The Dewey Decimal System


Melvil's Messy Bedroom

Junior Dewey


Books to the ceiling, books to the sky,

My piles of books are a mile high.

How I love them!

How I need them!

I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

Arnold Lobel

Melvil's Messy Bedroom

A long time ago lived a young boy named Mel,

A collector of books - a job he did well!

But he kept all his books in a terrible jumble,

"Oh, Mel! What a mess!", his mother would grumble.

His books were in piles right up to the door,

In teetering towers they covered the floor.

He'd searched high and low for his book about sharks,

For his project at school, for his teacher, Ms Sparks.

Mel looked at his books and his face filled with gloom.

He couldn't avoid it - he'd tidy his room.

Armed with hammer and nails and wood from the shed,

A bookcase he built, on the wall, by his bed.

He constructed 10 shelves, the length of the wall,

He needed a ladder ('cos Mel was quite small).

Each shelf had a number, to help him to sort

His books about nature, from books about sport,

And subjects like warships and countries and cars,

From tigers and fossils, pet spiders and Mars.

Mel looked at the shelf with books about nature,

Full of subjects like space and dinosaurs, slaters,

Rainforests, wasps and flowers and lakes,

Pandas, volcanoes and weather and snakes.

It needs some more numbers, he thought to himself,

To get all the subjects arranged on the shelf.

So he cut up each hundred, into its parts,

A number per subject would be a good start.

More numbers, he found, could be more specific,

A system of numbers that looked quite terrific!

He started with hundreds from zero to nine.

Then divided each hundred into tens every time.

The tens he divided, themselves into ten -

Hundreds of numbers, he made with his pen!

Armed with his notebook and numbers galore,

He matched them with subjects from books on the floor.

And now that his numbers were made so specific,

To tidy his room was not too horrific.

By adding a point, and beginning again,

Each decimal group was divided by ten -

He'd invented a system so neat and so clever

Libraries'd use it for ever and ever.

BUT...oh dear! The fiction - no room on the wall!

The 800's shelf is too short for them all.

So he moved all the stories of things that aren't rue,

And built a new shelf - he knew what to do!

Now all the fiction is shelved by the door,

With letters, not numbers - and now Mel's quite sure

He can find any book and the one about sharks

Is there for his project, to give to Ms Sparks.

More Links.....


Dewey and the Alien

An Alien's version of the Dewey Decimal System.

Decimal Practice 1

Decimal Practice 2

Decimal Practice 3

Dewey Library Skills Game 1

Dewey Library Skills Game 2 (Senior)