Author: Robert Burleigh
Illustrator: Joanna Yardley
Age: preschool, elementary school
Description: Ben sets up an elaborate train excursion in his room that takes him up, around, through, and under trees, farmhouses, tunnels and towns. It all starts with a drawing…
Goals/Concepts: Motor planning
- Spatial terms
- Imaginative play
Why I like this book: This story is a delightful example of how a simple little drawing can be the start of an adventure as Ben’s imagination takes over using everything in his room from blocks to toy animals, bubbles and plants. I also love the book because it’s about a boy and his trains! What a great way to capture and expand on imaginary play.
Ideas for use:
- Ask the kids to put all the places Ben and his train went in the correct sequence and act it out.
- Use the book to facilitate ideation – have kids look around the room and think about what common objects they can use to represent buildings, trees, etc.
- Read the story to a small group of kids and have them decide on a theme for a collaborative story to do together.
- Play, “I’m Going on a Picnic” clapping game but go on a train ride instead…”and I will pass a farmhouse, go through a tunnel”, etc.
- Have kids draw a story starter picture of some kind of adventure and then exchange it with a friend to complete the picture and story to promote flexibility.
Submitted by: Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L
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