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

Selected Publications

Books

  • Dawes, E. & Cappiello, M.A. (2021). Text sets in action: Pathways through content area literacy. Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse Publishers.
  • Cappiello, M.A., & Dawes, E. (2015). Teaching for complexityA 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.

Webinars and Podcasts

Selected Articles

  • Cunningham, K. E., Cappiello, M. A., Dawes, E. T., & Enriquez, G. (2021). The pitfalls and potential of anthropomorphism in children’s literature. In Animals are us: Anthropomorphism in children's literature: Celebrating the Peter J. Solomon collection. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 
  • Dawes, E.T., Cappiello, M.A., Magee, L. B. (January, 2019). Portraits of perseverance: Reading and writing picture book biographies with third graders. Language Arts.96(3). TBD.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Aziz, S., Davila, D., Grabarek, D., Graff, J. M.,  Riley, S., Waugh, J. (November, 2018). The 2018 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. Language Arts. 96(2) TBD.
  • Cappiello, M.A. (June 2018). “Behind the Scenes with Henry VIII’s Wives: Fatal Throne.” School Library Journal.
  • Cappiello, M.A. (February 2018). The Creation of Mary's Monster - A Conversation with Lita JudgeSchool Library Journal. 
  • Cappiello, M., & Stewart, M. (March, 2018). Understanding categories of nonfiction for young people. School Library Connection. 3(5), 29-32.

Selected Presentations and Exhibits

Presentations

  • Bryant, J., Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E., Hadjioannou, X. Tate, D. ““Using Life Stories for Justice, Equity and Anti-racist Teaching: The Biography Clearinghouse.” November 2021. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Virtual Conference.
  • Dawes, E.T., Cappiello, M.A. “Text Sets and the Drive to Discover.”  October 2021. Literacy for All: Annual Northeast PreK-8 Literacy Virtual Conference.
  • “Picture This: Community.” Moderator. New York, NY. May 2021. School Library Journal  Virtual Day of Dialog.
  • “New Nonfiction: Explorations and Possibilities.” Waterbury Center, VT. March 2021. Children’s Literacy Foundation Virtual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E.T., Leddy, L. Bryant, J. “Creating Picture Book Biographies: Mentor Processes, Not Just Mentor Texts.” November 2020. Virtual Conference. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E.T., Enriquez, G., Cunningham, K. “The Child in the World:
  • Supporting Students to Connect, Care, Closely Observe, and Create.” November 2020. Virtual Conference. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference
  • Stewart, M., Beecher, A., Cappiello, M.A., et al. “12 Ways Expository Nonfiction Can Inspire Reading, Writing, and Inquiry.” November 2019. Baltimore, Maryland. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Orbis Pictus and Charlotte Huck Committees. “The 2019 Orbis Pictus and Charlotte Huck Honor Book Award-Winning Authors and Illustrators Share Their Stories and Insights.” November 2019. Baltimore, Maryland. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Orbis Pictus Committee. “Teaching with the 2019 Orbis Pictus Award Books.” November 2019. Baltimore, Maryland. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Hinds, G., Elliott, D., Miller, M. “The Art of Adaptation: Greeking Out About the Classics.” November 2019. Baltimore, Maryland. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Cunningham, K , Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E.T., Enriquez, G.. “Wonder, Words, and Wisdom:  Teaching with Kwame Alexander’s Books.” Providence, RI. October 2019. Literacy for All: Annual Northeast PreK-8 Literacy Conference.

Museum Exhibit

In the News