Monday, January 12, 2009

National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day

This year, National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day falls today, January 12, as today is the second Monday in January. It's intentions are to provide one day early each year for every desk worker (students included) to see the top of the desk and prepare for another semester's worth of paperwork (or learning, as the case may be with students). Books about messy desks are somewhat hard to come by, but with some searching, I found a few that focused on the desks and being messy in general! The lesson plans/book activities that go along with these books are all posted together at the end of this post, as none of them relate specifically to any book in particular, but rather organizational and stay-clean strategies for classroom desks!

McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick. Messy Bessey’s School Desk. 1998.
Children’s Press: New York, NY.
Ages: 5-8
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Guided Reading Level: J


The text itself is very simple, focusing on everyday school issues that many of our children surely face – a messy desk and lack of organizational skills! As a teacher, I see this everyday and for sure, nothing drives me crazier! If this book will inspire young students to keep their desks clean, then it’s certainly worth sharing. It might also just inspire them to partake in National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day!

With rhyming phrases, Messy Bessey guides young readers through the tribulations of having a messy desk – broken crayons, apple cores, misplaced homework assignments, overdue library books, wadded up tissues, dried out markers… the list goes on and on! However, Bessey finally realizes that something must be done and takes on the tedious task of cleaning out that messy desk! She does such a great job, she motivates the other students to clean their desks as well, and is ultimately elected class president!

Viorst, Judith. Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest.
2001. Antheneum Books for Young Readers: New York, NY.
Ages: 5-8
Genre: Fiction, Comedy and Humor
Guided Reading Level: L


The story is funny – the pencil drawn illustrations with bursts of color really depict what a mess Sophie can be! The story also shows readers how others people are impacted by someone else’s mess. Might this inspire clean desks on National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day? Perhaps!

Olivia tells the story of her little sister, Sophie, who is” super-completely and totally the messiest.” Sophie tries hard, she really does, but not being messy is really a job for her. The story shows every aspect of Sophie’s messy life, from trips to the beach, to her desk at school.

Lesson Plans/Book Activities:
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Anonymous said...

Drat! Only a few hours left! I got two books off the "Write the reviews" pile, so I guess that's a start!

style='clear: both;' Corey Schwartz said...

I've got another one! Second Grade Rules, Amber Brown. Amber is enjoying second grade until her teacher explains that Deskarina, the Desk Fairy, will be coming to give awards to the students with clean desks.