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The Story Behind the Story – “The Messy Room”

The Story Behind the Story – “The Messy Room” from All About Reading

Do you think there is a gene for messiness? If so, I think my son had it when he was younger. From the time he was a preschooler, he was always inventing and deconstructing and building things.

He wanted to see how things worked and what was inside.

He could work a screwdriver long before he could write on paper.

With his head full of curls, he was a miniature mad scientist, always working on a dozen projects in his bedroom, oblivious to the clutter around him.

Years later, that adorable mad scientist became the inspiration for “The Messy Room,” an All About Reading Level 3 decodable story.

The Messy Room

The main character in the story builds a contraption he calls The Tube Squeezer that is designed to squeeze toothpaste onto a toothbrush. But before he can make it work, he needs to find a key component, a marble that is missing somewhere in his messy bedroom. For the reader’s enjoyment, the marble is hidden in many of the illustrations, but the main character doesn’t find it until the very end of the story (and just in time to enter his invention in the state fair)!

Read “The Messy Room” Here!

"The Messy Room" - The Story Behind the Story / From All About Reading

In addition to being a really fun story, “The Messy Room” was designed to give students practice with prefixes. When you read the story, you’ll see that it includes interesting phrases such as:

  • belated birthday card
  • misplacing things
  • hunt nonstop
  • closet exploded

As for my son, he eventually learned to limit his messiness to a single area, and he now keeps one of the neatest houses you’ve ever seen. He’s still a creator, a builder, a programmer, and all the other wonderful things that come with inventiveness. It’s been interesting to see it all unfold!

Can you relate with the main character of this story? Or do you relate more to his older sister?

Read more about the inspiration behind the short stories in the All About Reading program!

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Marilyn Clint

says:

Hi Marie, I can 100% relate to the messy room my boy could do exactly the same with screwdrivers n making things pulling things apart just to see if he can modify it , mind you he has specials needs his 12 n his doing k3 school work recognized by the mentor it was great reading .Well do n e n thankyou

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Marilyn,
I think a lot of use can relate to kids with messy rooms, especially those of us with kids that are always starting new projects. :oD

Tina

says:

Hello,

I had never heard of decoding books before receiving this email newletter. My youngest is in grade 6 now, and although she can read quite well, I have noticed there is a hole in her reading skills. She read well and learned the sounds going through the prep and grade 1 years, but by the end of grade 2 was when we decided to homeschool and being a newbie I wasn’t fully aware at the time of the needs of a spelling book/reader. She floated though quite well until now, and it is now that I find those larger words are a challenge, I have taken her back to a spelling book, but I think if I double up with a decoder book she will benefit much more, just really wanting to get her in a more confident place before high school starts next year. So, as much as this is a post applauding the author Marie Rippel for producing a wonderful series of readers, I would also love an idea on whether the top level (think that’s level 3) would be helpful still at this stage of my daughters journey?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tina,
The highest level of our decodable books is Level 4. Here is a Level 4 sample story, so you can see what if it would be helpful for your daughter.

Another option would be to work with her with All About Spelling. Our spelling curriculum spends a lot of time working on syllables, and this directly helps children to be able to decode tough multisyllable words. (My 10 year old tells me that he has to use spelling when he is reading all the time. He means that he has to remember the syllable rules he learned in spelling in order to sound out long unfamiliar words.)

Please let us know if we can help in any way.

Karen Harris

says:

There’s hope!

Erin

says:

Yes I can relate. I feel we have to fight a couple of messy genes.

Christina

says:

thanks love the story

Sam P

says:

This sounds interesting. My son definitely has the “Messy Gene.”

Candee R.

says:

Very glad to know I’m not alone! Thanks

Patti

says:

Happy to read this… There is some hope for the future. I am a neat freak and my daughters room drives me nuts. However, in all the chaos I see she is organised and knows where her things are (most of the time).

Brooke

says:

My oldest is somewhat like this, oblivious to growing mounds of things around her. It definitely is a learning process.

Tammy

says:

I have one of those “messies.” She is a “collector of treasures,” and can find a use for anything. She has quite the imagination and is very creative! We are still learning to find a balance between my need for order and her love for having her special things near her!

Amanda Bowen

says:

Such a cute idea! I was very much the messy in our house.

Jess

says:

This sounds so very much like my children (and, to be honest, myself growing up).

Jill

says:

My daughter is the messy in our house. She just doesn’t care if things are put back in the same place every time. I am hoping she is learning through your reading program that there are certain rules that can be learned and followed to help with decoding new words. I have thoroughly enjoyed your program for my daughter. My older sons (high school and college age) did not use your program but still did well. Reading came easier for them so your program came along at just the right time for us!

Bridget

says:

Great!

Carolyn

says:

Sounds like one of our kids.

Tanya

says:

It’s so great to see stories to which my kids can actually relate. Great work!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thanks, Tanya! We try to write stories that *we* would have loved when we were kids. :) It’s a fun process!

Vicki B.

says:

I love this kids smile! The book cover is great and very invitable for kids.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Our illustrator, Donna Goeddaeus, is amazing at capturing facial expressions of both people and animals! I’m privileged to work with her!

Jonana

says:

We love AAR!

Linda

says:

Most all the kids and adults I work with need to see where their belongings are. It is like out of sight out of mind. Learning techniques are important for future peace of mind.

Mary B

says:

My sons both are like the boy in the story. My daughter is like the sister in the story. My 18 yr old son has a creative solution to the messy room problem. He has a good job so he pays his little sister several dollars each week to clean his room! She loves to clean and is thrilled to have a few dollars spending money.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

What a great solution for both your son and daughter! Thanks for sharing!

Elsie

says:

My son and I loved this story. We could relate! I can’t even tell you how many times we have frantically looked for important items at the last minute in his messy room.

Crystal shields

says:

Hello, can you please email me the post about “when is my child ready for spelling?” Thanks you

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Crystal,

I believe you are looking for this article: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/aas-right-time-to-start/

I hope this helps!

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